10 Steps Using Social Media For Business Development

Institute of Technology and Business Development

Institute of Technology and Business Development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all need new business, right? Doesn’t matter if you’re a solo professional, small business of five or larger, everyone has to keep the pipeline full and the leads rolling in.

Digital marketing is absolutely the tier-one method, and I recently met an incredible expert who does it every day exceptionally well. And, the process is highly strategic requiring expertise learned over time and years of testing the methods.

Social media provides another business development methodology that everyone can do and probably does do without knowing it.

The other day, I tweeted, “If you ignore Twitter, it ignores you.” Indeed. When you fall off the ladder into the rabbit hole, it’s hard to jump out. There are a variety of reasons making that hole feel comfortable and safe and most of it has to do with being challenged and trying what’s new and different. While it’s easy to tweet and reshare everyone’s posts all day, what’s the gain besides burn out?

Let’s be more strategic and help fuel your lead generation. And, I’m not talking about inbound marketing right now; I’m talking about good old-fashioned networking.

10 Steps to Fuel Business Development

Step 1: Set Goals

There are four simple goals for using social media for business development:
1. Identify your target list
2. Elevate your personal brand
3. Ask for a meeting
4. Earn the business

Step 2: Track With a Spreadsheet or CRM System

If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a CRM system, then use your QuickBooks or Excel to track lead generation and prospecting. If you’re really on a budget, then perhaps index cards?

Step 3: Develop a Tier-One Target List

Everyone has a wish list of a company with which they’d like to work. Put your list of five or so together. Maybe you select a few out of each category that are different sizes.

For sales teams, this works, too. Select the company with which you most want to do business and get that target list active on a CRM system (but then I don’t need to inform sales how to prospect, right?).

Step 4: Who is the buyer of your services or product?

During the time I was in HubSpot school (I made a major investment in this platform to learn inbound marketing from the big guns), the words “buyer persona” appeared on my radar.

I had to think about the audience most likely to purchase my services and describe them – age, gender, expertise, values they appreciate, and more.

From the list in step one, select the title/role of the person most likely to buy your services or products. Get that title/role into your tracking system.

Step 5: Audit The Company

Here’s where social media comes to play. Using your tiered target list, begin exploring social media activity by the company. Record on your tracking system/CRM each of the channels and which is more powerful for shares and content.

LinkedIn (example). Does the company have a company page? How about a group? Who are the folks who work there? Can you find the title of the person most likely to buy from you? Better yet, take a look at your network; who in your network knows someone at that company to send an introduction on your behalf?

Step 6: Social Sharing

  • Google+. Similar to LinkedIn, check out the business page for your target company on Google+. Perhaps you’ll also find the folks who work there and you can do a search. (Not to mention, you can also do a name search on Google itself, of course!) Begin to +1 posts on Google+ by the company and also reshare it if you think it’s worthy.
  • Twitter. Companies tweet, obviously. Star the company into your Faves List and begin retweeting posts you like from that company. Pay attention to who’s tweeting; it may be an agency and there may also be initials on the posts indicating someone on a team.
  • Blog. Here’s where you can really influence and elevate your identity and brand. Visit the company blog frequently; in fact, subscribe and never miss a post. Read for a week or two (depending on the frequency of blog posts) and get a feel for the topics the company is writing on. All the while, you’re preparing to comment on the blog while resharing it on social media channels.While the blogger for the company may not be on your target list, you can still use the fact that you commented and shared that company’s blog post in your eventual pitch.
  • Your Blog. If you really want to make an impact and impression, invite the person you’re targeting to do a Q&A with you, write a guest post or to link. You can also follow them on the Interwebz; but, do not be a stalker! Use discretion and caution, please!

Step 7: Engage and Build Relationship

We who have been on social media longer than five years know how to build relationships with total strangers. It’s what the channels were built on. Today, that ‘raderie is next to nil; yet, people appreciate genuine authenticity with real professionals and people.

Use that concept to build upon the relationship you started. Of course, your goal is to get a meeting and perhaps earn some new business; however, there should be a common interest you can draw upon to build a true and solid foundation.

Step 8: Ask for a Meeting

If you’ve done a great job making small talk, sharing content and following your target list, then it’s time to ask for a meeting. Make it casual under the guise of networking because that’s what it is. No one wants a hard sell, and the recipient of your attention is smart enough to know a sales shakedown when it happens!

