Using Social Media to Sell yourself or a Business

During my training sessions, I regularly get asked the same question, but I’ve not shared the answer on my blog, so here goes:

Question:

How can I use social media for my company/nonprofit to drive sales/promote my mission?

My Answer:
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.

Make sense?

Social Media and Local Search Training for Leadership Alexandria

I had a great time this morning leading a training session for Leadership Alexandria’s alumnus related to online marketing, local search and social media for non-profits and businesses.

Here’s the online marketing presentation from today’s training.

Free Buzz monitoring Tools

I wanted to share with everyone the buzz monitoring tools I’ve discovered and think are useful. This list assumes that you’ve set up Google and Yahoo Alerts and are looking for the next step.

Keotag – lets you search various social media sites (delicious, facebook, etc) by tags.

Yahoo Pipes

Back Type - to follow and monitor comments

Social Mention – searches across a variety of social media sources, including Google blog search, Twitter, Delicious, FriendFeed, Flickr, Digg, YouTube. You can also set up RSS feeds and email alerts.

Serph – a search engine that searches across various sites.  The major social media sites that Serph uses are: Technorati, Digg, YouTube, Flickr, Google Blog Search, Bloglines, and Newsvine.

BuzzFeed.comThey say: We feature the kind of things you’d want to pass along to your friends: an outrageous video that’s about to go viral, an obscure subculture breaking into the mainstream, a juicy bit of gossip that everyone at the office will be talking about tomorrow, or an ordinary guy having his glorious 15-minutes of fame. And when you read BuzzFeed, you’ll always know the movies, music, and products that are on the rise and worth your time.

And last but not least, EgoSurf. This one just makes me smile. My blog received 2563 Ego points for my name, while my website recieved 2157 points. The ego meter graphic is one of the most amusing aspects.

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