Staying off social media all day is tough. Checking your news feed is a habit that’s hard to kick. But we all know it impairs work productivity, so when we jump online to check in or check up on what’s going on in the social media world, we tell ourselves, “It’s for work.”
Social media potentially helps your sales game – if you use it correctly. But these five mistakes may be getting in your way.
1. Confusing Social Media With Lead Generation
Is your time investment in social media going to pay off? We often tell ourselves there’s a prospect out there we might find through our connections. But nine times out of ten, it’s not worth your time. In fact, the risk of being sucked into other feeds is far greater than the potential reward of finding a prospect.
So here’s the rule of thumb: only browse social media during situations you have no control over (like standing in line). But, if your industry can’t benefit from browsing social media, don’t get on it at all during your workday.
2. Lack of Strategy and Schedule for LinkedIn
LinkedIn provides you the opportunity for seeing who’s changed jobs and if new decision-makers have entered the scene. However, we often use it aimlessly. It’s easy to get lost in the posts of articles, updates, and advancements.
When you get on LinkedIn, set a goal and a time frame for browsing. LinkedIn’s primary benefit for salespeople is showing when a key prospect moves to a new business. So schedule a time to browse your feed to look for new decision-maker opportunities. Then only visit the site once a week to see if those connections have changed.
3. Wasting Time on People Who Have Nothing to Say
To make browsing simple, hide the people that aren’t beneficial to your network. If someone doesn’t add value to your organization, you don’t need to see their posts on your News Feed. Change these settings on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
Also, follow the right people. Some people use Facebook as a channel to whine and complain. Block them. You want to follow the people who contribute in beneficial ways, not those that drain you. It’ll make finding the right posts much easier.
4. Alienating Your Audience
As a salesperson, your income relies on making people happy and getting people to like you. So be careful about what you say. Don’t post about topics that offend your customer base.
Don’t post political opinions. You’re bound to offend someone if you endorse Trump or Hillary. You’re entitled to your opinions, but don’t advertise them at the expense of your sales career.
Don’t brag about your lifestyle. High-end salespeople bring in big bucks. If your client base doesn’t have a similar income, don’t post about your high-dollar purchases. Be aware of how clients perceive posts about vacationing in Tahiti, meeting celebrities, or buying a new car. With these types of posts, you no longer relate to your average-earning client, and they may even grow to resent you.
Don’t complain. People get frustrated with online whiners. In fact, I just told you to block them. So don’t be someone others dread hearing from.
Instead, use Facebook to post pictures that make you a “real” person. Pictures of family time, for example, are something people identify with. Also, stay positive and post content that adds value to your followers.
Use LinkedIn to remind your audience what you sell and what you do. Your posts should always point back to your products and how those benefit your clients. Also remember that on LinkedIn your title is key. Think of it like your email signature and phrase it effectively.
If you want a more personal outlet online – for things like posting pictures from your nights out – use Snapchat or Instagram. Typically, buyers in professional organizations pay more attention to Facebook and LinkedIn.
5. Spending Too Much Time Browsing
The biggest problem with using social media isn’t the research you’re doing; it’s the distractions along the way. Media posts and story hooks are designed to grab your attention and draw you in. But no online story is going to get you a sale.
There’s undeniable benefit to using Facebook and LinkedIn to research your prospects. So schedule a time for it. Otherwise, steer clear from social media during the work day. You’re far better making prospecting calls than browsing meaningless content.