Marketing is tough. It's tough to get your content, products and services in front of people and even tougher to get them to bite. But when you're not even targeting the right people, marketing can be near impossible. Whether you are sending out direct mail or promoting a blog post, you want your content to get in front of the people that are most likely to become your clients and brand champions. One way that you can do this is through social media platforms. Still, how are you supposed to know who the right people are? Well, that depends on your business. To determine who you should be targeting your marketing efforts at, you first need to evaluate your business. Once you have done that, you can kick your social media marketing strategy into high gear.
Many MSPs will target a certain region. Perhaps the vast majority of your business is local. Obviously, you're going to want to appeal to the people and businesses in your local area. Still, you can take your targeted efforts even further. Are you serving any specific verticals? Many MSPs make efforts to serve retail, financial and healthcare verticals, with much of their business coming from each of these markets. If this is the case for you, you can use your social media presence to hone in on those verticals that present the highest quality of prospects for your MSP business.
Identify the Businesses in Your Area
If you're servicing a specific vertical, you're going to want to know about each and every business that fits that category in your area. There are several ways to obtain this information, but the best way to start is through a simple Google search. Let's say you're located in Baltimore, Maryland and much of your client base is made up of doctors offices. Check out what happens when I type "doctors offices in Baltimore" into the Google search bar...
As you can see, the map of Baltimore has little red dots scattered across it. These are all of the listed doctors offices in Baltimore, Maryland. Now you know the names and locations of the businesses that could match your client profile. Next, you can begin researching and qualifying to see if they're the right fit for you.
Find These Businesses on Social Media
Once you're able to identify the businesses in your area that you want to attract, you can start targeting them. Of course, you'll probably be tempted to just pick up the phone and call them. This is fine, but you should also nurture these leads in the mean time. Have some content that would appeal to this new set of prospects? Share the content with them by tagging them in social media posts. First, you'll want to identify whether or not they have a presence across the different social media platforms. You can do this by simply typing the name of the business into the search bar of whichever platform you might be using. If they are active on social media, follow them! Let's take a look at some examples from the above search for doctors offices in Baltimore.
Above, you'll see a simple Twitter search for Multi Specialty Healthcare, which appeared on the Google search results!
Above, you'll see a simple LinkedIn search for Johns Hopkins, which appeared on the Google search results!
Above, you'll see a simple Facebook search for Plaza Podiatry, which appeared on the Google search results!
Share Your Content with Your New Prospects
Once you have connected with these companies on social media, you can start sharing content with them. The process for doing this will vary a bit depending on the platform, so lets take a look at a few examples.
Even if you follow companies on Twitter, they won't see your content unless they follow you back, your tweets shows up in search results or if handles they are following retweet you. However, if you tag a specific account in a tweet, they will get a notification that you mentioned them and will be able to see your message instantly. Even if prospects follow you back, it's not a bad idea to tag their handles and alert them that you have content you think they'd benefit from seeing. Check out the example below of a tweet about data security in healthcare targeted at Multi Specialty Healthcare...
Even if you don't have original content to share, take advantage of the plethora of third-party content that exists out there. We used our own custom link shortener, but the link in the above post goes to a relevant CNN article!
Like Twitter, you can tag specific companies when you share a post on LinkedIn. Here, we recommend sharing posts on your personal profile after you publish them to your Company Page. However, when you are posting to your Company Page (as a page manager) you won't be able to tag other businesses. You can only do this through a personal account that IS NOT the manager of your company page. In fact, you're not able to share content from your company page at all if you're a manager of that page. We suggest utilizing the personal pages of other employees (who are not page managers) to amplify the content that you're posting on your company's LinkedIn page. If you don't yet have a Company Page, share content from your personal account. Make sure to tag both the publication and the company that you are looking to reach when you post the content.
When you do share content via your LinkedIn Company Page (from an account that is not a page manager), it will allow you to link back to that page and hopefully build even more connections!
Facebook operates, for the most part, just like LinkedIn when it comes to tagging companies in posts. However on Facebook, you'll be able to tag the company right in the post on your business page. That is to say, unlike LinkedIn, company Facebook page managers are able to tag other companies when creating a "status update."
In these examples, we're sharing third-party content that may be relevant to the companies within your vertical that you're targeting. However, if you have additional content that shows the value of your services, you should certainly share it with the companies that you're interested in targeting as well. Blog posts make great material for social posts!
Even when you tag specific companies in a post, it's not guaranteed that they will read the content, or even become aware that you've shared it with them. As you know, managing social media accounts takes some time and commitment, so if those efforts aren't there on their end, the content very well could go unseen. The goal here is to build a relationship. If they DO see your message, and then you eventually speak with them on the phone or set up an appointment, it's already in their heads that you're aware of their pain points and the industry that they are working in.
In the end, targeting specific verticals on social media may allow you to get a lot more return on your social media marketing efforts. To learn more about verticals that MSPs have had success targeting, check out our latest MSPedia article: Which Manage Services Verticles Should You Target?
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By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock