3. Online Forums: spark conversations with people.
People talk to each other, ask questions and you should be there to contribute to the conversation. Online forums that are relevant to your industry represent a great opportunity to get your foot in the door, build your reputation, engage qualified leads and convert those leads into satisfied customers.
Tip: Visit Google.com and search “business forums” or “[your industry here] forums” to find relevant online forums for your small business.
4. LinkedIn: Build meaningful business connections.
LinkedIn currently boasts 175 million+ members and offers small businesses a great platform to manage your professional identity, build and engage with your professional network, and access knowledge, insights and opportunities. Using LinkedIn is also a great way to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, business partners or people you meet at networking events and trade shows.
Reach out to people you have met offline. Remind them how you met, tell them what you do and ask them how you can help them meet their goals, etc. Your direct contact on LinkedIn might not be interested in what your company offers, but her or she might know someone who is or they could offer a referral.
On LinkedIn you can also become an Open Networker. This simply means that you are open to connect on LinkedIn with people you do not know. If you decide this is the right approach for your business you can reach out to new connections with a simple introduction letter.
However when you introduce yourself ensure your emails is personal. Familiarize yourself with what your potential contacts’ profession and express genuine interest in what they do. Your messages are likely to be ignored if they are deemed too generic.
5. Facebook: What have you Liked lately?
As it pertains to Facebook–the world’s largest social network–you can generally see more information than perhaps you should. For example, users can view public exchanges that have been Liked by friends even if you are not directly involved in those conversations.
However, from a business perspective, are you keeping an eye on these conversations and likes? You should be — especially if there are social conversations connected to your industry or business.
Remember: Facebook is a social network used mostly for entertainment, so most people will not be impressed with a hard-sell.
How have you used social media to generate sales leads? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Christina Lima is a digital and traditional marketer that aims to help small to mid-sized and large companies improve their online contact management capabilities. Christina shares business tips on simple small business CRM solutions for Clevertim, an easy to learn and use, web-based CRM and contact manager for small businesses.