A crash course on how to tweet, post and link up

Most people don’t know what to say on or what to do with social media. And it’s a club with more than 700 million members.

There has gotta be an opportunity in there someplace.

Here’s the thought reality: Stop thinking of it as social media, and begin thinking of it as business social media.

Immediately some clarity begins to creep in. You’re already using LinkedIn as a business proposition. You’re getting contacts, finding prospects, searching by company and title for qualified people to connect with (link with). You may even be job hunting or job upgrading.

Why not use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube the same way?

Why not create daily/weekly/monthly value messages that your customers would find so interesting and informative that they would save them, print them, put them into action and forward them to others?

Sounds way more powerful than cold calling and groping, grasping, begging, or manipulating your way to an appointment — which will most likely result in rejection even if you use your fanciest, newest “closing technique.”

Cold calling is such a cruel joke in this day and age.

Today’s reality: Do everything you can to use business social media to build brand, image, reputation and perceived value with your customers and your business community.

Your challenge: Send messages that your customers perceive as valuable to them — messages so valuable that they will tell others.

Business social media reality: It’s not about tweeting; it’s about being re-tweeted. It’s not about finding someone on LinkedIn; it’s about them finding you and wanting to connect.

It’s not about searching out someone on Facebook; it’s about someone finding your business Facebook page and “liking” it.

It’s not about posting a video on YouTube; it’s about someone sending your video to someone else.

“But Jeffrey,” you whine, “How do I know what’s most important or most valuable to my customers?”

Think: What will help your customers produce more, profit more, understand what’s brand new in the market, improve morale, improve attitude and/or improve their life. Then write about it, tweet about it and post on Facebook about it.

Major clue: Many people tweet or post something someone else said. Wrong! It’s not what somebody else says that is meaningful to your position as a person of value in business social media; it’s what you say, what you think, what you have experienced and what you believe to be true.

Major clue: Quote yourself, not Benjamin Franklin. It’s tempting to quote Benjamin Franklin, but it will not build your value in the eyes of your customer.

Do this: If you sell toilets, then you have to talk about plumbing. If you sell insurance, then you have to talk about protection, or peace of mind. If you sell clothing, then you have to talk about fit and fashion. If you sell automobiles, then you have to talk about vacations and auto safety. If you sell real estate, then you have to talk about building equity, home repair and front yard safety.

Business social media self test:

**Make a list of your last 10 tweets. Are they relevant to your business success? Did they help others in any way? How many got re-tweeted?

**Make a list of your last 10 Facebook postings. How many people like your business page? Do you even have a business page?

**List the last 10 actions you took or messages you sent on LinkedIn. Anyone join you or want to link as a result of them?

**List the last 10 videos that you posted on your YouTube channel. Do you even have a YouTube channel? (It’s free!) Are you posting value messages that your customers and prospects would watch, learn from and then think of you as a resource? Any video testimonials posted on your YouTube channel? (Short testimonial videos will help prospective customers buy and reinforce your own belief system.)

Final note: All business social media is interconnected. You have to do all of them consistently to gain effective results. And you have to do all of them well if you expect to monetize your efforts.

Well, I have issued the challenge. I have listed the opportunities. I have even provided some “how-to.” The rest is up to you.

There are all kinds of books and seminars available on social media and business social media. I recommend reading as much as you can and attending as many as you can. But my biggest recommendation is: Start now.

I am giving a seminar in Philadelphia on the value of business social media with some world-class experts. For details, go to www.gitomer.com and click on the “Business Social Media for Sales Pros” event on the home page. Hope to see you there.

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com

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