With the development and ever-increasing popularity of social media networks, has come the added opportunity for businesses to actively seek out lead generation and new business – and this is something to be capitalised upon, says Phruit, a leading provider of telemarketing services.
Although the use of networking sites, such as LinkedIn, to make business contacts is not new, Phruit believes that the blatant ‘hard sell’ tactics employed by some on these sites is bad etiquette and should be carried out in the right way to be effective.
Companies can get the best from social networks by providing objective views on industry issues, showcasing knowledge and expertise while at the same time generating interest in an engaging way. Like any form of social engagement, such as face-to-face conversation, telephone calls and email, it is important to follow basic rules of etiquette so as not to offend or annoy others. Interaction also has to be relevant and of interest to appeal to the target audience.
Simon Akers of Phruit comments, “We’ve all seen the direct selling approaches used by some companies and individuals on sites such as LinkedIn. Direct selling messages, bordering on ‘spam’, such as: ‘Do you need business cards at a low price?’ frankly can be a turn-off. We’ve found what works for Phruit
is to join relevant networks with like-minded people, specifically those with whom we’d like to work.
We then engage with them in a measured way, using the platform objectively, leveraging our knowledge to position ourselves as thought leaders. Once connected in a network you can quickly become an educator – and people will value your knowledge and input, making them more likely to want to work with you. This is more effective than trying the hard sell on a daily basis.”
Phruit is forward thinking and welcomes the potential business opportunities that social media activity can provide, whilst advocating a responsible approach. They believe the key is to identify and follow potential contacts, ‘listening’ to them and engaging through relevant responses. With engagement, a rapport is built up and an element of trust is created. People are then more likely to understand your business. This certainly opens up opportunities for new business and lead generation which would not have come about through traditional methods. Rewards can be reaped if sales staff are willing to work at relationships within networks, developing opportunities and reacting quickly to comments.
Akers continued, “I strongly believe social media is a powerful platform and when used in the right way, can be beneficial. With its obvious potential for generating new business, it is not an area to be ignored.”