Essentially, be you and be real.

Step 9. Stay in Touch

If the meeting doesn’t product the result you wanted, do not fret. Sales pipelines sometimes take months to fill and business also takes time to close. If you drop off the radar, what happens when your prospect wants to find your name and number and can’t because you fell back into the comfy rabbit hole?

Step 10. Smile and Show Me Some Personality

I needed a step 10 to round this out, and maybe it’s the most important step in the bunch. Think about when you get a cold pitch; how’s your demeanor on the phone? Abrupt and impatient, right? Now think about paving the way to a prospect with smiles, laughs, personality, kudos and more. How do you think that person will feel about you with all that in front of the ask? Selling with heart couldn’t be more important, and think of it this way – if you get a “no thank you,” then move on to the next one and pretty soon it’s like riding a bike.

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Savvier Social Media Across The Marketing Blend

Soulati-Media-logo.jpgToday, I write from lovely Louisville, Kentucky on site at the IABC Louisville and the Louisville Digital Association conference.

As an invited speaker, the last four weeks have been nothing but thought about the toughest topic Jason Falls could’ve assigned — how social media integrates across the marketing disciplines.

Woah.

What would you say to that?

Exactly.

Everything I’ve read and each social media experience I’ve had have contributed to the content of the deck I present today, called “Savvier Social Media Across The Marketing Blend.”

It is premature to direct you to SlideShare today, as this post was written and scheduled yesterday. I will, however, upload my deck tomorrow for those who couldn’t attend.

I’ll also give you a sneak peak of what’s inside today’s presentation, if you’re reading this in advance!

Companies on Tap

I share examples of the natural connectivity of social media and how professional bloggers can build relationships with global start ups.

Tools for listening are important; can you spot the creative slide featuring this company? I just may be the first person to insert an advertisement in a presentation deck!

J. Crew provides an amazing look at savvier social media and forms the crux for my in-depth example and case study.

My special thanks to Fashionbi for analytics content to make this deck #RockHot!

Microsoft, The Weather Co., and General Electric are thrown in as examples of companies using big data, social media and organizational development to find their way.

The key takeaways?

  • Look internally.
  • Put every marketing department on the same path from the same start point.
  • Nurture internally so everyone can grow.
  • Don’t isolate product marketing or frontline sales.
  • Focus on social media to feed every marketing discipline.
  • Find your brand’s DNA, to quote General Electric, and get passionate.

There will be more to come from today’s presentation.

I wanted to give you just a hint of what’s been keeping my head down and stress levels high.

 

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Context Marketing Is Newest Social Media Buzz

light-bulb.jpgWhen you put a noun in front of “marketing,” you get a new trend, #RockHot topic and buzzword. I’ve said that in a blog post or two. It was bound to happen sooner or later – content marketing is being dethroned. Instead of content, insert “consumer.”

Consumer is king and content is queen.

We bloggers and content marketers are the royal subjects to none other than the king. In this case, that’s the consumer, our community, our followers, engagers, lurkers, subscribers, and readers.

It is our inherent duty to deliver relevant and remarkable content our king can use. When a consumer shares and comments on the content you create, then you’ve done your duty. You can remain in the monarchy.

I bet you’ve gotten bored with the “content is king” mantra, too. So, it was no surprise that “context” has become the latest trend on the ‘sphere.

What Is Context Marketing?

I am a HubSpot user; aiming for that digital marketing certificate to put a label on my educational investment this year. When you do inbound marketing, you first must know your buyer persona. Who is most likely to purchase your services or product? What are the demographics around them?

With that knowledge, you begin to feed appropriate content that matters to your prospects. Give them what they need at their doorstep.
• Use RSS feeds to deliver relevant blog posts.
• Build your email marketing list and develop solid content in newsletters.
• Engage at a higher level with even higher level professional content.
• Become the authority for your audience with remarkability.

You’re likely already doing context marketing. Now, you just need to be aware of its cognitive definition.

Give consumers what they need, in the best place at the right time.

Speaking And Presenting Are Brand Builders

jayme-soulati-author.jpg

Jayme Soulati holds her new book prior to presenting at New South Digital Marketing Conference

Nothing new in this headline, right? I mean, everyone must be aware that speaking to audiences of your peers with a presentation that is #RockHot is good for the brand.

