Every day at least one managed IT service provider calls me or shoots me an email asking how they can best use social media to generate new business. Here’s what I always tell them—If you’re not using social media to create new relationships, cultivate existing ones, and close new business, you’re missing out. Social media is uber powerful and a must for all managed IT service companies.
The biggest error MSPs make when using social media, though, is believing that propagation of blog posts through a third-party feed distribution service is enough. I’m here to tell you it’s not! When you rely solely on this type of social media, you haven't even scratched the surface. Sure, some posts are getting a level of engagement, but you have to do more.
Build more personal connections
Social media is about engaging and building a circle of influencers, clients, prospects, and others. It gives your sales team a new way to connect with prospects and customers. However, many MSPs don’t understand how to use social media effectively, so they default to the “block and deny” approach. What they say to me is: “We don’t want our people on social media.” This is a cardinal sin of marketing.
You must encourage all your staff members to connect with clients, prospects, and influencers and to build these relationships. Sure, there’s always a risk that a client will leave if one of your employees does. But guess what? If this happens, you have some other serious challenges, too.
Some of my best client/prospect relationships came to life when we shared stories about common interests such as football, music, etc. It helped us build a stronger connection, and these relationships are now rooted in the love of those things.
Influence the right people
When it comes to social media, I help MSPs deploy the following strategy:1. Connect with everyone who crosses your path—clients, customers, past customers, vendors, influencers, media, and even prospects—especially prospects. Invite everyone to your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media channels available to you. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which channels are most appropriate, but you should use whatever form of social media your target market uses.
The most significant thing you need to remember about social media is this—It’s about Influence. The number of friends you have isn’t important. It’s the number of people you can influence. This is why I’m a big fan of groups on LinkedIn and even Facebook.
2. After you get contacts to a number you’re comfortable with, you must find your voice as an authority. This makes you more influential. Want to see how influential you are? Check out socilab, LinkedIn’s Network Visualization Analysis. This tool will give you some amazing insights into your network.
Building influence on social media is about constructing the right foundation. For me that means reaching people in the managed IT services community. For you, it may be CPAs, healthcare organizations, legal services, or local businesses.
3. Remember that when it comes to the content you share, small businesses don't care about the latest backup-and-disaster-recovery tool, cloud service, or even cyber security solution. What your influencers, prospects, and even customers are looking for are things that make their jobs easier. For example, subjects that generate an abundance of interest from small businesses include:
- Top Tips for Using Microsoft Outlook
- Taking Your Microsoft Excel Skills to New Heights
- Taking Your PowerPoints From Blah to Wow
Again, this depends on your target market. If you work with CPAs, then make sure your articles target their interests such as financial privacy. For attorneys, focus on the technology law firms require, etc.
Get started today
Why do managed IT service providers continue to make a mountain out of a mole hill when it comes to social media? Simple, they see what silly kids or nasty people post on social media. But social media can be so much more than that. Remember, it’s all about engagement.
Need help? Connect with me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mspcoach I’ll be sure to accept your connection request. Let’s take the first step to an awesome relationship through social media!
About the Author: Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Creative Director with Ulistic. Ulistic specializes in working with IT service companies globally helping them connect with their markets and achieve stratospheric success. Need help? Please feel free to reach out to Stuart and his team at Ulistic. Every day, they help managed IT services companies overcome many of the challenges they have with marketing. Learn more about Ulistic at www.ulistic.com or call 716-799-1999.