How many worthless social media connections do you have?
If you are like me, you probably have quite a few! I have a lot of people with whom I am connected with but have never engaged. These connections are often in market sectors that are of no interest to me. It would probably be a waste of time to try and develop these connections.
Many trainers say that there can be a value in all connections. But, these days, it is not difficult to find people that you really want to connect and engage with. So here’s a more important question:
How many social media connections do you really value?
Naturally, we all have connections that we value because they are friends, industry colleagues, business network connections or clients. However, if we are using social media to grow our sales, then there is another type of connection that we should also value. These are sales prospects.
Naturally, some prospects are more valuable than others! In my recent article, we talked about taking social media connections offline and into more direct communication channels. This can be a time-consuming task that takes effort. You can’t go down this route with all your social media connections.
Which are the right social media connections to focus on?
There are some simple ways to work out which connections you should spend the most time on. I’m going to focus on three strategies to help decide which prospects you should spend direct sales time.
I would recommend that you follow these strategies in the order that I have set out in this article. So let’s go straight to the first one.
- Check engagement
If a social media contact is interested in what you are saying, they will engage with you. Here are some ways to check for engagement:
- LinkedIn: Likes and comments on status updates, LinkedIn articles and posts to groups. Engaged prospects may also send you messages
- Twitter: Favorites, retweets and responses to your tweets.
- Facebook: Likes, shares and comments on your posts
It is easy to keep a check on this activity: all platforms have a notifications feed which keep you up to date with all engagement. You can also set up e-mail notifications for most types of engagement. However, I prefer to check the feeds. This avoids e-mail overload. It also allows you to review all engagement in one go. E-mail updates can mean you focus on isolated updates.
Once you have a list of engaged followers, you can move to the next step.
- Check your followers are the right fit
Make sure that your connection represents the type of company that you want to work with. Also make sure that they are the right role to be able to progress a buying relationship.
Remember, sometimes brand feeds engage in order to try and get more coverage on social media. This is particularly common on Twitter. Also, some people like to engage in social media conversations for fun, rather with a serious business goal.
Once you’ve managed this stage, you are ready for the final task.
- See how open your connections are to a more direct approach
Taking relationships offline requires the right tactics. In my next article I’m going to show you four effective ways to transition your social media connections into the real world.
In the meantime you can concentrate on the first two strategies.
Here’s a quick action point for you
Set aside two time slots of 15 minutes in the coming week. Use these to measure engagement from your prospects. Make a list of your most engaged connections. Then go and check their profiles to make sure they are the right fit.
You’ll soon have a list of worthwhile prospects to approach directly.
So does this mean you should give up on your worthless connections?
You never know when circumstances might change. A connection that holds little value today may have a need for your services in the future and suddenly become very valuable.
So, if someone is following you, stay connected. Keep sending them your content. You may end up with a warm prospect that you want to make a direct approach to.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how social media can help drive sales for your print business:
- How Real-Time Social Media Relationships Create Print Sales
- The Best Way to Engage Prospects on Social Media?
- Which Social Media Connections Are Potential Customers?
- How to Convert Social Media Connections into Customers
PS If you’d like more information on how to use social media effectively to sell printing services, download my free e-guide “Ten Social Media Rules For Print Sales People”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to use social media and sell print effectively.