1st November 2012

Just like Sports, Play the Social Networks to Get Good at them!

I’ve read some great coaching books about my favourite sport, tennis. Helpful? Yes. Made me a good tennis player? Not likely.

Becoming good involves getting on the court and practising with the ball machine, coaches and friends and playing lots of matches. Because the cliché is 100% true: practise does make perfect.

It’s the same with Social Networking: you only learn what it is capable of, if you get involved and start engaging.

Don’t Just Be There…and Don’t Bulk Sell

Just putting up a profile on a site like LinkedIn is not enough. By itself, a profile and a few connections achieves nothing. It’s like printing a thousand brochures, only to put them on a shelf in your office.

The same goes for sending out bulk sales emails on LinkedIn, impersonal and with the same message to everyone. That’s like having your whole sales team standing next to your booth at a trade show and giving every passerby a sales brochure. It may make you feel as if you are doing something useful, but how many actually get read? How many lead to sales? How much money and time are you wasting?

Here’s the big thing: If you ‘bulk sell’ on LinkedIn or Facebook with no personalisation, there is another huge downside…they disconnect and stop following you. You have lost the most valuable commodity in this world of proliferated media: their attention. It’s very easy to lose and very hard to get back.

We did a study of 50 Australian marketing companies, the so called ‘experts’. Only a couple of them were using LinkedIn as more than a brochure, as just another sales funnel to shove messages down.

This is completely wasting a valuable marketing resource.

So What Should a Marketing Company be Doing?

Any B2B marketing company should be learning how to use LinkedIn themselves – how to gather their prospects together; learning the skills and techniques to ensure their prospects stay; learning the skills to engage with large communities. They will then be in a position to advise their clients accordingly.

These are hard skills to learn, but worth the effort. If a marketing company invests in them they might stop wasting their clients’ money!

See how you can use Social Media to increase Lead Generation.

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About James Eastland

Creating Customer Communities for companies selling B2B is my passion—shortening their sales cycle and building market leadership. My role sets the direction and vision of Lead Creation, tapping into the online experience of our large team of young professionals to implement cost effective strategies for B2B businesses.

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