I hear it from Sage and Microsoft partners all the time … “I don’t see the value in social media.”
The reason they don’t see value, they say, ranges from “it’s a silly fad for teenagers” and “I don’t care what someone had for breakfast this morning” to “I don’t know anybody that’s made money or closed a deal through social media.”
But there’s one elusive secret about social media that most of those same folks are missing – something you need to understand in order for social media to work for you. And that simple secret is this …
You’re NOT Connected with the Right People!
Here’s what I’m talking about …
It’s Time to Connect with Customers, Not Colleagues
Too many of those same folks who “don’t see the value in social media” are connected to other technology providers. So if you’re a Sage partner and your network on LinkedIn or Twitter is primarily made up of other Sage partners, it’s no wonder you’re not closing deals through social media.
You’re networking with people who are selling and implementing the same solutions you offer! Other Sage partners aren’t going to buy your products and services. Makes sense, right? (If not, close your browser and back away from the laptop … there’s nothing to see here).
Don’t get me wrong … there’s value in networking with colleagues to keep your finger on the pulse of the channel and share business-building strategies. But a majority of your social network should be made up of customers and prospects.
Using myself as an example, I’m connected with a handful of other marketing professionals as a source of new ideas and to see what my peers are up to. But 90% of my network on LinkedIn and Twitter are made up of Sage, Microsoft, and SAP partners … so when I post updates, share information, and network via social media, I’m talking directly to the folks we work with and develop marketing programs for!
Think of Social Media Like Email Marketing
When talking to our clients, we find it helpful to compare your social media network to an email distribution list. Just like you send regular newsletters to an email list, social media is an opportunity for you to stay top of mind with customers and prospects. If you’re email list is comprised of friends, family, and other Sage partners, your ERP or CRM newsletter is falling on deaf ears and probably isn’t worth the time and effort.
The same goes for social media … you need to build the right network (email list) first. Once you’ve got the right network of customers and prospects, I guarantee you’ll start to see the value in social media.
Not sure how to go about building a network of customers and prospects? Then it might be time to contact us or register for one of our web-based Social Media Workshops – we’ll provide you with the tools and tactics to effectively grow your network and start connecting with the right people.
Other Articles That Might Interest You:
4 Things Every Business Should Know about Marketing in 2012
How to Set Up a Google+ Business Page
How to Keep Visitors on Your Website Longer
By Mark Badran