Marketing Question of the Week: Sales Professional Use of Social Media

 Marketing Question of the Week: I understand the power of social media and the need to market myself with it. Currently all I am doing is 'checking in' at some of my appointments locations and posting links for articles pertaining to my industry. How can I, as a sales professional that doesn't offer personal or retail services, utilize social media better to market my business?

Thanks to Chris Burns of ACP Fire & Security for asking this question. 

First of all, there are many social networking choices out there... and many of them are NOT geared for personal or retail sales. Facebook, while the largest of sites, is only one channel. If you target B2B, LinkedIn is one great channel to work in to reach your clients. But there are many others, including Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and many more that can reach your audience. You just need to first determine WHO that audience is and then pick the right channels to reach them with. 

As for 'what to post'... industry articles are a good start. When I work with a client, I start with the topics that they are most often questioned by from their target market. e.g. If you had an FAQ on your website, start addressing those topics, questions and issues with some of your posts. Most of us can talk easily (and sometimes ENDLESSLY) about our business/industry... use those talking points as a start for the conversation, and then adapt as you start to receive feedback from your audience. 

Finally, make sure you are MONITORING your results. Like any marketing campaign, your social campaigns should produce results for your business... either with increased leads, better visibility or some other kind of tangible measure. If you put time in, make sure it is yielding results. If you aren't seeing results it doesn't mean you should give up, but instead use that as a measure to change tactics and see what else might spur better interaction with your audience. 

Always remember that social networking is about NETWORKING... it's not about closing a sale. Treat your social networking efforts online the same way you treat your in-person efforts, and you will eventually see results.