Masai ostrich (Struthio camelus) watching, side view, Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai ostrich (Struthio camelus) watching, side view, Masai Mara, Kenya

This post was originally published at BlogWorld on May 25th.

To be successful in B2B sales today AND tomorrow, you need to actively build your social media presence.  I assume since you are reading this blog that you already know that, or at least you are interested in knowing more.  But it frightens me how many small to midsize companies behave like ostriches when it comes to a serious evaluation of their social media strategy.

Here are five serious ways that you will be left behind:

  1. Thought Leadership.  You are not actively engaged in developing a point of view about your industry on behalf of your company.  You and/or your employees are not publishing articles and white papers, or participating in online discussions, or asking and answering questions in the leading social media sites for your industry and/or your state and locale.  Therefore you will not become known as an industry leader and will increasingly be perceived as irrelevant.
  2. Website.  It’s a marketing piece all about you.  It is not interactive, inviting visitors to participate in any way.  It doesn’t offer any links to unbiased information or free white papers or eBooks or any little way to promote extra value.  It just sits there, doing nothing for you.  Therefore, you are by definition losing ground to competitors who are upgrading their interactivity.
  3. LinkedIn.  You have a minimal presence or none at all.  Only one or two of your employees are engaged here.  There is a lack of personal photos, complete profiles, and connections to other professionals.  You are not members of relevant industry groups.  If groups don’t exist, you haven’t taken leadership to create them and invite others.  Therefore, interested prospects will not find you, nor will you find them.
  4. Google Alerts. You have not set “Google alerts” (they are free) to help you monitor what is being said about you personally, your company, your industry, and your key executives on the Internet.  You do not have any system to monitor the flow of industry information and where you may, or may not, fit into it.  Therefore you have no basis for an improved marketing strategy.
  5. Opt-In e-mail List.  You are not actively building your list of friends, current customers, and prospects, so you have no reliable and inexpensive way to reach them with news, special offers, or simply thanks for their business.  Therefore you run the risk that your competitors have a much better list and the capacity to reach your customers and prospects regularly.

You may not need a Facebook page.  You may not need a Twitter account.  Those channels depend highly on the nature of your business and where your audience is engaging online.  But even if you think today that your market is offline, I challenge you to think again and to investigate or ask your youngest, newest employee to investigate on your behalf.

Today’s communication channels will change, as did the mail, telegraph, telephone, cell phone, etc.  They will continue to evolve.  But the basic premise that you need to be connected will not change. If you’re not sufficiently connected, the steps you take today will pay you back many times over!

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Here’s the new part of this post.  The Whale Hunters offers you many examples of how to put your social media presence into practice.

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