There are many channels to use and ways out there to promote your skills and your business, that you can easily find a few that work for you. There is no need to be overwhelmed at all – and starting with just one is perfect, you can always add to it and expand to include other platforms over time.
Have a look at some of the brands or salespeople that you like – follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and have a look at what they are doing, to draw ideas for your own platforms. There is nothing wrong with emulating ideas or being inspired by a strategy, just do not take content or pictures for your own use!
If video is your preferred mode then focus on that, or perhaps you write really well, then that is for you. You will need to do more than just share inspirational quotes though, and although quotes do have their place, they can become quite monotonous, so mix them up with other things.
How often should I be posting?
In the beginning once or twice a week is optimal to start, you do not want to put too much on to your plate that you are not able to maintain. This should be an enjoyable exercise, not one that stresses you out, as that stress or worry can sometimes spill through in your writing, so take some time to create content when you are in cool, calm, and collected headspace.
I always suggest planning a month or so ahead on what you are going to be sharing on, and setting time aside to do your research, collecting the images that you want to use etc.
Many social media platforms allow you to pre-schedule posts, which is a huge help and way less stressful on the day – or you can use free software such as Hootsuite to schedule to all the different platforms on a specific day and time. That is one more thing off your plate, right?
What should I share?
As each social media platform is different, you can create content that you like, and then select where to share it. Keep in mind that being professional is always advised, but that you can be professional and still have fun at the same time.
LinkedIn is a more business orientated platform, so may not be the place for a video of you water skiing while on holiday, unless you are using water skiing as a metaphor for navigating a business challenge. Facebook and Instagram are better suited to sharing personal information and anecdotes.
LinkedIn is my preferred method of communicating with potential leads, I find that people on LinkedIn are aware that you will likely be reaching out to them to touch base, introduce yourself and share about your product/service at some point in time, more so than on other platforms, so it doesn’t feel ‘creepy’ when you send an introductory message and strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Time to start commenting
Comment on other people’s posts. If you follow them on a certain platform, and they share an article or are talking about a specific topic, and it’s one that you know and is well versed in – or even if it’s not, but you found it really interesting, say so. When engaging online, aim to ask quality questions, questions can be far more powerful than a statement or a comment.
Like/love the post and then comment with something along the lines of ‘A really powerful message, thank you for sharing’ or possibly ‘Thank you for taking the time to share this, I learnt a few things that will be really helpful to me’.
Everyone likes to get feedback, especially if they have put in a lot of effort and time into creating the piece or article, and regular (but not too often) engagement will keep you fresh in their mind – for when you are ready to reach out and start the all-important conversation I referred to above.
Keep it natural, keep it light-hearted and although sales may be the biggest thing on your mind, make sure that your message, content, and comments are rooted in genuine care and a desire to help rather than closing the deal.
In the next blog post, I will be sharing the best ways to start that all-important conversation in an authentic and meaningful way, so do make sure to join me then!
Every Wednesday at 5 pm I will be hosting a [email protected] where we continue the social selling conversation. For inspiration and motivation follow me @shelleywaltersinc on Instagram and finally for B2B social selling conversations follow me on LinkedIn @Shelley_Walters
We would like to acknowledge Sean Roberts from Ensono for his contributions and insights into the creation of this series.