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How to attract new clients with Facebook and LinkedIn

Kelly RobbinsFacebook and LinkedIn are two of the most popular social media sites today and can be very effective for both relationship building and client retention. Friending or linking with clients is a natural way to keep in touch and is something many of your clients are already doing on a regular basis.

Relationship building and maintaining clients is one thing…can these free, easy to access avenues actually be used to attract NEW clients?

Yes they can, according to a variety of businesses that are active users of both mediums. Let’s take a look at how they can best be used to attract new business...

Facebook

Facebook’s strength is its natural ability to build and maintain relationships. Facebook can be a particularly strong medium for marketers to build relationships with clients. Many times clients continue to see you because they know and trust YOU. Sharing photos, stories and thoughts on Facebook can be a good way to strengthen relationships already in place. It allows clients to get to know you, the business owner, as a person which builds loyalty and trust.

When you actively post and comment on your friends posts all of their friends see it as well. This can be a natural way to extend your reach without selling or feeling as if you are pushing your services on others. You are just being yourself in a normal sharing environment.

Facebook has personal profiles as well as business pages.  I have worked with several businesses in creating their business page (called fan pages) and it’s important to note there are several differences. The fan pages are different in that they are actively searched by the search engines and can increase your SEO ranking just by having a presence there.

Take a look at Dr. Carla Cupido's fan page. She does several things to create an active site for her business: she has photos and announcements of her healthy patients living active lifestyles, she posts events that are going on in her community her fans may be interested in, and she includes videos and other health tips in her posts.

Casual, friendly, informal….Facebook can be an excellent opportunity to connect with prospects and clients alike.

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is another social networking site many marketing insiders have success with. LinkedIn can be a strong resource for you to build business-to-business referrals as well as keep in touch with a base of clients with a strong business background.

With a more professional flair than Facebook, LinkedIn provides opportunities to recommend others, connect with people in similar fields and share opinions on matters. Lars Parkin, an employee benefits broker, has gained several new clients directly off LinkedIn. You can take a peek at Parkin’s profile here: Parkin LinkedIn

You’ll notice several things about this LinkedIn profile that makes it work. First of all Parkins is active and posts comments and updates several times a week. Parkins also freely recommends others and keeps a positive and sincere tone to his messages. I’d bet Parkins gives more praise than he receives, but he is sincere in his comments and that shines through in his profile; it’s what attracts people to him. He is also active on Facebook and has more than 400 friends. Being his genuine self he posts funny photos and talks to his kids -- which people love. Again he becomes a friend rather than simply a business acquaintance.

Overall Facebook is more informal than LinkedIn and can be geared to a more consumer oriented audience. LinkedIn can be used to build and strengthen business-to-business contacts as well as increase provider-to-provider referrals.

The key to making them both work? Actively participating on a consistent basis and being genuine in sharing, giving and receiving.

About the author

Founded in 2007 by Kelly Robbins, MA, The Copywriting Institute (CWI) is a training and resource center for writers. CWI provides 10 specific writing courses online, a variety of ongoing business building, training and marketing courses, and provides customized workshops and training for corporations and associations throughout the US.

© 2008, The Copywriting Institute

 

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