Why it is time to put some heart into social media

We are entering an era where the tools we have, which are designed to help us communicate better are ensuring just the opposite is happening.

Lazy social media marketing is becoming the norm and producing little if any results for many business users - it’s time to wake up and change your approach We’ve been told, countless times, that engagement is the key to the effective use of social media - engage, engage, engage.

But are automated, algorithmic response messages, the click of a like button, a retweet of someone’s content, really engagement, or do the recipients of your ‘efforts’ simply move on?

Stop reading this post for a moment and go look at your LinkedIn Home page newsfeed. If you’ve connected with any more than 100 LinkedIn connections, the chances are that new updates are entering your newsfeed at a rate of several a minute.

On Twitter you can probably triple this number. Now look at your LinkedIn and Twitter notifications.

Who has connected with who, who has got a birthday, who has just published a new post? How do you manage all this information? Perhaps you take a cursory glance at all this information and respond, occasionally with a quick click of the like button or by the sending of a standard LinkedIn response.

We’ve reached a point where we’re all bombarded with so many updates and messages from our network of followers and connections that we’re losing heart and beginning to become numbed to the information coming at us.

It’s time to stop and reassess what you’re doing on social media

Why is your business on social media? Most of the clients I work with signed up because they wanted new business and to reach more people who would use their services. Yet, for many, they are simply not prepared to put the effort in to make this happen. They may be fearful of making a mistake, too busy, over-stretched and simply cannot justify the time to spend much time implementing activity.

What do the top 30 social media sales people in the world do differently?

Buyers are now making 70 per cent of their purchasing decisions long before they ever get in touch with your business. Much of your customers’ decision-making processes are determined by what they review on-line. Our customers are online 24/7 and they know what they want. Your job is no longer to tell your customers what they should be buying, but to prove that they should be buying their selected product from you. To achieve this, you have to show you care - you have to work harder than you’ve ever had to do before.

Engage with your customers where they hang out

Do your customers use WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, email, SMS text messaging, Skype? In the 21st Century, one-size no longer fits all and if you’re not prepared to set up your company’s sales and marketing approaches to take this into account, then you’re missing out on new business.

Socially surround your prospects

What does this mean? Simply put, this is about not relying on one channel of communication to engage with your customers and prospects.

Mike Damphouse, CEO of Green Leads

explains his sales team’s approach: “We practice a strategy called ‘social surround’ where we use multiple sources of social media and even on-line advertising on social media to influence and gain intelligence about a prospect. Once we feel they have been sufficiently influenced, we engage them one-on-one”.

To add to this, you should consider that LinkedIn might be how you locate an ideal target customer, but it could be that they’re far more active on Twitter. That’s where you need to engage with them.

Simply being on LinkedIn and Twitter and automating a few posts and responses is not going to be enough in today’s world of communication. It might be time to focus on fewer connections and followers - the 2 per cent of important ones - and engage with them in a more effective way where they hang out while doing so with more heart.

It might be time to focus on fewer connections and followers - the 2 per cent of important ones - and engage with them in a more effective way where they hang out while doing so with more heart.

By Steve Phillip, managing director, Linked2Success Ltd.