Without a doubt, there’s a lot of noise out there about the importance of social media for business and many professionals engaged in social media wonder, “where is the payback?” So, I thought I would share a personal testimonial about a positive experience generating business using social media.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to create a blog as a resource for clients and prospects. I’m proud to say that not only have I created a blog, but I have 16 posts to date including a guest blog post.
Since my blog is a business blog, I wanted to make sure that there was a way for me to capture information from visitors who may be interested in my services. So, I decided to build a simple form to collect data, and then I linked this form to my blog.
To generate traffic to my blog, and connect with people who may need my services, I created a Twitter account, and started interacting and growing my list of followers. “Re-tweeting” helped me to establish rapport with others offering complimentary services in my industry. I further connected with a few of these peers using LinkedIn.
Ultimately, I was offered an opportunity to do two guest posts from these contacts. This was beneficial on a number of fronts. I was introduced to a new audience of professionals, and a direct link to my blog was added to the website where I guest posted.
Upon completion of my guest posts, I sent “tweets” with shortened links to generate traffic to these posts, and “tweets” or “re-tweets” were sent by those who invited me to guest post.
A few weeks after one of my guest posts, I received an inquiry regarding the purchase of a database. I investigated the source of the request and tracked it back to one of the sites where I’d done a guest post.
I responded to the inquiry with the requested info and ultimately made a sale!
For anyone engaged in social media, or contemplating social media, I think the most important thing to understand that in the vast majority of cases, there is no immediate payback for time invested. Having a long-term approach, and developing a long-term, disciplined plan are the keys to business success with social media. Additionally, my above experience shows that there is often no direct path to generating business with social media, but despite this, it can still lead to real business.
As both Twitter & LinkedIn contributed to my social media success, I would highly recommend these 2 books to anyone wanting to get a better understanding of these 2 areas of social networking: The Twitter Book and I’m on LinkedIn–Now What???.
Please share your comments below regarding successes or frustrations related to social media marketing for business.