You’ve been warned before! Even within some of my previous posts, I’ve mentioned how it’s never appropriate to blatantly self-promote or advertise “at” your audience while using social media platforms. As we are now in an age of engagement, open communication and transparency, business success has less to do with advertising and everything to do with the quality of interaction with clients. People are not using social media to listen to others advertise their services and go on for posts and posts about how great they are at what they do. But, when using social media for business, one of your main objectives is to seek out new clients and to garner repeat business, right? So, where to draw the line? How do you achieve that objective without self-promoting, advertising or spamming?
The solution is actually quite simple. A fundamental thing to remember is that you need to be there for your clients. You want them to know that you care about them and that your service commitment to them does not end once you’ve made the sale or completed a deal.
Social media make this very easy to do. It is in fact the very essence of social networking for business. Always be available to your social networking community – let people know you’re there and that your online presence is customer-service driven. The best way to do this is to check in often on all of your social networking platforms. If you’re connected on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s a good idea to check your accounts daily for activity. You want to respond to any questions, comments or complaints in a timely manner. Never tell them why they need you, just ensure that you post relevant, need-to-know information often – information that you know people want and require. This can be anything from cutting edge industry news to an anecdotal story that will be of benefit to people. Clients and prospects need to trust you in order to do business with you. And, what better way to gain their trust than to be indispensable to them – to be an industry leader, always ready with the answers and meaningful info!
If you have created a group on either Facebook or LinkedIn, ensure that you adopt a no spamming policy that that it is adhered to strictly, or you’ll find you don’t have very many members. The key to a successful group is enlightening discussion. Again, ensure that people are able to learn useful information from the discussions – not listen to Joe Blow promote his insurance, real estate or mortgage business! Spam and advertisements are of no value to the people in your social networking community.
If you’re unsure as to what, exactly, constitutes spam, the following definition by social media marketing blogger, Toby Marshall, sums it up nicely: “Any material posted on to a community (eg. Groups on LinkedIn) that is selling a product or service. This includes offers of free reports, free workshops, free videos etc. Extreme examples include multiple postings of the same sales material on multiple communities.”
I’ll add to that with: Any unsolicited and/or self-promoting advice or offers related to selling a product or service.
So, bottom line: Don’t be a nuisance on social media sites by being self-promoting or by spamming people with advertising. Do make sure that you provide a wealth of valuable information that people genuinely want to know on all of your social networking platforms. You’ll soon discover that this will go a long way toward lead generation and keeping your existing clients satisfied.