Is Social Media a Silver Bullet – Part 2

Bullet

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A lot of people are looking at Social Media marketing as some kind of ‘silver bullet’ for their marketing woes.  As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, there’s good news and bad news when it comes to marketing for Business to Business opportunities.  The bad news is that Social Media is no more of silver bullet for small B2B business owners than any other single marketing tactic that’s out there.  The good news is it can be a very effective tool for helping you get found or established – especially when it’s used in conjunction with other marketing ideas.

In Part 1 we talked about using new media tools as a great way to establish expertise by creating content.  Today we’ll look at couple of other ideas that might be a better fit if you’re not into publishing as much.

Become a go-to source

Some what related to demonstrating expertise, there is a lot of value in acting as an editor and re-publisher of great information.  Whatever your industry is, you are likely spending time keeping up with what’s going on, new thoughts, new ideas and discussions in general.

A lot of that information would also be valuable to your clients, prospective clients or partners, so start sharing and establish yourself as someone to go to for great information!

Twitter is a great way to learn things and to share – check out @GuyKawasaki as someone who takes this strategy to an extreme.

You can also do something the same thing with status updates on LinkedIn (or even Facebook…but it’s likely that your high school friends don’t care!).

Spend 10 minutes a day sharing great information and you will get noticed and followed (ideally you should be also establishing connections and relationships with your target audience when you do this as well – if you’re sharing and not connected with anyone it doesn’t work well!).

Stay top of mind

Another way to look at using Social Media is as a mechanism for communicating and staying top of mind.  What could you do so that you stay top of mind with your key contacts (this could be prospective clients or great referral partners)?  Obviously sharing information and expertise is one way to do this, but it could also be as simple as engaging people and asking questions or giving updates on events (yours or someone else’s).

If a networking partner posts something online – respond back and ask them a follow-up question.  Just like in off-line relationships, you need to actually be interested in them and their situation or this could backfire on you.

Another approach is to ask great questions that relate to what you do.  Maybe an opinion poll on a recent industry trend?  Maybe a question on resources or tools that others use?  There are likely lots of ways to start a conversation and engage attention.

Twitter is probably the best place, but LinkedIn status updates or group discussions can also work well.  Again it doesn’t have to be a lot of time…maybe an hour or two a week spread out over time and you would be very visible (and top of mind) with a lot of people.

My experience has been that if you use these tools and go into with the idea of adding value and helping that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much leverage you can get from your time.  You have to build connections and be consistent, but this will get you found and remembered…which is the first critical step towards making a sale!

Great Resource

One great resource to help you brainstorm and see some real life examples of how Social Media is being used effectively is Mashable’s Real Results Series.

What experiences have you had with Social Media in a business to business environment?  What strategies am I missing?  What questions do you have?  Respond in the comments below and let me know what you think.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

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