Top 10 Ways to Increase Sales Using Linked In and Twitter

Social media is a red hot topic these days. But people worry about the ROI of all that chatter. How can you ensure that social networking actually increases sales?

Mark Elliott of Venture Accelerator Partners Inc. is one person who’s successfully incorporated social media into his sales funnel. In a Communitech seminar this week, he shared that social media has allowed him to recently:
• close 3 B2B deals
• attract $150,000 worth of potential opportunities into his sales funnel
• book 50+ meetings
• have 25% of visits to his website originate through social media connections.

Mark notes that the common thread in all of these business results is that their first touch point was social media. Clearly, social media is a very powerful sales tool in Mark’s consulting practice – and it can be in your small business as well.

I’ve combined insights from Mark’s presentation with a variety of other best practices to create my own Top Ten ways to increase sales using Linked In and Twitter.

1. Start with the right attitude and values.
• Use social media to build connections, conversations, and relationships. Expect sales to happen later in the process. Mark describes how it’s a whole different sales conversation when you already know you both love hockey before you even sit down to talk business! Online conversations and tweets let new people get to become familiar with you long before you actually meet them.
• Always look to add value and give before you get. This goes without saying. Seriously avoid using social media to pitch your products or services or you will become the person everyone wants to avoid.

2. Solidify your profiles on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter.
• Make sure every profile is complete with a recent photo and up-to-date, accurate information about you and your company.
• Update your profile on a regular basis by posting SlideShare presentations, a feed of your latest tweets, blog posts, reading list, and your upcoming events and speaking engagements.

3. Participate consistently.
• Aim to connect and provide value on Linked In and Twitter every day, or at least a few times per week. It takes lots of raindrops to form a river.

4. Gather current market intelligence.
• Follow and link with competitors, suppliers, and customers. Listen to online conversations, noticing people’s business connections, pain points, and hot buttons. Use this info to shape your own branding, marketing, and sales processes.

5. Use an aggregator such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
• Aggregators allow you see all of your social media at the same time on one dashboard, and post your own information with one click.
• Get creative – generate columns for industry-related search terms, specific hashtags for topics or events that interest you, and specific companies you want to research.

6. Build out your network.
• Incorporate “linking” and “following” into your regular follow-up practices after face-to-face events.
• Publish your Twitter handle on your business card and email signature.
• Protect your Linked In reputation by being selective. The ideal is to only allow people into your circle that you know personally or have met through someone you trust.
• Retweet others’ links and resources using hashtags and @ symbols.

7. Use Twitter # hashtags.

• Hashtags help you identify specific topics of interest, industry trends, and specific events that are likely to contain your target market.
• When you use a hashtag as part of a tweet, it’s easy to meet others who share your interest. For example, I made at least three new connections with people I’d never met before when they started following my tweets during a recent seminar.

8. Use the Twitter @ symbol along with the other person’s unique handle in your tweets.
• e.g. When people use @lois_ready2grow in their tweets, this lets me know they’ve mentioned me, and of course I’m going to be interested in what they have to say. It also allows other people to get in touch with me if their tweet gets re-tweeted.

9. Use groups to strengthen your profile and reputation.
• Groups provide an unparalleled opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise and build new connections. Ask and answer interesting questions in groups that contain your target market. Follow up on comments.
• If your market is local, seek to become involved in a variety of local groups using Linked In and Meetup.com For example, in Waterloo Region, look for groups that have “Waterloo Region” or “KW” as part of their handle. Many of these groups hold local face-to-face events where you can build or strengthen your connections in person.

10. Measure your social media activities.

• Numbers are important, but relationships are more important. It’s not how many followers or links you have, but rather how engaged your tribe is with you and your business.
• |Attach Google Analytics or other web analytics program to the back end of your website. Track correlations between your social media activities and activity on your website.
• PostRank is one of the best platforms for measuring social media engagement. I’d encourage you to check it out.

We’re almost at the end of Q1, and thank goodness spring is right around the corner! Now is a great time to organize your strategy and plans for growing your business. Let’s sit down for a coffee and figure out some concrete ways to get your business growing.

Lois

Lois Raats MEd CCC BCC
Principal
Ready2Grow Associates
t: 519.883.8838 | lois@ready2grow.com | www.ready2grow.com |
Twitter handle: @lois_ready2grow.com

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