Are you using social media to gain a competitive advantage? If not, you should.

Since 2006, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have been mainstream forms of marketing and communication. Yet, more than ten years later, I’m still observing that most IT businesses don’t have a social media presence.

These businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity. While many IT businesses dismiss social media as a “nice to have” marketing strategy, the reality is that it’s a “must have” in a competitive landscape.

Social media creates trust

Nowadays, almost 70 percent of the buyer’s journey is completed online before the buyer even reaches out to a business. This means that what your potential client’s find about you and your services online dictates whether or not they contact you to begin the sales conversation. Now, with that statistic in mind, look at your own social media presence and tell me — if you were a buyer, would you contact your business?

Social media enables you to build trust, authority, and to present who you are and what your business stands for. What you share on your social media status updates gives visitors — many of who you will never know are looking — a glimpse into your business. These visitors will decide whether you are an IT and technology expert based on what they see. Visitors will also determine whether or not they like you based on what you share.

As I’ve often shared with my own MSP clients as I help them grow, you can be the best IT company in the world, but if nobody knows about you, it’s pointless. The old adage “People do business with people they know, like, and trust” is still as true today as it has ever been.

Social Media is NOT for selling

Often, MSPs fall into the mistake of thinking social media is just another sales tool. While sales can be made thanks to social media, social media is NOT about selling.

As individuals, we are bombarded with marketing messages every single day. Advertising is all around us, in every media form. It is all pervasive.

What do you do when you realise somebody is trying to sell to you — a telesales person, a door-to-door salesman, a “researcher” on the high street — you probably block it out. You ignore the message.

Now think about how you want to represent yourself on social media. Do you think that if you bombard people with sales messages, they will be receptive? Would you be?

Instead, remember that social media is about building a reputation, creating relationships, and adding value to conversations. You can earn the permission to talk about your products and solutions, but only once the potential buyer trusts you.

Build authority on social media

To re-iterate, what you share on social media gives visitors an insight into your expertise in IT. It enables them to know and trust you. So, what type of content should you share?

Put simply, any content that is helpful to others. If you’re struggling to think of the type of content you’d like to create and share on social media to demonstrate your authority, then you should realise that you’re already sitting on a goldmine of ideas. 

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You could:

  • Write a blog post on how small businesses can keep their data safe through practical and actionable cybersecurity tips.
  • Record a video explaining why a backup and disaster recovery strategy is essential for any organisation.
  • Create an infographic showing the top ten ways that thriving businesses use IT to get ahead of their competitors.

Your helpdesk or Professional Services Automation (PSA) tool contains hundreds of tickets from your clients. These tickets ask questions that you can use to understand what people want to know about. That’s your content, right there! Answering people’s questions.

Be aware that you don’t need to spend all your time creating your own content. You can also curate other’s content:

  • Read a blog post that you think would be valuable to your client’s? Share it via your social media.
  • Watch a video that explains an idea well? Share it via your social media.
  • Read a book that creates inspiration for you? Share some excerpts via your social media.

By sharing valuable content from others, you are demonstrating to your audience that you’re an avid learner — always looking for ideas and sources of knowledge. The best part? You’re curating this valuable information and presenting it to your audience, so that they don’t have to go looking for it themselves!

That’s the type of social media that builds trust, demonstrates authority, and has visitors coming back.

Making the most of your social media presence

Many IT businesses are still not using social media in any meaningful way. Most IT businesses who do use social media, use it as a blunt selling tool. Not surprisingly, they don’t see a lot of results from this approach.

The MSPs who are using social media effectively, are the ones who are using it to share valuable, educational content with their prospective clients. With their social media, they build authority, allow visitors to learn who they are and what their business stands for, and to know, like, and trust them. This approach results in prospects reaching out to these MSPs and becoming clients.

Social media is a powerful marketing and sales tool, but only if you realise that it’s there to build and nurture relationships. Ask yourself, are you using your social media effectively?

Photo: Michael Jay Berlin / Shutterstock

Richard Tubb

Posted by Richard Tubb

Richard Tubb is a blogger, speaker, and author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the Northeast of England. He provides expert advice to help MSPs grow their IT business, and he has helped the owners of hundreds of MSPs to free up their time, concentrate on doing what is important, and make more money.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    It is great to see someone that gets social media is not for selling directly. People don’t want to hear “buy me” all day long.

    Reply

  2. Richard Tubb

    Thanks for the feedback, Perryn! You’re absolutely right. We all hear too many “buy me” messages as it is!

    Reply

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