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The Key to Selling Effectively on Social Media

The Key to Selling Effectively on Social Media

When talking social media marketing with clients, friends and other marketers, I often hear the claim “don’t sell on social media” and while I understand the sentiment, I think it is more useful to say “sell the right way on social media”.

But which way is the right way?

In most cases, promoting your products with a neon ‘buy me now’ sign next to it is not the right way and this is where the warning against selling on social media originates.

However, with the right approach, and with your audience in mind, you can still get almost any products or services out on social media, and get people engaged with your brand, loving your products, and buying.

Start by thinking about your audience.

Each social network has its individual dynamic. For example, many people have both a Facebook and a LinkedIn account, yet they look for very different things on each network. LinkedIn has a strong focus on employment, work, business and knowledge sharing; whereas Facebook has a stronger focus on lifestyle, entertainment, social, personal and community.

Your following on a social network will also be unique compared to other brands. Do some analysis on your social audience, see what they respond well to, what they are discussing and what they find engaging. These people are following your brand for a reason, and it is well worth finding out what that reason is!

Sell something else

Talk to any great salesperson and they will tell you that you don’t sell a product; you sell a need, desire, or feeling. For example, no one buys a car. They purchase the thrill, freedom, comfort, safety, and style; and then they pay for a car.

In social media, you should be selling what makes your brand, products or services unique, special, and worth having. Here are some things you could sell:

Thought leadership & innovation

If your product or service strength is that you are the best, and invest heavily in being the best, then you need to promote your thought leadership and innovation instead of your products.

Tesla is an excellent example of a company that promotes itself through thought leadership and innovation. If they were to try plugging their cars rather than their technology, the resulting media attention would be far less impressive.

Using their innovation, they are gaining a strong foothold in the automotive market without having to compete directly with established brands and their massive marketing budgets.


Not every brand has the funding or resources to invest in innovation on the same scale as Tesla. However, one thing every brand should be able to find is passion.

If you are looking for examples of selling passion, look at some of the most successful startups such as Uber, Airbnb, and The Honest Co. Many small businesses are also having great success by promoting their passion. Cafés and restaurants are good examples of this.

Passion is powerful, free, it is something your company should already have, and best of all, it is the ideal thing to sell on social media!

Growth & self-improvement

People are always looking to improve themselves, whether it is through education, lifestyle, or cultural experiences. Social media is a great avenue for selling this.

Selling self-improvement does not mean you sell a yoga retreat on Facebook. You sell the experience of relaxation and meditation on a beach while simultaneously supporting local communities in the area so that they can sustain their traditional lifestyles.

Similarly on Linkedin, you would be selling the employment and business opportunities that come with having an MBA, rather than the MBA course itself.

Ideals & Causes

If you are running or supporting charity or community events, or support social, environment, community or self-improvement initiatives, social media is a great place to promote your brand.

People tend to associate with like-minded people, and so promoting ideals or causes around topics that matter to your audience is a great way to get the word out and reach more people who are interested in the same thing.

It could be as simple as providing an official company statement about your support for pink ribbon day, or promoting a community event that you are sponsoring.

Finding causes that are a good fit to your brand helps people connect those principles with your brand. For example, a clothing store that provides warm clothes to the homeless in each store location every winter could achieve greater results by promoting this cause rather than their clothes on social media.

If you are promoting your products and services on social media and not getting results, contact Metrixa today. And next time someone tells you that selling with social media doesn’t work, do what I do and tell them they are selling the wrong thing.

What are some successful experiences you’ve had on social media? Try our AdWords Audit. Let me know on Twitter @nathan5ri