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Myth: Knuckle-Dragging Sales works on Social Media
A persistent social media marketing myth is that social media is a sales channel. And, if it’s not working you need to do more of it.
The origins of this myth likely come from social media marketers trying to make money from businesses that can’t afford to advertise.
Can’t afford ads? Sell like crazy from your social account. (Typically followed by their sales pitch.)
What do I mean by knuckle-dragging sales? I’m talking about the endless, inane event pitches, fake transformational ‘stories’, and endless bombast — without offering a lick of value to anyone, ever.
This is the kissing cousin to the sliding into DMs described in my social selling newsletter.
When you don’t get the results you want, you get frustrated and either press harder (more knuckle-dragging) or give up entirely.
It’s not you. It’s the persistent myth that social media is an easy sales channel.
Social media isn’t a transactional channel.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the very definition of social media:
Social media are interactive digital channels that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks — Wikipedia
I don’t see sales there, do you?
At its best social media is entertaining and informative.
And that’s what leads to a sale.
For example, The Detail Geek, a car detailing YouTube channel has over 3 million followers.
I stumbled on this video last week when I was researching how to detail my car. I was transfixed by the horrific inside of a Cadillac Escalade that’d been abandoned. Mike (The Detail Geek) did an AMAZING job. It made me want to buy his car cleaning products.
If he’d led with "buy my car detailing products," I would’ve skipped to the next video. He doesn’t do that because, after years of making videos, The Detail Geek knows it’s better to show transformation and provide value before pushing for a sale.
In fact, that’s the biggest mistake you could make: thinking you need to push for a sale on social media.
Instead, your social media strategy is a conversation.
Be yourself. Be the interesting person you are IRL. Stop treating social media like a protracted sales call. That’s not what it’s there for.
Consider the customer cycle: problem, solution, results.
- What’s the problem you solve?
- What solutions do you offer?
- What are the results you’ve had?
If you’re thinking, wow, Jen, that sounds pretty sales-y to me, pay attention to what comes next.
This is the step most people overlook. How you share is what matters most.
What the knuckle-draggers don’t get is:
- Their customers are smart; and
- They’re being sold to all the time.
Your job is to rise above the noise. If you’re like me, something interesting happens every week. Start writing those things down.
- Did you get into a pickle? How did you get out?
- Did you get a question no one has ever asked before? What was it? What’s the answer?
Next, consider how you would talk about it with a friend. Because social media is fundamentally social and a community, this is a great starting point.
Here are 3 tips to guide you in creating engaging social media posts that your followers will read and look forward to:
Tip #1: Quality over quantity. Offer value first. If it means fewer posts, great. People will look forward to seeing you.
Tip #2: Share results in a helpful way. Did something really amazing happen? Awesome! Share it, with a dash of wisdom. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
Another example are wonderful before and after shots of a landscaper or home remodeler with a side of how-to/behind-the-scenes knowledge.
Tip #3: Answer customer questions. Be a helpful expert on social. Bonus points if you can have fun and be entertaining. Yes, “everyone” does video, BUT we love to be entertained.
Don’t fall into the trap of the sell, sell, sell social media approach. It’s boring, and the quickest road to being irrelevant and ignored.
Provide helpful, relevant content first. Then, your sales posts will be more effective.
Remember, social media is a conversation.
If you’re struggling with what to share on social, follow the brainstorming framework Shelley and I talked about in the topic clusters and skyscraper pages podcast episodes. While you’re there, subscribe to the show.
💌 That's a wrap for this Sunday.
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