If you have any marketing experience at all, you’ve probably heard that social media
is king. You may have created a page for your business on Facebook and started sending out regular tweets about your company on Twitter.
There is one social media venue that you may be overlooking: LinkedIn
. This is a site where professionals connect with each other to exchange information and opportunities, and when you’re sales prospecting, it’s not a site you want to overlook. There are several ways you can use LinkedIn to generate prospects and leads.
1. Follow up with live networking contacts.
Whenever you go to a networking event, you probably come away with a ton of business cards. By the next week, you may have forgotten which card belonged to which prospect. The cards get filed away in a deep corner of your drawer, never to be heard from again.
When you use social media as part of your sales strategy, it doesn’t need to be that way. The day after the networking event, check to see if any of the prospects you met have a LinkedIn account. Invite the ones who do to connect with you. This will allow you to follow developments in their careers and to offer assistance as needed.
2. Maintain a comprehensive profile
While you’re looking at the profiles of others, make sure to take a look at your own profile
as well. The profile pages allow you to add images, skills and information about your recent employers. Just mentioning that you work for an insurance company can be a powerful sales tool, as many businesses and individuals hop from one insurance company to another, hoping to find the best deal.
3. Join a group or start a group
There are groups to suit every profession on this site. Joining the ones dealing with insurance can help you keep abreast of breaking news in your industry, but you can also use groups for sales prospecting. If you join a group for work from home professionals or small business owners, for instance, your expertise in insurance will probably be greatly appreciated. Just remember to educate, not advertise.
4. Pay attention to who looks at your profile
The site has a feature that allows you to see people who recently looked at your profile. If someone with whom you are unfamiliar has visited your profile page, send them a brief message thanking them for their visit and emphasizing that you are available to help them with any insurance leads
5. Be an active member
Active members – those who regularly post helpful information – quickly become respected and trusted
within the community. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours online every day. A few minutes to post a message and to answer any questions that fall within your area of expertise is all the time it takes to build a stellar reputation and increase your likelihood of making sales.