Not as a marketing tool, anyway…. (I’m sure my family thinks I spend way too much time on Facebook….!)
In fact, I consider it an absolute waste of time for most companies. Unless you already have a system in place to generate regular leads and sales, I advise against spending valuable resources posting a lot on Facebook or building up a Twitter or Instagram following.
Those channels will build your brand somewhat, and you might start some interesting conversations.
But all those posts offer no way to systematically turn followers into buyers. You have to talk to everyone at once – there’s no structured process you can take your individual followers through, to get them closer to buying from you.
I consider posting on Facebook a bit like being in a room full of thousands of vague prospects, waving at them from a distance every day – and then never being able to follow up properly.
So if you’re not doing any social media marketing, you can stop feeling guilty about it right now. You’re saving yourself a lot of wasted time and effort.
These social media platforms are a luxury, not a ‘must-have’ for your business.
But there is one exception to this anti-social-media rule, if you’re B2B.
Lots of people think of it as “just another social media platform”. They don’t quite see the point of it, so they dismiss it as a serious tool for their business.
If you’re selling B2B, that’s a serious mistake.
You see, despite all the superficial similarities – the pictures, comments and profiles – LinkedIn is different to the other social media channels. I don’t even think of it as a ‘social media channel’.
I think of it as a self-contained sales funnel, because LinkedIn has everything you need to systematically turn followers into buyers.
You can identify your ideal clients, and build up an enormous database of them…
You can get straight into their ‘Inbox’ and build relationships with each one individually….
You can use LinkedIn to arrange phone calls, meetings and even make relevant offers when they’re ready….
And the whole thing is scalable.
In fact, a lot of the work we do nurturing people and selling to them over email can be done over LinkedIn as well.
For us and for many of our B2B clients it’s an incredibly valuable lead-generator.
On LinkedIn, you’re in that room full of thousands of prospects – yet here you get to know them personally, talk to them and eventually discuss how you can do business together.
Even if you just sold to a fraction of those thousands, what difference would it make to your business?
So don’t dismiss LinkedIn as ‘just another social media platform’. It’s a power tool that should be taken very, very seriously.