There are currently more than 750 million people using Facebook.
And more than 7 billion people connecting on mobile devices, all over the world.
They’re Tweeting, they’re Sharing, and following each other all around the Internet but out of those 7 billion only a few dozen are following you.
You need to know how to engage new prospects using social media, before you get left behind.
Search for groups: LinkedIn and Facebook are two sites where you can search for entire groups of people, just by using keywords. Remember to mind your manners, though. You’ll need to be accepted by the group first before you can start counting any of them as prospects. And that means you’re going to have to do some socializing – before you even think about promoting your site. Wait until you’ve made friends with some of the individual group members and the market gently.
Participate in conversations: At LinkedIn especially, but also on Facebook and Twitter as well, you have the capability of seeing conversations between people whom you are not necessarily connected with. Maybe you’re one of the group, or you’re connected to the friend of a friend, etc. When you see interesting conversations, join in and share. Meet new people and if you find you like them, invite them to connect.
Search for problems: With Twitter you have another search option. Instead of using keywords associated with your product or service to search through profiles, try using keywords that relate to the problems your product can solve and search the Twitter Stream. For example, if you’re selling a make money online product, search for words like ‘unemployed’ or ‘work at home’.
Use PPC advertising: Most people don’t realize just how cheap Facebook ads can be. You can sometimes get clicks for just a penny or two so it’s worth it to check it out. Facebook ads work best if you’re sending people to your own Facebook Fan page. And you probably also didn’t know that you can put an Aweber opt-in form right on your Fan page. You’ll kill two birds with one click! Run an inexpensive ad, send them to your fan page, and set up an opt-in form as the default welcome page.
Write engaging content: Many bloggers think that using social media means going to Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and finding people with similar interest to follow. But your blog is actually one of the avenues you can use to connect. The best thing you can do to engage new prospects using social media is have a variety of connect buttons on your blog and then make sure you’re offering content worth sharing.
Run a contest on your blog: Normally, I’d say run a contest on Facebook, but Facebook changes their rules like most people change their socks. I was recently reading a book review blog and the blogger was giving away a free copy of the book if you entered her contest. In order to enter, you had to visit her Fan page, follow her on Twitter, follow a couple of other authors on Twitter, and comment on that post. I don’t even care if I win the book. I just wanted to see how she had it set up.
Ever heard of Facebook’s Frictionless Sharing project? When a Facebook user agrees to enable the feature, every site they visit will automatically appear on their wall. They won’t have to click a button to ‘share’. They won’t have to ‘like’ your content. All they have to do is arrive on your page and it’s automatically posted on their wall. This makes it even more important that your content be engaging so you can connect with all the new visitors who will soon be coming to your blog.
Before you can begin to engage new prospects using social media you need to understand that the key word in that sentence is not what you think. When it comes to connecting on social sites, the key word is ‘engage’. The word ‘prospect’ implies ‘potential customer’ and if that’s the way you’re going to look at people at Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn you might as well forget about ‘engaging.’
People who visit social sites and do nothing but post links and sell are generally ignored. Oh, they might ‘follow’ you but they’ll never ‘connect’ with you. And that ‘connection’ is what it’s really all about. Without it, you can forget about selling.