When it comes to prospecting for your business, there are many ways that social media can take a lead role in actually helping to generate leads. Follow these five tips to help get your MSP business moving in the right direction on social.

1. Set it & DON’T forget it!: Social media management is so much more than just setting up your profiles and letting them sit. You must keep them up-to-date with a regular posting schedule. Imagine a prospect visiting your webpage to find it extremely out of date. They would likely move on to one of your competitors or peers. It’s the same way with social media. An out-of-date social media profile makes you and your company appear out of date and perception is extremely important—especially online—for lead generation. Posting several times per week on the major social media profiles is recommended, particularly Facebook®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn®.

2. Personalize your message

Before you begin posting, think long and hard about who you’re trying to attract when prospecting. Are you focusing on a certain industry? A certain location? Write down these target demographics, then develop posts that will relate directly to them. Also, omit the sales pitch when it comes to your company posts. Social media followers want to be educated and entertained, first and foremost. You can certainly engage in some promotions, but the 80/20 rule should definitely be followed (80% indirect posts, 20% direct promotion). Including links to educational areas of your website, like your blog, allow you to bring in leads in a subtle and natural way.

3. Balance scheduling with real-time posting

You’ve likely read about the timesaving benefits of prescheduling posts through tools like Hootsuite® or Buffer. While these tools are definitely efficient additions to your strategy, don’t forget to post in real time. Followers and prospects appreciate real-time updates. You want to give them a reason to pay attention. Consider posting a limited-time promotion only on Facebook or Twitter. Followers will quickly see the value in becoming a follower—and a client.

4. Treat social as a two-way communication channel

Creating and posting content on social media is only half of the equation. The goal is to encourage two-way communication, with your audience feeling comfortable responding or reaching out to your business via social media. Be sure to monitor all questions and comments and respond in a timely manner. “Timely” on social media is considered same-day, preferably within a couple of hours if it’s a weekday. Looking for a way to encourage open communication on social media? Ask your followers questions. Inquire about what they’d like to see from you, or start a poll.

5. Get your staff involved on social media

Your staff is a great source of engagement for your social media pages. Encourage them to follow all of the company social media profiles and engage regularly through likes, favorites, comments, and shares. When it comes to prospecting, LinkedIn is where it’s at. As a business-focused platform where more and more sales leads are generated every day, your sales team can take advantage of company posts by sharing with their connections in order to draw in new leads. Customers and prospects will always prefer to interact with people rather than a business, so making your staff visible on social is a great way to personalize your brand and provide accessibility to your team.

Utilize these five tips to help encourage prospecting through your MSP social media channels.

Stacy West is VP of marketing, SolarWinds MSP. Read more SolarWinds MSP blogs here