Author: Andy Robling, VP Client Development, Hays Canada
Social media is an integral part of how we communicate in our personal lives, and is a hugely powerful tool in our professional lives too, especially when communicating with existing and potential clients. But, as a sales professional, are you using these platforms to their full potential?
Your professional profiles may be enhanced by the fact you work for a well-known company with strong engagement levels. But there is so much more you can do to build your online network and develop relationships with influential people who could help you beat your targets, for example:
1. Optimise your online profiles
Encourage existing and potential clients to connect with you by optimising your online profiles in the following ways:
- Include an up to date, professional photo: This can make all the difference to how easily you are found on these platforms. According to LinkedIn, you are 11 times more likely to have your LinkedIn profile viewed if you have a profile picture
- Add relevant keywords to your headline and bio: This will enable your profile to be found more quickly, both within the social network itself, but also via search engines
- Add case studies, testimonials and links of your work to your online profiles: Make sure they clearly demonstrate the service that you offer and, crucially, how you can help your network
- Include links to your professional social media profiles in your email signature and business cards
2. Be a consistent, expert voice
It’s not enough to just have an up-to-date and informative online profile. Social media is a conversation – and you have to have a consistent voice which conveys your expertise in a certain area. Here’s how you can increase your social media presence and position yourself as an expert in your field:
- Like, share and make relevant and insightful comments on the relevant industry content that appears on your feed
- Share curated content as often as possible. This content could include articles, podcasts, whitepapers, reports or videos from credible industry sources. Subscribe to an industry publication in order to get the latest content, sign up to email alerts, follow relevant companies on social media and so forth. This may mean scheduling time in the day and not letting it slip even if you’re busy
- If you are particularly knowledgeable about a particular area, consider writing your own LinkedIn publisher blog
By crafting a consistent presence across your social media channels, whereby you frequently share useful content with your connections or add value to relevant discussions, you will build credibility and trust among your existing and potential clients.
3. Look beyond LinkedIn
As the largest professional social media network, LinkedIn is the best way to make direct connections, but don’t forget to follow existing and potential clients on their other platforms too. For instance, Twitter is useful for monitoring company developments, and other platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be used to develop a better understanding of company culture and changes in staff. Sometimes a social media update from a client gives me a reason to call, or something to mention in a meeting, but it can also be a hint about what their needs might be. For example, if they’re opening a new office then they may need to hire new staff.
4. The rules for reaching out
When it comes to contacting people within your network, tact is key, so don’t start sending out direct messages or connection requests here, there and everywhere.
You shouldn’t automatically message somebody you are not connected to or have never met face-to-face before on social media. LinkedIn advise that people are five times more likely to interact with you if you get in contact via a mutual connection, so look to your network to see who is connected to who, ask for an introduction, and promise to return the favour if needed.
A final note, remember, the people you follow online can see who you are interacting with, what type of content you are engaging with, and so forth, so make sure you are always maintaining a level of professionalism, and keep any personal social media profiles private and separate.
Social media is crucial for connecting with existing and potential clients, and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. The key is consistency, professionalism and tact.
Thank you for reading. For more useful insights and advice about the world of work, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.