What are the first steps businesses in the freight industry should take to generate sales leads from social media? This article's original author is Nick Marsh.
I’ve had numerous freight industry clients tell me that their sales teams struggle to navigate the world of social media; that they are not engaging prospects or clients on social platforms at all. When I’ve questioned them further I’m invariably told they are either not taking advantage of the opportunities that social media presents, because they think that is the job of marketing, or they simply just don’t know where to start.
The good news here is that engaging prospects and clients on social platforms is as much a sales activity as it is a marketing activity. A successful social media strategy is achieved with one fundamental element, and that is excellent social media writing skills. Just the same as when we have a verbal sales conversation, a social media post should be written with the intention of engaging the reader, make them feel and learn something, leading them to take further action.
So how do you do that?
Hone your brand voice
First and foremost, to start writing for social media you must find your own voice. That voice already exists as you speak to your customers day in, day out, and therefore you absolutely know how to speak to your target audience. As is the case in a face-to-face conversation, you should lose the jargon and keep your message clear and precise. Even if your business’ brand is serious and corporate, your writing style needs to be softer, more personable in tone, so it resonates with as wide an audience as possible and is a genuine portrayal of “you”.
Start the journey on one platform
With the plethora of social platforms out there, where does one begin? My advice is to focus on one platform to start with. Your choice should be the platform where you’ll find the most prospects engaging in conversations, where your written “voice” could add value to the discussion. For myself, in the context of wanting to engage with senior business professionals in the shipping and logistics industries, that means the channel of choice is LinkedIn.
Be personable and write with purpose
You must write to the reader as though you are speaking directly to them. Avoid corporate language, as you are trying to create engagement, and always remember the reader cares only about what they can get from you, so always write with a purpose in mind, ensuring the insight communicated is always of use to your target audience. The bottom line is that sales people help others, so impart your knowledge generously!
Make it a regular activity
Like all skills, you need to constantly practise to improve. However, given the fact you can engage multiple times more customers and prospects by spending an hour writing and publishing a post, compared with picking up the phone for the same amount of time, doesn’t this sales activity seem like an easy win for you and your business going into 2019?