Lextalk® Blog

8 Easy Ways Lexis Sales Professionals Can Get Started with Social Media

As sales professionals, many of you want to use social media to engage with your customers and prospects.   And I can imagine that some of you are also a bit anxious about running afoul of our social media policies & guidelines or saying something that could land you in hot water.  

Don’t be!

Social media is like any other type of communication, whether a face to face meeting, email, a teleconference, webinar or event.  The key to successful communication is common sense.  And the same ethical and business considerations that apply in other forms of communication apply in social.   That said, we do recommend some best practices in terms of behavior when engaging in social media, which you can find here.

And here are my top tips for getting started in social as a sales professional:

  1. Create robust social media profiles: Ensure you have social media profiles on the appropriate channels. I recommend Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Your profile pages will attract potential customers. That’s why we have spent a lot of time with you working on your LinkedIn profiles.  If you haven’t already done so, we’re happy to work with you to get your profile to where it needs to be. While including the basics, your profile should mostly focus on your segment’s business and the solutions you offer to prospects.  Be sure to provide content that prospects will find useful: videos, PDFs and links to our business websites.
  2. Use Twitter to make connections and follow trends: The firms and prospects you want to connect with may be Tweeting.  Shouldn’t you be listening? Twitter offers a wealth of opportunities for staying abreast of industry trends, which in turn can help you anticipate future sales opportunities or inform your Challenger sales motion. Once you’ve become comfortable on Twitter, you can reply individually to a prospect’s Tweet, thus initiating a one-on-one exchange which turns a cold lead into a warm one.
  3. Start by retweeting corporate content: Haven’t found your voice on social channels yet?  Not sure what to say? A great first step is by “curating” or sharing content that comes thru our branded social channels* or from the Real Law content hub.  And there’s the added benefit of sharing content that’s already been blessed.
  4. Talk about what you know:  When you go to a party, don’t you hate the person who seemingly knows everything about everything?  If you keep an eye on him or her, you will notice that no one is really paying attention to them though, and in fact, folks struggle to get away and speak to someone else.  Same thing goes for social media.   My recommendation is to engage with others on topics that you know and care about – whether professional and personal.  The goal is to create relationships through conversation.  When you engage prospects in conversation, they receive value and develop a relationship with you from those engagements. When customers and prospects build relationships with you they are also -- by extension – building them with our brand.  At the point prospects value both you and the brand is the point they are open to a sales motion. Nurturing these relationships will pay off!
  5. Schedule time for focused social media activity: It takes discipline to use social media properly. Work with your individual team to plot out a schedule of focused activity on various social media networks, whether it’s a half-hour a day or 2-3 times a week.
  6. Keep an active LinkedIn presenceLinkedIn is probably the most significant platform you can use as a B2B sales professional. Your individual profile is likely to be the first place a prospect will “meet” you online.  As noted above, your profile should be current and contain the right messaging.  In addition, you should be active in gathering new connections. How do you do this?  Reach out to past customers, colleagues in the industry, friends and family members.  Join and participate in discussion groups – where you’ll encounter an array of potential customers. It’s important to remember that discussion groups are about specific issues, not a venue for self-promotion. Demonstrate your knowledge by answering questions.  An interested prospect will often follow-up with you directly as a result.
  7. Start creating content. Consider blogging to steadily build a rich network of content. Again, blog about what you know.  We will be rolling out blogging functionality on our new branded community – LexTalk – and you will be able to create your own blog there.  But you can also create personal blogs on platforms such as Blogger, WordPress or Typepad.   Great places to start when blogging? Write a short post on prospects’ needs and business challenges that answer common questions you hear from prospects. Blog about general industry issues. Focus on solutions you can provide and that will draw more interest from prospects. What I like to do is read articles and then riff on something specific that piqued my interest. I also blog about experiences that I have with brands and what that means to me relative to the areas of marketing I like to blog about. Here’s an example.
  8. Create a vibrant Facebook presence. Our business already has a Facebook page and you can leverage that to create a Facebook group that relates to your customer segment needs.  Once the group starts talking, there’s always an opportunity to send targeted messages to individuals within the group and get the sales process moving forward. If this interests you, reach out to Tracie Morris on my team and she’ll help you get started with this or any of the other aspects mentioned above.

Being active in social media isn’t a substitute for picking up the phone or firing off an email to prospects, but it represents a dramatically different way of cultivating leads and enriching your sales pipeline.

*Updated account list will be published by April 15, 2014. 

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