Social media has made an huge impact on our lives. The past five years alone have seen the business use of social media grow at an outstanding pace. Not so long ago, the use of social media was little more than a fun activity we could during our down time to keep ourselves briefly entertained. Now it’s an important part of our lives. It seems that no one is immune from the influence of social media, the business world in particular.
For job seekers, salespeople, or anyone else who needs to make contacts or connect with people in order to advance their career, having a Linkedin profile used to be mandatory. In a lot of ways, it still is. However, according to Forbes, Twitter has now usurped Linkedin as the most used and most important social media site for sales prospecting. Even industries that were hesitant to use social media have jumped onto Twitter in hopes of drumming up some business.
Twitter has now surpassed Linkedin for sales people because it’s far easier to make connections with others. It’s easy to connect with individuals, small businesses and fortune 500 companies. Instead of sending out a connection request to somebody you don’t know on Linkedin, Twitter allows you to simply start following someone else, no questions asked. This is a quick and easy way to get on someone’s radar. In fact, that person will probably be excited to have a new follower, and may be curious enough to check out your profile and see what you’re all about.
Once the simple process of following someone you’d like to connect with is taken care of, communication via Twitter is quick, simple. Above all, it’s informal so there’s no pressure, making it perfect for salespeople in a wide variety industries to connect with and share information to their target. All you have to do is mention someone in a tweet and the conversation starts. If they like what you have to say, even if it’s just an innocent compliment, they may reply to you, and just like that you’ll have made a connection.
Salespeople may also use Twitter as a way to gather information. Reading through the tweets of a potential client is a great way to learn about what’s important to them. It’s quick, efficient, surreptitious and a feature not present on other social media sites. You can also do research about an entire industry to find out what people, i.e. potential customers, are saying. By conducting a simple search or checking out the latest hashtags, a sales person can do free market research that will help them meet the needs of potential clients.
Of course, while Twitter is a popular tool among sales people, it must be used with discretion. The best thing a salesperson can do is to create a professional account that’s separate from any personal account they may have. With a Twitter account dedicated to your professional endeavors, you can have all of your contacts for sales prospecting in one place without getting them mixed in with the people on your personal account. This will also ensure that all of the tweets you send out into the world are done with the purpose of advancing your career, because using Twitter and other social media sites is now a prerequisite for successful sales prospecting.