Tuesday, 12 July 2011

In Real Life, we're Friends

I use three social networks primarily - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and occasionally Four Square.  I don't differentiate strictly, although naturally Facebook is more for family and friends, and LinkedIn is strictly business.  They meld, and so I am careful not to post identical messages in all three, just to avoid filling someone's page with, well...me. 

These social networks are sources of leads for me, as a salesperson.  They are a way to keep up on what's happening in my friend's lives.  They are a way to keep current on my profession, and our world.  Here's what you can do to assist me, since it is all about me.  Isn't it?

Keep tweeting your activities.  You know who you are - you're a frequent speaker at conferences and meetings.  Keep tweeting about it.  I use that as a source of leads.  Here's how.  @Prominentspeaker tweets:  "On my way to Honeypot Lodge to deliver keynote for the Widget Association"  Me thinks - hmmm...Honeypot Lodge is about the same size as our place, and the Widgets are meeting there in July, I wonder where they're meeting next year?  So I call the Widgets in August....

Keep telling me where you are via FourSquare, especially if you're my competition.  It helps me to get a feel for your sales activities, your target market, your techniques.  Hint - it's especially helpful when you name the client you're taking to dinner, if for no other reason than I'll take her to a different restaurant when I'm in town.

Keep tweeting reference material like articles and white papers.  That way I know what you're about, I know you're serious, and you keep me on my toes.  What you tweet tells me a lot about who you are, and what motivates you.  I can talk to your interests, and you to mine when we're fully engaged on social networks.

Please keep your LinkedIn profile up to date.  Seriously, it's my on-line rolodex.  I need your address and phone number if we're going to catch up for a beverage next time I'm in town, or if I just want to call and say hello.  I'd have to say this is the most neglected social network but the it's the one that has the most potential to reach and be relevant.  

I love your Facebook pictures and status updates; no really, I do.  No matter what we get into professionally, it's important to keep it all in perspective.  If it's important to you, it's important to me whether you're my client or my competition - social networking reminds us that in real life, we're friends. 


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