So many people are on social networking today. Be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. It is a huge part of our lifestyle now. Business people, salespeople and insurance agents all know the potential of finding business using social networking, but almost everyone does it wrong. Here are 5 problems using social networking to help build a business.
- Social Networking not being social. No one gets on social media just to read advertising. Would you walk into the neighborhood block party with your friends and their friends, gather everyone around and start presenting your new product portfolio before having your first hotdog? Of course not, so why would you start spewing on Facebook with how great you and your products are on a social page? The key word here is “social”. Why is it that some people think the “social” aspect doesn’t apply just because it’s on a computer? You need to be as creative online as you would be at a party. No one wants to be “that guy or gal” that everyone turns and runs when they see you coming thinking you just want to sell me something.
- Social Networking is not about your business. Sorry for the huge shock wave of truth. People get on social media to catch up with their friends, coworkers, acquaintances and connections. They are interested in new babies, vacations, new opportunities, other opinions and solving problems. If your post does not do one of these types of things then go walk and talk for business, it will be more productive. There are a lot of sales people and insurance agents that have huge success posting on social media but we all took the time to learn what to do. Be creative and clever by telling stories, not selling product or a service.
- Social Networking is not about complaining. Those that are strong people and potential customers see complaining as a weakness. Complainers are seen as weak people not capable of solving their own problems. Complaining in most cases is just whining as an adult. These complainers are not looking for a solution, because they “just need to vent”. They accept their situation as hopeless or status quo, instead of working to change the situation and making it into a positive one, or at least change to a positive attitude about their situation. Does this sound like someone you would want to buy a product or service? Probably not, the complaint department should be officially closed.
- Social Networking should not include religion or politics. If you want to sell a product or service, you need to understand money is green. Everyone’s money spends regardless of color, creed, religion or political party. Never, I mean never, discuss these things on social media. People will get offended fast and the only loser will be you. The old quote applies here, “opinions are like…” you know the rest, and “everyone else’s stinks”. Avoid your two cents on any of these subjects
- Social Networking is about others. Every post on social media can’t be just about you. Use the same manners your mamma taught you growing up. First, be nice and polite. Compliment a posting or picture of another friend. Post something that causes people to respond, in other words, you want to be noticed, just like you’re at a party. If you have no idea where to start, read postings of people who have lots of comments. They are being noticed. What are they talking about that gets them noticed? Second be relevant or in other words helpful. If you are an expert at insurance, talk about a helpful tip, not sell something. Remember you are trying to be noticed. Give to others as well.
Try to avoid these problems and you will see an increase in your business coming from your social networking efforts. Happy networking!
“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage”.— Amy Jo Martin
Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.