How big is your digital business card? Four things you need to know about social media networking
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 09:53 — Ken Troupe
Many things have changed since I first began my career in the sports business, but the one thing that may have changed the most is networking. Back in the day if you were in the sports ticket sales business, you would find yourself at any number of different networking events around town. The local Chamber of Commerce was high on the list, but don’t forget about Toastmasters or the morning business networking breakfast. So much fun right? But it was still good networking because your job was to get your business card in the hands of as many potential ticket buyers as possible.
When you are selling sports or “family entertainment,” everyone is a potential client. I always thought that it was a good idea to get out in the community and get involved in things that interest you. Play softball, attend a church, join a running club or a cooking club, and be active in your college’s local alumni group. I knew that the larger your community presence was, the more people who knew you sold tickets for the local team, the bigger your potential to sell tickets would be. The goal was to have your business card sitting on the top of as many “stacks” of business cards around town, thus being top of mind, and the result would be sales.
In today’s internet-based world this process has changed. Your new goal should be to understand your own online social media presence and how you can use it to make new connections and sell more tickets. You should understand what you can do to get your “digital” business card top of mind with as many potential ticket buyers as possible.
Nearly everyone reading this online is familiar with today’s social media. But, here are some key things to understand about why social media and social media networking is so important in the ticket sales business.
1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is important because it is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members. It is also important because if you were to Google your name, your LinkedIn profile will show up near the top of the returns every time. To make the best first impression nowadays you want to make sure your profile is professional and flows well. Here are a few quick things you can do to ramp up your profile.
Professional Headline: Add some nice rich descriptive words to give people a better idea of what you do. Something like, “Client Entertainment Solutions,” “Family Entertainment Options,” or “Customer Serviced Focused,” may work for you.
Summary: Use the summary section of your profile to give potential clients a quick read of what you can provide for them as a ticket sales representative.
Contact Info: Generally speaking a direct line for someone who works for a professional or college sports teams can be challenging to find at times. To make it as easy as possible for someone to get a hold of you make sure to include your direct office line and work email on your profile
2. Relationships 1st….Sales 2nd – The biggest mistake, and the one I see most often from both young & old sales reps trying to use social media networking to sell, is offering to sell people something without having any sort of relationship first. DO NOT get on a social media site and let your first engagement opportunity or post be “HI, I SELL TICKETS FOR THE LOCAL TEAM, HERE IS MY # TO CALL ME.” Social media works well because it is an organic and natural growth of relationships that over time can lead to business. If you stay focused on using social media to grow relationships—not selling—sales will follow.
3. Twitter – The number one thing you need to understand about Twitter is that it is a social networking tool best used for business and not a tool for your average sales rep to share any original thought. To build relationships on Twitter, you should follow your team, league, customers, and potential clients. Then retweet comments, articles, or tweets that interest you. Do not beg for followers, just retweet and provide good content and followers will follow.
Twitter is also a great listening tool. Follow a potential client and look for tweets that say “Excited to announce new office with 500 employees.” Or try searching for leads by typing in “tickets” and/or your team’s name into Twitter’s search function (search.twitter.com).
Twitter is great, but rule number #1 is to make sure you understand what your team’s marketing department’s social media plan is and be consistent with the team’s main Twitter feed.
4. Facebook - Although I do believe that your team’s Facebook fan page is a great branding, fan engagement, and marketing tool, I am not sold on idea of ticket sales reps using their own Facebook pages to engage with clients in an effort to sell more tickets.
Facebook is a social networking tool best used to keep in touch with friends and family and give them updates on your life. Of course it is important that you let all you friends on Facebook know that you work for the local team and if they ever want tickets they should reach out. I would stay away from bombarding them with ticket offers since this is a way to get unfriended for sure. Instead, make a habit of sending out some timely job related post about work and how lucky you are to work for such a great team. Facebook is not the place for hard sells. It’s a social network, so selling, if any, must be soft sell. You just want to be top of mind, not that annoying spammer guy.