You Won’t Sell Anything with Social Media by @searchmartin

Ok so the title is obvious link bait, but I came across a blog post this morning by Martin McDonald @searchmartin the current Inbound Marketing Director at Expedia.

The goal of that title was a little tongue in cheek but the reality is that if you are participating in the two biggest social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter and you are measuring success by the number of widgets that you sell by tweet or post then you really don’t understand how social media fits into your whole marketing strategy.

You’re doing it wrong.

The Key Insight

Martin’s post is short but awesomely elaborates on a key insight that you need to internalise if you are hoping to use social media in any way in your business.

And that insight is this:

Inherently as a platform social media is better at sharing experiences rather than conspicuous consumption.

Lets stop thinking of our customers as consumers, we should think of them as experiencers!

What this means is that excluding social shopping platforms, people do not typically participate in social media to buy.

They participate to share their experiences, not to brag about what they just bought.

What does this mean for you and I?

With this insight in mind this is what you can do to use social media more effectively.

  1. We should encourage our customers to share  their experiences using the products or services they bought off us. As in Martin’s example, this works well in Travel when people love to share travel experiences.
  2. Recognise that social sharing of experiences is a wonderful “discovery mechanism” helping people who may not have heard of your service to discover you via the shared experience.This means that social media is most effective at the wide end of the marketing funnel. Use is that way rather than trying to sell.

The original article is an excellent and quick read and worth checking out at the Internet Marketing Ninja’s blog