Stop selling: The hard truth of social media marketing

Stop selling: The hard truth of social media marketing

Every organization needs a social presence, right? Yet, because a significant number of SME owners struggle to glean quantifiable results — or sales — from their social media efforts, it must be asked if it is really worth the effort for them. While many spend significant time and money to have staff or outside agencies maintain their social media accounts hoping to lure new clients, they’re missing the fact that selling on social media channels doesn’t work. Only about 10 per cent of the clients of my digital-marketing firm actually manage to convert leads into sales through social media. The exception is large brands that have huge media followings (Apple, Coke), companies that started, target and thrive on social media (Luxyhair.com is another of many examples), and specialized service providers such as consultants or event organizers. In the latter case, they might use social media channels to promote a speaking engagement or a new book. Unless your business falls into one of those categories, stop trying to sell. Yes, SMEs need to maintain a social media presence because that is now the go-to communication platform for clients across age demographics. But social media as a tool for building brand recognition is only one tool. Use it that way but broaden your wider marketing strategy to include such other tactics as advertising, public relations, content marketing, speaking engagements and other initiatives that can help boost your bottom line. Remember that it’s also highly transactional, in the sense that no organization owns the followers they maintain on their preferred social media channels — they rent them. Whether paying for Facebook ads...