In Defense of Selling With Social Media

If presidential hopeful Mitt Romney doesn’t need to defend his financial success, why should I be forced to defend my book teaching people how to sell on Facebook? Lately, I’ve been taking flack from good-natured but misguided people in the social media community. And that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I’m fully aware that some people in marketing get paid to spend on branding rather than produce tangible outcomes.

If presidential hopeful Mitt Romney doesn’t need to defend his financial success, why should I be forced to defend my book teaching people how to sell on Facebook? Lately, I’ve been taking flack from good-natured but misguided people in the social media community. And that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I’m fully aware that some people in marketing get paid to spend on branding rather than produce tangible outcomes. In fact there’s a multi-billion dollar industry backing them.

But for a good few years now we’ve been told by “the experts” to avoid selling on social media. It’s not the place to sell and if we don’t understand that, they say we “don’t get it.” And for a good while now we—direct response marketers—have been feeling bad … like we don’t “get it.”

Enough is enough. We’re being told to stop selling by the same people who claim there’s a marketing revolution going on. But the reality is that the social media revolution is a lie. It isn’t happening and never happened. Proving this is simple: Count the number of totally revolutionized businesses that have fundamentally reinvented marketing—or business itself. Where are they?

Has your business been revolutionized by YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs or Twitter? Mine has been improved by these tools, but only because I haven’t listened to self-anointed experts! The global economy is on the brink. Selling in social media is just another way out, isn’t it?

I think being able to put bread on the table with social media is just fine. In fact, it’s great and I intend to do more with Facebook, YouTube and blogging to sell my products and services. Does this make me “not get it” or some kind of obnoxious pusher in social spaces? No. It makes me even more responsible to myself and customers. I need to be more relevant, succinct (in delivering my service) and valuable to them.

And I absolutely do not believe in the very popular myth that sales will somehow materialize if I just use social media—or get re-tweeted more often. So next time you hire a social media “expert” claiming that “social currency” is more important than real currency tell them that’s how you’ll pay them—in social currency. That’s how I see it, how about you?

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

5 thoughts on “In Defense of Selling With Social Media”

  1. Social Media Marketing is only another tool, just as a business card is a tool, or a poll/survey is a tool, or a website is a tool, or a blog, etc… If you want marketing to work, you have to use Social Media as an integral part of a mix. Marketing is MUCH larger than JUST social media. One thing is for sure, SMM is for everyone. It’s just not as worthwhile for those that don’t properly position/utilize it in their marketing mix. As anything in life, it’s a balance.

  2. I believe social media is great for some and not as worthwhile for others. I notice there is absolutely no way to connect this article to any social media. Why is that?

  3. first couple of paragraphs is rambling about writers quilt of using social media for commercial purpose, WHO CARES!, after that didn’t bother to read the rest.

  4. interesting point of view….selling is marketing as marketing is selling its always been like that for year. If done correctly it is successful.

  5. Hi Jeff, I think you should be more specific about what you mean by "Social Media", and also what you mean by "selling". Using Facebook Business Pages, for example, is quite different from using your Facebook personal account. I think the critics you are referring to are talking about person-to-person media like Facebook personal accounts. I guess you can go ahead and use your personal Facebook account to try to sell stuff, but I think you will be alienating as many people (presumably, including friend and family) as you attract as potential customers. And the same (IMHO) actually goes for out and out business oriented media like FB Business Pages or LinkedIn accounts. If you do nothing on these but hawk your wonderful products and special offers you will (probably) turn a good number of people off. I say "probably" because it depends a lot on your product, and, of course, on your presentation. In general though I agree with you that just creating conversations with people ("engagement" in FB lingo) is not enough. If there is no conversion it is pretty much a waste of time.

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