Joining a panel as a speaker or being a presenter on a local, regional or national scale do not happen overnight. In fact, it may never happen; some are confined to quarters listening to others in webinars, on podcasts, on YouTube or during Google+ Hang Outs.

That’s OK, too, for every speaker needs an audience.

So, please join me in these two locales and venues as I ply my speaker skills and delight you (I have solid expectations!) with creative insight:

IABC Kentucky & Louisville Digital Marketing Association

On September 10, 2013, I will take the dais at the2013 Integrated Marketing Summit hosted by IABC Louisville and the Louisville Digital Marketing Association.

The best news is about who else you can expect to hear:

Jason Falls, himself a maven (can guys be mavens?) across the great divide of social and digital marketing is the master of ceremonies, the emcee, the guy who put us all together.
I’ve been cursing Jason a lot of late as I attempt to build my deck. He assigned me a topic that is sure to give you pause as it has given me paws.

Jason said, “Jayme, you’re going to speak on how social media integrates across all the marketing channels.” Say what??

And, so the heavy duty thinking began with a new title,

Savvier Social Media Across Blended Marketing.

Please do drive or fly to Louisville for this meeting. It’s not going to be the customary “everyone has to jump on the social media train;” it’s going to be about how marketers can better apply social media throughout integrated disciplines and break down the marketing silos.

Here’s the link with all the deets. With the demise of Social Slam in 2014, this conference is a good one to consider as a replacement. The location is central, the price is right, and ohmygoodness, you’re getting PR Rock Stars in the flesh!

Join Me At ConvergeSouth

Here’s what happens when you write a book, you get invited to present in front of some really cool audiences about the topics you love to write about. At ConvergeSouth October 11, 2013 in Greensboro, NC, I am keynoting the content marketing track.

By now, you know how much I love to generate original content that is #RockHot with more ideas you can shake a stick at. There is no lack of blog or landing page fodder in this house, and I want to share that passion and verve for content with you when I present:

Community Is King; Content Is Queen

Yes, I’m dethroning the “content is king” mantra. I’m getting tired of hearing it for the last 18 months. You know who really deserves the new title, right? It’s you; this community. Without a community or loyal followers, readers and lurkers no social media strategy can be successful.
Put that in your crown and ponder!

Join Jayme Soulati

IABC Kentucky & Louisville Digital Marketing Association, Sept. 10, 2013, Louisville
ConvergeSouth, October 11, 2013, Greensboro, NC

Use EverPost To Influence Klout

EverPost.jpgVia a LinkedIn group, a pitch came from someone I didn’t know asking for a review of EverPost.co. I let it sit and slide to the bottom of the priority list until a better time to find time.

About EverPost

To my utter delight, EverPost is the simplest tool I’ve come across for content shares of others’ material.

You register free with Twitter or Facebook.

Choose which channels you want to share on — either LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

Select five categories of topics you’d like to follow.

Voila! A board appears with content from a variety of sites in the categories of topics you want to peruse.

Click share or auto-schedule, and your share is on its way to the channels you selected.

It’s so simple, and there’s a plethora of content at your fingertips to push out to the Interwebz.

Why I Love EverPost

  • Did I say it’s simple?
  • There is zero learning curve; sign up and go.
  • I do want to share good content without strings attached; this enables that.
  • I get to share a wide range of topics from one dashboard. If I get tired of posting content in one category, then I go back to the drop-down menu and select another after deleting one of my chosen five.
  • There are no comments from the dashboard; however, you can go to the blog and read the entire post before sharing (ahem, as you’re supposed to).
  • The tweets show up with the author’s Twitter ID; they can see that a new person is sharing their material.

Klout Is About Influence

Triberr, my fave blogger sharing platform (please ask to join my tribe!), is getting into the influence game. That means influence scoring is going to be more about the Klout number, too.

If you’re at all concerned about lots of shares to keep the Klout score high, then you need to use EverPost.

In about 10 minutes, you can share 20 blog posts. Yes, you can scan the post and vet it prior to sending, too.

I find it always a challenge to concern myself with keeping my Klout score high. I don’t have the ability to sit around on the Interwebz and share content all day. Were I to be able to, my influence score would be higher than it is now.

Perhaps I’m going to use EverPost every day this week to see if I can sustain a higher Klout score just so those numbers prove I’m really an influencer. LOL.

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