Thursday, May 31, 2012

Which Social Media Work Best for Sales? Pt. 1


Few will argue that the best deals are closed because the salesperson has created and fostered a relationship with their client. They've heard them out, built a rapport, and provided solutions to their problems. The best salespeople have realized this and are finding more and more ways to use new media to start these relationships. 

The question is: which social networks produce the best results? In other words, what social media should salespeople be using? Obviously, the answer to this question is too complex to provide just one answer. Below are some advantages of disadvantages of networks you're probably already using. 

1.) Facebook

The advantages of Facebook are obvious. Almost everyone is on it, it's a valuable research tool, and for some, it is checked and updated more than email. Unfortunately, the disadvantages to Facebook are also obvious. It's far too personal for solicitation, users are barraged by links and pestering requests already and controversy surrounding Facebook privacy is making its users more and more wary of people who reach out to them. 

So, when is Facebook a good tool for sales? Remember that Facebook is intended to mostly maintain relationships, not start them. If you are trying to market on a lead with a person you already have somewhat of a rapport with, Facebook can be very effective. They'll see your name and respond to it. Facebook can be disastrous, however, when used for cold calls. 

2.) Twitter

As you can see, we are starting with the more popular networks to get them out of the way for this list. Like Facebook, Twitter can be extremely useful because many people use it, especially the big names that you are probably going after for clientele. Twitter works well because starting a conversation is simple and easy for recipients of your tweets to see and respond to. The downside is that it is very difficult to predict the reach for your tweet. Depending on who you're reaching out to, they may be getting dozens of mentions while yours gets lost in a black hole. This can be avoided through direct messaging, although more and more users are disabling direct messaging unless they follow you back.

Overall, there is little to lose when attempting to build relationships through Twitter, but it tends to happen when you don't expect it. Because responses are difficult to predict, this is a network that is dangerous to bet on even though it should be used regularly. Also, character limits draw the conversation out and make it difficult for you to be as informative as you may want to be. 

Pt. 2 will delve into Gmail, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. If you have any suggestions for a network that should be mentioned, comment below. 

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

No comments: