by Kirsten Hodgson
Social media is not a silver-bullet. It's a series of tools you can use to add jet-fuel to your existing marketing and business development efforts but you have to be clear about how using social networks will help you achieve your business development and marketing goals and how you're going to use them.
I was interviewing a lawyer for my forthcoming book "The Complete Guide to LinkedIn for Lawyers: connect, engage and win new business" when he said something that really resonated with me:
"It's important to keep flapping your wings and see what happens. It can take a long time for positive and engaging messages to get through. Persistence and consistency are key."
When you're looking for (or pursuing) new business opportunities in the real world, you don't often see results overnight. It takes time, patience and follow-up. It's exactly the same when using social networks. The principles don't change, only the tools.
It's easy to try a few things and then give up when you haven't seen any returns in 3 or 4 months, but often that's not realistic. Do you give up on 'traditional' business development efforts so easily?
It could be you're not using the tools to best effect.
Or those you wish to engage with are passive users and so you don't realise that they do see your content.
Maybe you're missing out on opportunities to continue the conversation.
Or you're not joining the conversation at all – if you're one of those professionals who say "I'm on LinkedIn but haven't got any new business from it" then this could be you.
Yes, it's important to persevere and to try new things, and it's even more important to be clear about why you're using these tools in the first place and to understand how they can help you to achieve your goals.
Once you've done that, find out about the platforms you're considering – read a good book, go on a course…find out what's on offer so that you can make an informed call about whether this is something that might help you.
Then watch what others do – find someone you admire or who seems to get a lot of traction and pick up some tips either by asking them what they do or by following/connecting with them.
You'll know you're on the right track if more people start connecting with you, viewing your profile, conversing with you in Groups, sharing your updates and so on.
Give it time. Keep flapping those wings – a little and often – you may be surprised at the results.
What's your view?
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net
Latest posts by Kirsten Hodgson (see all)
- How to use social media to get more traditional opportunities - July 5, 2016
- A plea to all those using LinkedIn’s publishing platform - August 26, 2015
- Winning work and expanding an accounting practice - August 19, 2015