Victor Clarke and I met through the social media platform LinkedIn. He found there and asked to connect. LinkedIn is a huge business tool (you should be there!) Then he wanted to know more about what I was doing with social media. We met in person a few months later to learn more about what each of us is doing. Victor is guest blogging this week as our first collaboration. I look forward to more to come in the future. Read more about how he uses social media in his business, Clarke Inc. and don’t miss his FREE e-book at the end of the blog!
Content is Fire. Social Media is Gasoline.
Clarke, Inc. has been on social media for nearly eight years. We originally started with Facebook and then expanded onto LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
Just like the title of this post (a phrase coined by Jay Baer) we use social media to distribute the content we produce. Being a B2B, social media is not likely to produce a sale for us without human interaction to close the deal. We like to create helpful content, not selling content to share on social media. The best social sites to generate qualified leads for our business are LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
LinkedIn is great because it’s mostly about business, no cat videos are posted. It can be used to research prospects so every contact is a warm call rather than a cold call. LinkedIn Groups are an awesome way to connect with these prospects. Even though we may not be able to send an InMail because we are not first connections we can still email them through groups. If you share membership in a group with a prospect you can send unlimited InMail messages to them. LinkedIn allows you to be a member of up to 50 groups. I highly recommend you become a member of as many groups as possible.
When we first signed up for Twitter I didn’t get it. It was just too much random stuff, sent to lots of people, about uninteresting topics. The light came on when I realized Twitter is the world’s biggest cocktail party. You can hear everything everyone is saying. You don’t have to be connected or be friends to follow a conversation. We use Twitter to send out links to our content 20-25 times per day. We also use it to listen to what our clients, prospects and competitors are doing. It’s a great way to develop qualified leads.
We have created our own YouTube channel to post our webinars. The webinars are available on YouTube 24/7/365 as lead generation tool. Our website and YouTube act as sales people that never need sleep, never complain and never ask for a pay raise.
Facebook, Goggle Plus & Pinterest
We use Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest to a lesser extent although each site serves its own purpose. We post to Facebook because you should. With 1.9 billion users you just can’t ignore it. Facebook is much better for B2Cs than B2Bs.
Google Plus gets a lot of negative publicity but it has its purpose too. We post to Google Plus because it makes Google happy and drives our website towards the top of search engine rankings. Pinterest is useful for posting images of our work. Instead of mailing samples of our print jobs to prospects they can now see them on Pinterest via a page on our website. Not only does Pinterest save a lot of postage costs, it also allows us to display many more samples than we ever would be willing to pay to ship.
Let’s Be Social!
My biggest surprise about social media is that many of our customers don’t understand its value. Too many people still associate social media with cat videos or worse, they try to hustle product sales on the sites before they have developed a relationship.
Use social media to be…social! It’s pretty annoying to be cornered at a party by a person trying to sell you something and you don’t even know them. The same etiquette applies to social media. It’s annoying to be pounded with “buy, buy, buy” posts. Use social media to help, not sell. Once you have a relationship developed using helpful content you may occasionally reach out with a sales message. Use social media as the fuel to push your helpful content out to the world. If your content is useful, and you don’t ask for the order too soon, your social sites will become awesome lead generating machines.
Are you convinced now that you need a social media strategy? Grab my eBook, “Upgrade Your Marketing to Integrated Marketing” to learn more.
Victor Clarke is the owner of Clarke, Inc. He has been the owner of the company for 20 years evolving it from a print shop to a marketing firm. Clarke, Inc. is your hub for the integration and automation of your inbound and outbound marketing. In his free time Victor is the bass player in a local rock and roll cover band and a high school football and lacrosse official. He lives at Smith Mountain Lake, VA with his wife Robin and two dogs – Wiggles the Wonder Dog and Buck (shh! Don’t tell her she’s a girl.)
You can find Clarke, Inc. at:
(For the non-millennials you call me at 434-847-5561)
I am so pleased to have people like Victor share their knowledge with you! He is a great guy that is always on the cutting edge of marketing.
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Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with GrowGreatCompanies.com.