Social Media timing is absolutely crucial as an aspect that needs to be considered with all Social Media tools. A manufacturing colleague recently indicated they had signed up to Twitter and thought it as a pile of “blankity blank”. For those jumping straight into using Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and Linked or any of the 100’s of platforms can be mind boggling to say the least.
As main stream media and others about you more and more start to refer to Twitter and Facebook, Youtube etc then the uninterested are eventually going to come to the conclusion, “well I had better check this out”. A casual dip in the water of opening a Social Media account without some knowledge and strategy planning on how you will use the tool and what are the strengths etc is probably a kin to walking blind folded on the plank of Pirates of Penza and hoping for what you started out to be a enjoyable trip on the high seas.
Eloqua recently published their 2nd generation chart that has caught the attention of many Fortune 500 companies amd myself, as it does lay out the strategy process very nicely with the best tools to use. As you will see the top corner starts off with “bored at work” and progresses to dollar sale in the bottom right and the various stages in between and the migration of tools that can be used and what are appropriate at each stage.
From my commercial use of the Social Media platforms often I am finding enquiries arrive in via YouTube where I have featured a number of the new technologies my company ICE AV Technology is engaged in with clients around the world. For example our flexible led screen video is regularly used when we direct inquirying clients from an email link, however in a at least 50% of the cases the approach is directly from the customer who found this video. So their buying process has started well before they contacted us. They had a need and probably either in a planning meeting or moment of enlightenment, decided that they need a solution and then commenced their search on where to find a manufacturer who has already solved their problem and simply waiting for their approach… I call it “waiting to be found” … not that we are lost, but rather like the child hood game with a twist of hiding down the garden path waiting for your brother to wander along or the Dick Turpin English highway robber holding up the distressed damsels in their finery travelling to London in horse and carriage. They would wait for their next “victim” we shall call the customer at a carefully choosen spot on the country road and at the right moment, stop the carriage and carry out their business with their unwilling customer.
Actually this makes me reflect on a similar situation with the migrants and cowboys from the America western movies. Here the carriages always seemed to be chased along the expansive country side as the stage coach tried to get away from the bandits or Indians chasing or scalps, slaves, prisoners or goods and yet in the English highway robbers from the 17th century there never seemed to be the same long chases. What has this to do with the sales process and point of engagement and Social Media I know you are thinking? Precisely it is the point of timing. Highway scroundrel Dick Turpin choose his point of surprise at the place of his advantage and so he minimised the chance of a tiring chase…think sales process. Anyone travelling by coach in the countryside in a coach was likely to be a person of substance and high wealth customer and so a “willing buyer” and hand over their finery or jewels to Dick Turpin and everyone goes on the way. Whereas the Wild West stage coach was filled with new settlers …. migrants who could ill afford to loose their possessions and certainly a most “unwilling buyer” and hence the long chases that popularised the western movies. In both of these moments in history the common aspect is that each are based on timing as being crucial and when to engage. So with Social Media and the chart pictured it is the same aspect…timing, with the right message and use of the most appropriate tool.
If you reflect 10 years ago every business suddenly cottoned on that they could email adverts etc instead of posting thru the Post Office…eventually misuse of this tool bought about the spam laws around the world and the need for Opt-in subscription requirements. So with Twitter it is an ideal unobrusive non hard sell method to get the attention of a potential customers or supplier simply by following them and over time raise your presence in their consciousnes before you engage with them to sell to or approach to get distribution rights for a product. In Twitter you can send out the 140 message demonstrating your news, capability, leadership, gain insight to what potential clients are doing, their successes, who is of interest to them, making Twitter and ideal watching tool as well as a broadcasting tool. NASA uses Twitter as a broadcast tool and on one account follow no one and yet they have 80,000 followers who want updates from NASA. Conversely Lady Gaga can simply not follow the millions of Followers she has and only follows a tiny %.
So the take away I want to leave you with is, learn what Social Media tool is best for what situation and as you progress throught the pre-current-post sales / engagement procedure that you are using and taking advantage of the best tool for the job and the results you are wanting to achieve.