There’s a lot of buzz about social media right now. Books, seminars, classes, and speeches are all dedicated to helping you get thousands of people to follow you and read your posts, for a fee, of course! All of these books and courses would be really helpful to you if you want to market your product or service to anyone and everyone that uses social media. But from where I’m sitting, the only people who need to address anyone using social media are the people that teach about using social media.
For the technology leader using social media as a business tool, we need to take a step back and think about our strategy. In the rush to get a social media presence, it’s easy to get caught up in watching how your numbers of followers grow day by day. How many following you isn’t as important as who is following you. Having a list of 10,000 followers won’t do you a bit of good if none of them would ever be a customer or client. Small technology and software companies must use social media and your time more productively.
If you’re a technology marketer can you can use social media to gain social intelligence about your competitors and your ideal clients. For example, write a list of your key competitors, and start following them. Monitor what they say to their followers (who may also be your target customers). Watch what people are saying back. You can find out a lot about the market, customer issues, and how well your competition is addressing it. Spend some time being “a fly on the wall,” so to speak. You’d be surprised what you can find out.
Use the same strategy to track ideal clients. Technology marketers must take a few moments to list some of the characteristics of your ideal client profile. Once you know what to look for, start finding those people using social media. Check out groups they may belong to or start your own list. Read their postings to see what’s bugging them. Find out if they have a problem or problems your product or service can solve. Doing this gives you two advantages in the market:
- You can match your message to your target market. By listening first, you know what the key issues are and can craft your message to address those issues. You can explain how your product or service solves the customer’s problem.
- You get information to build a relationship. Selling still happens by talking to people. No one wants to live in a completely automated world. However, you can use social media to get an idea of who your customers are before approaching them. You can use social media to get information to build relationships.
Regardless of its original intention, social media has become a powerful means of gaining intelligence on both competitors and possible customers. If you use it wisely, it can be a competitive advantage for your business. Next week I will begin sharing several tools I use to optimize my time so I can focus on marketing and selling technology to potential and current clients. I also apply these tools to keep up and communicate on a regular basis with IT leaders, partners and my competitors.
Tripp Braden is an IT marketing and sales consultant who specializes in developing seven figure partnerships and businesses. He is also the editor of Market Leadership Journal. Discover how to grow your company through extraordinary partnerships by visiting http://www.HighGrowthBusiness.com where you can find resources and products to increase your success.