Yeah, yeah, we all know about the value of social selling for top of the funnel selling. How it’s great for engaging your prospects, and potential clients. We know it’s awesome for sharing information and insight. We know it’s great for listening for prospect needs and complaints. But, social can be used for something else as well and it’s highly under used — learning.
Social, particularly Twitter are keenly structured to help you learn and find information, including long tail information. They allow you to find and access specific information from an array of people; authors, bloggers, fans, thought leaders and industry junkies.
Sales people often espouse the virtues of information in selling, yet we rarely build powerful, useful information absorption engines. We are reactive in our information intake. We look for the information when we need it, not before we need it.
Information works better when we have it before we need it when it’s been sitting in our heads, marinating in our sub-conscience. Therefore, getting more information in during our daily lives rather than when we’re cramming it in as we “research” a prospect or are studying for a big meeting is far more beneficial.
Social lets you put a bit of brilliance in your noggin every day. If that’s what you want then;
- Get on Twitter and create five hashtags around topics you want to learn about. Create a stream for each of them and check it at least twice a day. (You’re going to need HootSuite or TweetDeck, but they are free)
- As you come across articles, blogs and authors you like, follow them on Twitter and use Feedly to follow their blogs. Save the posts or articles in Instapaper or Evernote if you don’t have time to read them at the moment. Go back and read them later.
- Once your Feedly account grows, put time aside once a day to go through it and pick out the best posts.
- As you’re building your reading list, go to LinkedIn and follow the same people you follow on Twitter, remember, stick to those who create and offer information in the areas you want to learn.
- Review your LinkedIn stream once a day, looking for the best articles and posts, again saving them to Instapaper or Evernote.
- Put aside at least 1-2 hours (30 min – 1 hr. in the am and the in the pm) a day for reading from your social stream.
If you build a social learning cadence similar to this and stick to it, your knowledge and understanding of your space will grow exponentially. You will learn more in your areas of interest in a year than you have in the last 10 years. There is a ton of information out there. Information that’s not in your mainstream sources that will help you sell and grow.
Society is creating more information every 2 days than we did from the dawn of time until 2003. Social is how you tap into that information stream.
Social has got mad value, and if you think it’s just for selling, you’re missing out.