Wow… This article I wrote about selling on social media was published in the Business Press on December 7, 2009. It was relevant then and it’s even more relevant now. Over the years, social media users have been getting more and more savvy about best practices on social sites, and the one thing we all know for sure is that NO ONE like it when Facebook friends ‘sell’ to them!
Q. What am I doing wrong? I spend about one to two hours a day tending to my social media tasks; I make connections and engage in conversation, yet when I try to sell my services no one seems to respond. What can I do to get people to call me? Dell M.
A. Here’s my answer, straight and to the point – social media users don’t like salespeople! People are inundated with sales pitches and selling gimmicks on a regular basis Dell, and they really don’t want to be sold to when they are chillin’ out with their on Facebook or Twitter. Yes, as business owners we are using social media tools to help promote and market our businesses, and we are out there looking for potential clients, but believe me - you don’t want to be that in-your-face salesperson.
Coming on too strong with your sales pitches may get you banned or blocked from your social friends. Think soft sell. When you post your products and services, instead of saying, “Need a new Website? Call me and I will custom design one for you for under $500!” consider saying, “I just finished building a custom Website design for a law firm in Los Angeles”. Make sense?
Promote your products or services by giving your social community an opportunity to sample what you have. Offer them a free e-book, report, or better yet, a free consultation. Social media may not like salespeople, but they do like things for free! Remember, you’re building relationships that lead to trust.
One Facebook friend of mine, who lives in Canada, offered a free 30 minute NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) coaching session. I’ve been talking to her for the past six months about the possibility of having her coach me, but I’ve held back because the two of us have only conversed via our posts and messages via Facebook. She sure seems like a really neat gal, but I didn’t really know her well enough to give her my hard earned money. But now, it’s a no-brainer! I took her up on her free coaching offer!
Giving away something free, or discounted, will help to build relationships. After people begin working with you they will begin to see you as the expert, and of course, the trust is beginning to shine through. Try to engage with your social friends on a different level. A quick phone call or video call on Skype would do the trick. Our world has become so internet centric, but there’s nothing like hearing someone’s voice or looking at them eye to eye to solidify the relationship. Once you’ve built that trust, then you can make your pitch and possibly do some business with each other.
When marketing online, remember to write down your goals. What exactly do you want to get out of the online experience? Make a plan and be clear about what you want and how you are going to implement your plan. Give yourself a time frame and work towards your goal. Apply these same tactics to any marketing strategy you create for your business. Follow it, but also be flexible enough to make changes when necessary.
Oh, and Dell, spending two hours a day working your social media venues might be a tad too much time spent away from working in and on your business…and away from your family! Consider hiring a social media manager or virtual assistant to help you maintain your online presence.
Let me know if you see any changes in the results you want to see.