Viewing entries in
Social Media isn't advertising
Social Media isn't couponing
Social Media isn't about telling
Social Media isn't brand control
Social Media isn't a fad
Social Media isn't selling…
The list could go on and on, but, what has my attention (and aggravation) is that last one on the list: “Social Media isn't selling.” The untruth in this statement isn't so much about a misunderstanding of social media as it is a misrepresentation of selling. So, on to my soap box.
Soap Box – I have great difficulty tolerating the negativity associated with sales. People seem to be afraid of sales people. There is a bad rap associated with sales people. They are viewed as pushy, overly talkative and dangerously manipulative. "He could sell ice to Eskimos," is often said. Eskimos don't need ice - so the implication is that the sales person could get someone to do something stupid.
I'm not saying there isn't a reason that this reputation exists. There are plenty of reasons. There are unscrupulous sales people that do trick, lie and deceive in order to get people to part with their money. On the other hand, there are countless quality, well trained sales people who make a living everyday helping people, honestly representing companies and products that people truly need. Sales is the fuel that moves our economy. We are a consumer based economy and if not for sales people - small and large, real and virtual - our economy would very quickly sputter to a halt.
If we think about it, we all know quality, professionally trained sales people. They tend to be concerned, attentive and helpful people. They are often very focused on relationships. Their journey to a sale likely begins with a lot of listening and questions. What’s the problem? How long has it been this way? What have you tried to do? How did that work? What are your goals currently? What ideas are you considering? These questions are designed to get clarity on the situation, learn about needs and discover the depth of a problem. Once the sales professional knows this, s/he can begin to look for a helpful solution and offer assistance.
For the sales professional, offering a solution is often about giving choices, options, and letting the client choose. The seasoned sales professional knows, “If I say it they doubt it. If they say it. It’s true.” So, rather than being pushy or argumentative with a single “best, limited time deal,” the quality salesperson offers solutions that provide varying degrees of assistance and lets the client choose.
If this process of choice is going to be successful, there is a need for honesty and openness. Communication needs to be clear and precise and so many sales professionals spend time developing communication skills. Honesty and transparency are better than selling through “smoke and mirrors.”
So, with this cursory understanding of professional selling, we can ask the questions, “Is social media selling?”
Social media and professional selling have these things in common: Connecting via relationships, spending a lot of time listening, asking questions, offering a variety of options, letting the individual choose, etc.
So, dear digital darlings, it would seem to me that Social Media is selling at its best. Let’s test this idea. Look at the list below. Begin each sentence with the words “social media.”
________ is 2/3 about listening and 1/3 about telling.
_________ is about identifying real problems
_________ is offering helpful solutions
_________ is relationship driven
_________ is about connecting
_________ is understanding obstacles and finding ways around, over or through them
_________ is about mutual benefit, the win-win
_________ is about helping someone else be successful, promoting others
_________ is about honesty and acceptance
_________ is about knowing the nos
Now, begin those same sentences with the word “sales.” Go ahead…I’ll wait.
Social media has more in common with professional selling than is first apparent. Let’s say it together: “social media IS selling.”
Over at Netchicks Marketing blog, the new standard in family Christmas photos has been revealed!
I laughed and then I had one of those "things that make you go HUM moments." The blog post asks if smart phones are making us socially dumb. Good question. As I read, I realized that for many of us the word 'social' is being dramatically realigned to refer to...well...the stuff we do with our heads down into our smart phones.
Then I had a few more thoughts.
The presence of mobile devices has changed the way we interact. Is it "bad" or making us dumb? I read an interesting book last year The Shallows, by Nicolas Carr that suggests the problem is larger than mobile devices and dangerously close to causing a rewiring of our brains. Carr is a bit over zealous in his claims, but it's a good read and contains some great research.
As a public speaker, I would contend that the speaking environment has been dramatically changed by mobile devices and Social Media. Speakers once depending on word, vocal inflection and gestures to all work together in a precisely developed symphony of presentation that required rapt attention of the audience. We can no longer be assured that people are, at any given moment actually listening or watching us. What to do? We can strive to embrace the change and adapt to it - there are some interesting possibilities available -
1. using other's Social clout to market your ideas and brand by inviting people to interact via Social Media
2. adopting a social vernacular to engage users. "This is tweet worthy"
3. providing short (less than 140 characters) points and quotes
4. letting people know when you need them to stop, look and listen
5. keep Social handles and hash tags visible throughout the presentation
Like it or not, Social Media and mobile devices are a means of communicating information, and what is a good presentation if not information that is educational, motivational and fun to share?
All of that said, we do need to balance our use of these devices and media and have a low tolerance for what we experience as rude behavior in social situations.
What do you consider rude smart phone behavior?
Thinking about going 'social' on someone or about something? We've all been there - bad customer service, misrepresented products, lousy experience...the list goes on. However, I subscribe to the 'think it through' approach. Going Social on a brand or product has the potential to smudge a business's reputation, or even go viral and result in major loss of brand value. Social media IS marketing, so I need to remember that this isn't just about me venting and whining. Before I let a momentary frustration ignite my Social fuse, I like to go through a checklist:
1. Have I made the business aware of my problem?
2. Did I contact customer service or management and try to get resolution?
3. Did I use a softer "I'm less than happy" approach on Social media first?
4. Did I give the experience some time (24 hrs) after the last attempt at resolution?
If my answer is 'yes' to all 4, I might just be forced to unleash y Social wrath on them...maybe, if it's worth my effort.
On a lighter note, here's a infographic that might help you with your Social Media posting via BreakingCopy.
I have three 'kids' with 4 year college degrees and one who went (more or less) straight from high school into the world of employment. Has the track to vocational success changed? I received an email last week from someone at MBA Online and they shared the info-graphic below. I found it interesting enough to post. What do you think?
Created by: MBAOnline.com
Created by: MBAOnline.com