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Social selling do’s and don’ts

08.07.2013
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As your business starts tapping into Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for social sales, you will probably have some questions about what you should and shouldn’t be doing to maximize your efforts.

Thankfully, the Hearsay Social Customer Success team has listed five do’s and don’ts for anyone starting out on social media:

Do set goals

Set goals for content (how much will you personalize? how often will you post?), audience (who will you have in mind when posting? how much will you grow your connections this month?), and engagement (how much time will you spend responding to your connections?). Additionally, if you want to see business results from your social media efforts, then set business goals that you can track.

Do post strategically

Be yourself. Respond to your customers. Post at least once per day, but not too often. In general, use the 70/20/10 rule to decide which kind of content to post: 70% of posts should reflect you and your personality, 20% should be industry-related, and 10% should be specifically about products or services offered by your business. (Our customers can get even smarter about when to post by tracking their metrics in Hearsay Social.)

Do create great content

Create content and provide information that your customers actually want. Day to day, mix up the type of content you post to keep things fresh. Helpful hint: pictures and videos attract comments, while text and links attract “likes.” Also, if you’re using content your company has provided you through the Hearsay Social Content Library, be sure to personalize it for your audience.

Do practice good manners

Get to know each social network, and what is an appropriate amount to post to each. For example, posting several times a day is common on Twitter, but not as much on Facebook. Also, if you receive a message from one of your customers over social media, be sure to respond in a timely manner–just as you wouldn’t ignore a phone call or email.

Do become a superhero!

Experiment and innovate ways to expand your social media presence, and you will be a social media superhero! Quick ideas: integrate social media into your everyday routine and into your other, more traditional marketing channels. Also promote your social accounts in your email signature and on your business cards.

Don’t wing it

You, social sales superhero, know better than anyone the importance of setting goals and hitting your numbers. Social media success is no different, so don’t think you can just randomly participate on social media and see positive business results.

Don’t post just anything

Without a plan, you risk losing friends and followers by flooding their feeds with unwanted content, posting too much about a particular topic, or posting so infrequently that your customers never see you in their feeds. Make sure to strike a balance between different kinds of posts and how often you publish them.

Don’t be boring

Don’t circulate the same information that everyone in your industry or in your community is posting. These posts get lost in the noise, and your audience will catch on quickly. Strive to stand out and solicit engagement from your customers.

Don’t ignore your customers

Social media opens you up to communication at all times, even to dissatisfied customers. While it might be tempting to ignore negative messages, that’s not a good idea. Instead, take it as an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and accessibility.

Don’t give up!

Building a social media presence takes training, persistence, and time, so you shouldn’t expect to see incredible results in your first day or week. But if you keep at it, month to month, you’ll start seeing the fruits of your labor. Just remember to aim for clear, achievable goals so that your social media efforts don’t go to waste.

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Published at DZone with permission of Hearsay Social, author and DZone MVB.

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