Time and time again my business partner is asked to fly around the country to speak with dealers and integrators about marketing topics. He has noticed that social selling seems to be a popular topic throughout the country, whether it’s ISC West or PSA TEC. It would appear that many in the industry want to know the secret sauce for generating leads on social media, and more importantly, how to start engaging with potential customers. 

The first thing to know is that social media is not the place for you to toot your horn about your product, service or business. You won’t be generating any sales if all you post are images of hardware or specials you’re currently running for residential security systems. A no brainer, right? But we constantly see this tactic being used throughout the industry, and nobody engages or likes the post, so don’t do it! 

What you want to do is ensure that your page, either on Facebook or LinkedIn, is fully filled out with your bio and contact information. Next, make sure you upload as many pictures as you can; believe it or not, images that are taken with your cell phone work best.

Now that your social media page is complete and you’ve uploaded images, you’ll need to go out and start making friends. We suggest trying to join groups that are relevant to your community, on top of asking a few people to be your friend. By joining groups within your service area or within a vertical you are trying to penetrate, it will allow you to see and learn all about those engaging within groups’ pages. This will help you to generate intelligence on those posting and to see if that person commenting is of interest to you and your company.

Learning who the active members of groups are will allow you to slowly but surely start to embed yourself within the conversation. Don’t think that you have to reply with some large, intelligent response; a simple comment of a well-said, great point will start to break the ice with your targeted audience. But by frequently liking, commenting or replying to the topics being discussed within the group, it will start to make you a familiar. And if you can think of a topic that is relative to the group’s interest, then have at it — post something that you think will get engagement.

Once you become a familiar voice, you’ll be amazed to see just how many people will be glad to add you as their personal friend on social media. And when someone adds you, don’t be afraid to send them a direct private message saying “thank you.” Most of the time this will open up some type of dialogue that will allow you to introduce yourself even further, and to narrow in on the conversation of your security company.

Slow and easy works best when it comes to social selling. Nobody wants to be friends with the guy who is constantly yelling about his services or constantly posting about a special. Whether it’s in person or within social media, one thing is always important to remember: people want to do business with friends, not a stranger.

And get creative — try creating groups of your own. Neighborhood security or topics that you specialize in will attract potential candidates within your service area if you are constantly posting great content. 

Another way we’ve seen our clients gain new customers is through the app Nextdoor. This app is a designated location where your community will posts warnings, suspicious activity and other issues within the neighborhood, and will act as a great resource for you to give advice and suggest ways of protecting their home; after all, you are the expert.