Steer issue 24 July 2019 - Page 12



SOCIAL MEDIA
Building,
nurturing &
strengthening
relationships
with social media
Relationships are absolutely vital to
business and of course there are plenty
of ways to start a conversation and then
nurture relationships and prospects.
Social media can be used to start and build relationships as a
stand-alone medium and also as part of a wider strategy. In
this article we will look at some of the ways you can use social
media to start, nurture and grow relationships with peers,
suppliers and customers.
Face to Face
Many businesses find that Networking face to face is vital
with many opting to join regular meetings such as BNI, Fsb or
local chamber events. Retaining contact in between face to
face networking meetings is easily achievable with the use of
social media. A good way to do this is to ask the people you
meet what their name/handle handle is and tweet them after
the event letting them know it was great to meet in person
and that you’d like to stay connected, it’s also worth adding
people to Twitter lists that you meet at specific networking
events so you can keep up to date with what they are doing
and ensure you are engaging (talking to them on social
media) with them regularly. It’s always a good idea to share
their content if it is of interest to your audience or community,
chances are if you met face to face locally that you’ll have a
lot in common and can work collaboratively to reach each
others audiences. Note that if you include your LinkedIn,
Facebook twitter handle on your business card it’ll be easier
for people to find you.
Sales Prospecting
Let’s face it cold calling is tough, picking up the phone and
12 STEER YOUR BUSINESS
calling other businesses cold can be daunting especially if
the call isn’t pre qualified. A sure fire way to turn a cold call
into a warm one is to start a conversation on social media
with your prospect. Do some research on your prospect, ask
yourself if they are in the market for your product or service, if
they could be right, take time to connect with them on social
media (LinkedIn is the perfect network for B2B relationship
building), read their articles and comment with interest, like
their posts and join in with their public conversations, when
the time is right to get in touch with your prospect you could
simply send a direct message and let them know about a
your service and why it would work for them or you could
just call them. You’ll get to know when the time is right in
the relationship for you to do this, it won’t feel like a sales
conversation because you’ll already have a relationship, this
can take a little longer than simply picking up the phone but
over time it has a lot more value. - For example if you simply
called cold with no relationship and they say no or put the
phone down on you, you’ve already left a bad taste in their
mouth at the first touchpoint, but if you speak to someone
who feels they know you who isn’t interested in your service
they’d be more likely to offer to pass the information on to
someone who may be interested, in simple terms they’d be a
lot more open to having a conversation and recommending
you if they know you. - If you tray to aim to do exercise this
with a handful of connections before you know it you’ll have
built a good network of people you have relationships with
that you’ll be able to contact regularly.

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