When running social media training, I’m often asked for examples of how social media has helped a company to win work. Of course, it’s rarely as straight-forward as someone sees a tweet and thinks ‘wow, I must hire them, get me their number right away’. But, as we all move into a more social way of working and communicating, being effective on social media is a key component for business development.
If your digital presence extends just to your website, you’re missing out on a variety of ways to make an impression on your potential customers and break down the barriers of doing business. So how can social media help you win more work?
LinkedIn – you meet a potential customer and they’re interested enough to look you up and find out more. You’re listed on LinkedIn, so appear high in a Google search. You’ve taken care to complete your profile, providing your ‘story’, the information that will tell people the value you can bring to them and their organisation; what you do, your specialisms, your background. You’re well connected, and you have connections in common. You regularly share articles written around your area of specialism, showing that you care about what you do, and you publish your own pieces, positioning you instantly as a thought-leader in your field.
Twitter – here your potential client can follow you and over a period of weeks building up a really good picture of what you care about. You publish your own content and share that of your Twitter community. You engage, converse and immediately show yourself to be a player in your industry. You’ve provided links through to your website, so they can click and find out more.
Blogging – you and your colleagues blog regularly, at least once a week. Not only can a potential client appreciate the depth of knowledge that’s held within your organisation, so can a lot of other people too. Blogs do wonders for search engine optimisation (SEO), and anyone searching for information that you’ve written may be offered your content. Once in, they can find out more about what your organisation offers, and start to do business with you. By sharing your expertise through blogs, you have already built some trust and barriers are coming down. People are often reluctant to share their knowledge in this way, but just think, if you’re giving great information for free, potential customers can only imagine what goodies they’ll get when they start paying.
YouTube/Vimeo – you make use of video on YouTube and/or Vimeo and embed these videos into your website. Back to SEO for a moment, did you know that video trumps all other content? So if you’ve made a video about ‘how to xyz’ and someone else has written a paper about it, your video will rank higher on a Google search (as long as it’s appropriately tagged). Not only that, there’s no better way to tell a potentially world-wide audience your story than through video. You can say more in a minute of video, than you’ll ever achieve through pages of written content.
Combine these activities together, even in the most basic of programmes, and you will ensure that you’re helping people to easily find you, understand how you can help them, position yourself as a thought-leader, stand out amongst your peers, hugely improve your search engine rankings, convey your message simply and cost-effectively to a large audience, and drive them to your trusty website where they can click a button and ask to know more, already having made the decision that they like you.
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By Christine Jones