Social Media Advice from The Phone LadyAnita Kirkbride
Sometimes the best advice comes from surprising places, doesn’t it? What if I told you my friend The Phone Lady, a consultant who helps people use the phone for actual verbal conversations, has great advice for businesses using social media to reach out to potential clients or customers? Yes, that’s right. The advice she gives people for how to communicate on the phone doubles as social media advice.
Here are five of her blog posts you should read, for advice on phone communication and social media use:
5 Simple Steps To An Excellent Conversation (click to go)
If you read this post, and change the actions from calling to writing/emailing/messaging or even posting, this is great advice for building relationships with customers.
- Be clear about why you’re messaging. Nobody wants to “meet for coffee” only to have you flip open your sales presentation deck.
- Show interest in your prospect. Not fake interest. Real interest. Ask the right questions.
- Avoid words like “just” and “wondering”. Be confident.
- Don’t write too much! For heaven’s sake don’t give someone your entire life story in the first message. This is meant to be the START of a conversation, not the entire relationship all at once.
Don’t be a Reluctant Salesperson (click to go)
How many times have to said to yourself “I’m not a salesperson”, I can’t approach people, etc? If you are running your own business, you are a salesperson–there’s really now way around that. If you don’t sell your business, who will? But you don’t have to be “salesy” to be good at sales! One of the best lessons I’ve learned from Mary Jane over the years I’ve known her is that people cannot choose to use your product or service if they don’t know about it. Your job as a salesperson is to talk to businesses and when there is a good fit, show them your solution. But honestly, only when there is a good fit.
It’s ok to talk about your products and services on social media, you just don’t do it all of the time. I post about upcoming social media workshops, and I link to my blog posts on a regular basis. I very rarely actually post a “sales call-to-action” anywhere. People who follow me know what I do because I’m providing good, useful information relevant to my services, not because I’m constantly “selling” something.
Three Phone Skills That Improve Your Social Media (click to go)
Here’s one she wrote from her perspective of how phone skills relate to social media skills. After all, it’s all marketing…or relationship building, just in different venues. Whether you’re on the phone or on Facebook, the way you “talk” to people is the same.
- Clearly identify yourself. Hello! Write a decent bio or about section! This isn’t the place to be mysterious.
- Inspire curiosity and conversation. Provide content on your social profiles that makes people want to share, Like, engage and ask questions. Is that easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Every time.
- Consider the date and time. You’re busy and you don’t always have time to post on social media when you know you should be. There are tools to help you with that. Responsible scheduling of evergreen content and campaigns is perfectly ok. There’s no point in posting your best content at 3 am just because you’re a night owl, when your audience goes to bed at 10 pm!
How to Increase Email Replies with One Simple Request (click to go)
Email is a big part of any business these days. If you’re not using email marketing, I recommend you check out another friend of mine, Daley Progress, and start collecting emails for your email list. Someday you may wish you’d started today. Mary Jane’s tips for connecting via email introductions would also be a great way to respond to LinkedIn introductions, or following up on Facebook or Twitter. Learn to reach out to people in a way that is more about them than you and you’ll be much more successful.
Ignorant Sales Calls Alienate Potential Customers (click to go)
This quote pretty much sums up this blog post “There is absolutely no excuse for calling a prospect without knowing what they do and how you can provide value.” Do your research before you reach out to potential clients on social media, just like you, hopefully, would before calling them. Do you want to know why cold calling has such a bad reputation? It’s because sales people have spent years being “the ignorant sales person”. If you take the time to research a prospect before connecting, you can personalize your connection and build a relationship with that person based on their business and needs. The last thing I want is another MLM representative sending me the cut and paste LinkedIn connection message their upline has handed around to every rep she’s signed. First off, what about my profile makes you think I’m in the market for an MLM opportunity? Because if there is something there that screams “I want to sell hair products”, I definitely need to change that! It doesn’t take a lot of effort in these days of Google and social media to find out if a business is looking for new employees, products or services, or if a new connection is looking for a new opportunity. Be aware of your connection’s time and do your research before you connect.
Every blog post Mary Jane writes is full of tips and inspiration to #inspireconversation on the phone, but nearly every post can also be translated into great advice for social media as well. She thinks she writes a blog about phone communications, but I think it’s actually a modern “relationship advice column” of sorts. I’d love for you to pop over and read a few more of her posts and let me know, in the comments here, which one is YOUR favourite?