How Do You Meet New People? A Quick Note about Joining the Conversation with Social Media

18 07 2011

Join the Conversation“. Anyone researching or using Social Media Marketing, SMM, has heard this overused phrase. Even we’ve been guilty in the past of using it to give direction for the uses of SMM for both B2B and B2C clients. It’s white noise by now for all the excessive usage in reference to harnessing the powerful interactivity of Social Media profiles, pages and sites.

That being said, think of the last time you attended a business networking event. As you stood at your tiny cocktail table surveying the room for potential new clients or partners, what was your goal? Would it have been enough just to “Join the Conversation?” What if the conversation was about a topic not related to your goals for the evening, or perhaps the two-some or threes-ome you approach was already acquainted? Maybe one of them was a competitor of yours and was driving the conversation towards their business. How would you proceed?

Simply put, it is not enough to simply “join in” with the ongoing flow of the conversation, either at the networking event or on your Social Media sites. To effectively promote your business, you need to turn the conversation or topic towards the benefits you bring to the (literal or figurative) table. It takes a little finesse – no one likes someone who runs the conversation with “me, me, me, I,I,I” statements. So how can you effectively turn the attention to your business within your SMM sites without blatant promotions? (HINT: These points will work for those face to face networking meetings as well)

  1. Answer Questions. Prove your prowess in your industry by answering site member questions on topics with which you have extensive knowledge. Be thorough and direct your answer to the person who asked it, not the general population.
  2. Show and Tell: Notice a question that fits a recent presentation you have given or see a trend of information that may be sought by your target market? In lieu of just answering the question on a per person basis, send an invite through groups or connections to attend a webinar to get the answers. (Tip: Brand the presentation with your logo and obtain email addresses for opt-in follow ups as a lead generator.)
  3. Listen More than You Talk. Use SMM monitoring tools like group discussion topics, forums and metrics tools like Radian 6 to listen in to your target market’s needs, interests and goals. When the time comes for you to give your two cents, you can be sure that you hit the pressure points that matter to your potential clients.

So stop “Joining the Conversation” and make the effort to turn the attention to your brand. A well-thought-out marketing plan and informative engaging content, you will see the benefits. Period.

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