Social Media: The art of the soft sell

My girlfriend got a friend request on the social media giant Facebook the other day, and being gracious as she is, accepted it. Less that 2 seconds later she was hit in a private message pushing a sale of a product. This was not a random person, but a known friend from high school! She was taken aback by this and told me “don’t accept (so and so’s) friend request…” Yikes! From a marketing aspect, this is a nightmare!

As someone trying to sell in the social environment you may ask yourself “How did I get here”? Well, you weren’t social. Remember the old saying “Don’t talk business at parties”? Social media is a party. It’s an activity usually done after work or to pass time. It is a personal experience. It is done for pleasure. You don’t come a knockin’ on the door at dinner time. You don’t jam your foot in the door while trying to hand them a copy of the Watchtower. (sorry, couldn’t resist) You must be invited in.

Your goal should be to get to know your new friends. Take an interest in their lives. Settle in.

Sure you wanna me some dough, we all do, but coming out of the gate too quickly will not build long term relationships. In fact you’ll be un-friended, un-followed and uninvited.

Your goal is to inform, educate and inspire. Nothing sells stuff better than your total belief in the quality of goods you have. Show us why it works. Show us who it worked for. Have those you have used it to tell us how wonderful it is. Be funny. Be honest.

Some of the bad social media practices, besides the one mentioned above are:

• Mass tagging of friends/followers on a picture or post
• Posting negativity or bashing the competition
• Always posting about “you” or your product
• Bad Hashtags – they actually serve a purpose
• Keep videos short – 30 seconds is good
Most of all be original. Don’t rip off other ideas and call them your own. Put some time in and research your posts/blogs so your audience will be engaged with something interesting and informative. Be a giver. We are all smart enough to spot someone who’s phoning it in.