During my training sessions, I regularly get asked the same question, but I’ve not shared the answer on my blog, so here goes:
How can I use social media for my company/nonprofit to drive sales/promote my mission?
I encourage folks to keep in mind that it’s like being invited to a friend’s party. –At this point you should know that I used to work in software sales (and nonprofit advocacy) so you’ll see references to both in my answer.–
First off, you don’t walk into the party and right away demand donations or launch into a sales pitch. You grab a drink, you hang out. You listen to the conversations around you. You move over to a conversation that seems more interesting. You mention something that adds to the conversation. That turns into a deeper conversation related to what you do. The person you’re talking to becomes more interested and maybe asks for you card. You give them an elevator pitch maybe. Then later…after the party…they email you and you follow up with the sale or ask them for a donation, etc.
Social media works that way too.
Step 1. You create an account (walk through the door/get invited to the party).
Step 2. You lurk and listen
Step 3. You add valuable content that is relevant to the conversation
Step 4. You develop a deeper conversation with people who are interested in what you do
Step 5. You grab their email address/card – you provide yours
Step 6. You follow up later via email with more info/soft sales pitch.