Years ago I read “marketing is not selling.” With the impact of technology, this statement can be easily revised to “social marketing is not social selling.”
If we understand marketing is to attract attention (better yet positive awareness) and to begin to build relationships (consideration), then we can appreciate social media is a new channel or channels to attract attention and build those relationships. Also if we engage in effective marketing, then selling (purchase) can be effortless as noted by Peter Drucker.
This confusion or lack of understanding has many small business owners, sales professionals, sales coaches, business coaches and those who sell marketing solutions turning off more people than they are turning on. From the sales baits of email pitches to continually posting of self-serving blogs has created the Sea of ME (Massive Ego) which only has potentially sales leads swimming deeper and deeper away from the social marketing messages.
Possibly the shadow reason behind all this confusion is this one word – engagement. Before when marketing firms or internal marketing departments handled all the attracting activities from advertising to glossy brochures to direct mail, the sales leads were handed to the sales force. Social marketing has changed that landscape. Now these very same people must engage first before selling. This is a new sales behavior for many.
Today the super majority (97.7%) of sales teams for US businesses (those with under 20 employees) must wrap their heads, arms, hands and legs around this new way to message their potential ideal customers. They must engage and then begin to build the relationships before they start “pitching” or “pushing” their solutions.
This engagement presents a problem given social media runs 24/7 and time for today’s business professionals, as it was for their predecessors, is a limited resource. Additionally engagement within social marketing also requires in many instances for the small businesses’ websites to be engaging as well not to mention SEO friendly.
Just like the paid advertisements of the past, misguided business professionals believe all they must do is schedule their blogs, their Tweets, their Facebook or Pinterest updates or submit new LinkedIn articles. Sharing the blogs, tweets, updates or LinkedIn articles of others is not within their mindset because they are still in the 20th century mindset of one way advertising or one way engagement.
If you want to increase sales, then:
- Develop your social media channels
- Build your social media communities
- Share the messages of other quality individuals
- Engage first; sell second
- Just Be Valuable