In today’s marketplace, social media should be an integral part of growing your agency. Of course that’s not news to you, but in order to be successful with it you need to practice patience and stay consistent.
We’ve spoken to many agencies about how they’ve used social to push their new business efforts forward and have learned a few things along the way. When it comes to social, some platforms work much better than others, LinkedIn and Twitter being the main two that businesses use. Here are a few strategies about platforms we believe give you the most bang for your buck in your push to grow new business.
AgencySquared recommends that agencies craft a LinkedIn referral engine. This process entails consistent outreach and the suspension of reluctance when it comes to leveraging LinkedIn connections. Even if you may not know them personally. We like to call them “unknowns.” Who do we mean by unknowns? If you have 1,000 connections, the number of real connections—connections that you personally know—are probably less than 20 percent of that number.But all those other connections hold tremendous value. Yes, those 80% of unknown connections can drive serious new business your way.
Don’t be shy in asking for referrals from those connections, just do all of the work for them. Here’s what I mean:
- Ask specifically for the person you would like to be introduced to
- Craft the intro/referral message for your contact to send
- Ask for a specific date of referral
- Have something timely to offer so that the date of referral is more important.
Most of those “unknown” connections that you have will have no problem forwarding your message along, because (for the most part) we’re all trying to grow our networks and increase our sphere of influence. I always try to be of help to others when/if I can, and I find most people fit into this category as well.
This referral process will help you not only learn more about your network, it will also increase your potential prospect list. More prospects, more leads, more sales.
Twitter Business Opportunities
Twitter is another great way to grow business opportunities. While LinkedIn is about connections, Twitter is all about conversations. It’s a perfect vehicle for quick conversations you can engage in and strike up during any event. Be sure to follow people in your space (who doesn’t love being followed?) as these will be quality users whose interests align with yours.
You can search for people who tweeted about a topic of interest and follow them. I highly suggest that you do this; any conference that is of interest to you–whether you’re at the conference or not– find out the conference hashtag, and begin following every user that uses it. Most times you’ll get a follow back, and I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve had at conferences from following someone and then them finding me in the crowd later. “Hey aren’t you the guy that just followed me?!” Boom – conversation started.
Your goal should always be looking to develop a targeted audience. A larger number of random followers may give you social media cred, but it does nothing for your new business goal. A Twitter following with a small core of highly targeted follows is twice as valuable as a large audience of random followers.
Participating in Twitter chats related to your industry is another way to prospect. Joining an ongoing conversation is a great way to develop a rapport with like-minded individuals and it is much easier to join a twitter conversation that is currently happening than jumping in mid conversation in person.
Timelines in both LinkedIn and Twitter are changing every minute, so be sure to set time aside to review new developments. I personally block off specific time on my calendar every day for Social Media prospecting. This forces me to send out at least one referral request each day and find a new twitter conversation to take part in.
Leveraging the power of social media for your business marketing can take time and energy, but in the end your efforts will be rewarded if you stay consistent. Not every platform makes sense for everyone, so do your homework, experiment, and don’t be afraid to leverage those “unknowns!”