How to be successful and 'sell' on social media ... remember the basics!

October 28th 2018, 12:06pm

Sales. We all need sales and for those of us who haven’t quite got to grips with the fact that loving what we do in our businesses is not enough to pay our bills, we need to catch up fast. 

Our passion is not enough, we need sales!

Nearly two decades ago I was working as a recruitment consultant in Leeds. It was cut-throat; colleagues from the same company had access to the same database and thought nothing of ringing my hard-won clients and trying to poach them! I had to toughen up to exist at all in that industry. 

The traditional ‘sales funnel’ model that I was taught 20 years ago seems all but defunct now. Making cold call, after cold call, after cold call, sending faxes to 100s of businesses and sending candidate CVs on spec was the main strategy for placing people into new jobs and gaining new clients. I remember working in Australia, making call after call after call (and I believe it’s the only job I’ve ever been sacked from!) knowing that eventually the numbers would add up and sales would follow.

Fast forward two decades and enter Social Media; the selling saviour for us all. Maybe that was true seven or eight years ago when social media was still a novelty but now, the platforms are crowded places, the advertising never escapes us, we have Pixels tracking all our online activity and the sales messages are rife. There’s no place to hide.

The thing is, it works. For most of our businesses, our clients and prospective clients are on social media, scrolling away and it’s where we need to be if we’re going to grab their attention.  

But we can no longer just set up our profiles and sit back hoping our customers will see us, love us and buy from us.

But what’s the difference between selling to other business people (if you are a service provider) and selling products to consumers?

No matter what our client base is, to be successful selling on social media, we need to remember the basics.

  • People are happy to buy anything when it suits their needs but most of us do not like being sold to.
  • Know who your customers are and talk to them accordingly.
  • Be present on the platforms that your customers are active on.
  • Look like a credible business on all your digital channels if you want people to spend their money with you.
  • Post content that engages your audience and keeps enticing them back to your brand – be trustworthy, provide value and entertain (Check out the Greggs Twitter account!).
  • Use simple, compelling CTAs (Calls To Action) on your content when you’re encouraging readers to take action with your business (for example, Read More, Buy Now and so on).
  • Develop your ‘social proof’ (proof that your business is credible, reliable, trustworthy and great) and collect recommendations, reviews and endorsements whenever you can.
  • Don’t forget traditional marketing still works and can be tied into your digital marketing plan.
  • Talk to your audience – answer their comments and questions. Do not ignore anyone!
  • Build your network.
  • Analyse your results (Google Analytics and the platform analytics). 
  • Build a database of people interested in your products and services – whether they are a repeat customer or have never bought from you; you need to stay in touch with them all. 


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