Is Social Media Getting You Referrals?

Is Social Media Getting You Referrals? by Mark Bullock

{4:54 minutes to read} Clients ask if we can advise them on how they can get more likes and interactions on their social media. There are many ways to encourage people to like your Facebook business page or LinkedIn company page including direct invites, giveaways, prize drawings and other enticements.

But I keep going back to my standard phrase: If you want somebody to pay attention to you, pay attention to them first. If you want somebody to take an interest in you, take an interest in them first. Go out and find the people on your network that you want to pay attention to you, and start paying attention to them.

Make comments on their blog posts or their LinkedIn conversation threads, like their Facebook pages, or follow them on Twitter. They will get notices that you are paying attention to them.

I’ve always seen social media as a tool for finding and connecting with people. In some ways, social media can be a relationship management tool. By having us assist in getting your blog posts syndicated throughout your audience’s preferred social media channels, you are presenting your information wherever your audience is.

Beyond that, it’s far more important to find, connect with, and deepen relationships with Centers of Influence (COI), and that’s done, as much as anything, offline as it is online.

There’s nothing wrong with having special announcements, events and getting likes on Facebook, but the people who are going to refer you are people who know, like and trust you & remember you, who have some confidence in you, and who, in most cases, have met you. This leads back to offline networking, especially if it is done strategically.

For example, if you have something to do with elder care and you are trying to find related professionals who can refer you business, it’s going to be other professionals in related fields:

  • Trust and estates attorneys
  • Financial professionals who specialize in elder care
  • Long-term care insurance professionals
  • Mediators for elder care
  • Family consultants
  • Family coaches
  • Therapists

These are the people you need to look for, try to connect with directly, and, in particular, get on your mailing list.

I really want to step back to a much larger issue: For most professional service companies, which is the bulk of our client base, what does it matter if somebody in another state likes you on Facebook? That’s not the relationship, in most cases, that you’re after. You’re after relationships with those who are potential COI’s in your own neighborhood – those that can refer you business and/or connect you to other sources that can enhance your business in some way, shape or form.

Once you’ve connected with someone through a social media channel and gotten them on your mailing list, if you’ve identified them as a potential COI, someone who has potential for a synergistic relationship or their business is in alignment with yours, go have a cup of coffee or lunch with them. Invite them to an event, or have a phone conversation.

If they do a blog or newsletter, ask to interview them or quote them in an upcoming blog or newsletter of yours; they’ll be flattered. Another thing you can do is ask for feedback on a blog you’ve posted, new website you’ve launched or article you have written that is relevant to a referral source’s clients or to them specifically. Send it to them directly and ask for their feedback or if there is anything they would add.

Asking people for something is not obnoxious or obtrusive; if it doesn’t cause them to do a lot of work. Asking for help, feedback or opinions can help. It’s about developing and deepening relationships with those people who can have a positive impact on your business.

Social media is only part of what it takes to make a professional services practice successful.

What have you done with your network lately besides just post to it?

Making Sense of Google+ Profiles and Pages to Best Promote Your Business-Related Articles


Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800


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