Now, don’t get me wrong. I like social media with the best of them, appreciate it’s power and reach and can certainly see how and why it should play an important and integral role in a organization’s marketing and sales endeavors.
I mean, social media is good, right? It has leveled the playing field for small businesses and helps build visibility and credibility at little or no cost. All that can’t be bad.
But here’s where things begin to go a bit awry.
The small to mid-sized firms that are deploying social media with amazing zeal and enthusiasm are doing so with one major—and ultimate—goal in mind. They want, no need, this new found visibility and credibility to lead to NEW BUSINESS. Nothing else will do.
And this is exactly where I believe that many of them might be sorely disappointed.
You see increased visibility and credibility are awesome but they don’t…close…business. Repeat after me, they don’t close business. People do.
Prospects can get wooed into your sales world but then a carefully deployed process must ensue. What’s required? Well, screening and qualifying, presenting value, probing for wants and needs and ultimately leading that prospect to see you and your business as a solution, an improvement, to their situation. Specific steps that DO lead to that ultimate goal of new business.
Social media doesn’t do any of that. Even social media “conversations.”
Then why is it that so many companies are positively gleeful when jumping into the social media swimming pool? I’ll tell you why. It’s because they believe that social media is going to turn their business around. And it’s going to do it all by itself. And sure it can open the floodgates to new prospects and opportunities but unless there are sales reps that are adept at taking prospects through the buying process and internal processes in place to manage the relationships, well, social media isn’t going to yield the desired long-term results.
So jump in and add social media to your marketing mix. But don’t forget about sales processes, follow-up and follow-through and good old-fashioned customer service to turn the fun and games into revenue.