Social networking tools are becoming necessary in gaining an advantage over the competition in today’s business world. In order to see a positive impact from your social networking tools, your company cannot only “follow,” “friend,” or “connect”. In reality that is only the first step.
We here at Financial Technologies Forum have recently started to utilize and significantly increase our presence on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to further our success as a business. After tweaking a few of our tactics we have begun to see a return on our social networking investments. That being said, we thought we would share some tips that have worked for us, so you too can start to see results!
Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your social networking tools:
1. Use social networking sites to listen to your target audience.
A lot of your followers already know about your company and what it offers, which is why they are following you in the first place. What they really want to know is why they should choose you over your competitors. Look at social networking as an opportunity to track issues and concerns that your target audience is discussing. By remaining aware of these things you can connect with your current and potential clients better. It also provides you with an easy way to research and stay connected with your client base. That knowledge will definitely provide an edge over the competition.
2. If you see someone post a question – respond.
It is a common occurrence when signing into LinkedIn or Twitter that you see some questions have been asked by one of your connections. Very simply, if you can answer any or all of these questions, then you should. This will open the doors of communication and help position yourself as an expert and someone who knows their stuff! This helps maintain relationships with existing clients while positioning you as a knowledgeable source for potential clients. For instance, I posted a question on LinkedIn regarding our upcoming 5th Annual Reconciliations & Exception Management Conference. From my one question I was able to communicate and connect with 5 people. I don’t know if these connections will lead to any business, but that’s not the point. It’s about building relationships and increasing name recognition.
3. Make a schedule – and stick to it.
When you have a busy schedule it is not always easy to check in on your social networking sites to see what is being discussed. I myself, have to admit that I have difficulty balancing my daily tasks with social networking. However, just like in any aspect of business, you get what you give. If you do not take the time to participate in social networking then you inevitably will not see any return from it. The time seems well worth it to me and to FTF! I check my Twitter or LinkedIn accounts once an hour to post something and stay active in industry conversations. Maybe this is too much for you and maybe it is not enough. Make a schedule that works for you and stick to it!
These are just a few pointers that have helped FTF get more out of our social networking tools. We have seen what engaging with others can do for us; now see what it can do for you. Remember that results take time.
So let’s stay connected and let me know what improvements you begin to see!