How Not To Sell with Social Media

How to Sell with Social Media
What makes social media so compelling and attractive for selling? It is a myth or just media hype? How should you sell on social media? Will aggressive selling work on social networks? These are some of the questions I’m often asked by marketers who are wary of how to sell online using social media.

There’s no rocket science involved in understanding how you can make the most of social media to sell online. In fact, all that’s needed is a basic understanding of human nature and some common sense. If you are an online marketer and NOT using social media, you are missing out big time on a massive untapped opportunity. Follow these simple suggestions on how you can sell effectively using social media.

Right Expectations

Social media is NOT a magic wand for online selling which always produces bestsellers. Make sure you have clear objectives and a well defined timeframe to start with. Focus on the right audience and be prepared to have regular conversations with like minded people.

I find it ridiculous that people believe social media is a great shortcut to selling quickly without putting in any efforts. It’s true that social media provided you with an unmatched infrastructure to leverage for selling; however that does not mean that you can shy away from working hard to sell. Coming to the point, have right expectations regarding what efforts you need to put and what returns to expect.

Get Engaged

The USP of social media is the wide audience base that it offers. Grow your network and get engaged in interacting proactively with people. Become fans, friends, followers and buddies with people on popular social networks. However, the quality of your network is as important as the quantity.

Search for key elements to reach out to the right set of people. Make your profile and messages appealing. Social media has a short attention span so you need to ensure that you make the most out of the few seconds/ minutes that a prospect customer spends viewing your profile. Build relationships, not just contacts!

Spread the Word

Whether it’s paid or organic search, it is crucial to get your business profile ranked high in search results. Social web is going through an intense competition and you don’t want to be left behind. Social media coupled with SEO techniques can pay great dividends in promoting a business online.

However, don’t be pushy with your selling on social networks. People hate it and you might even end up being blocked for spamming or abuse.

Learn from Others

His company adopted social media for selling and it turned out to be a complete disaster. I’m skeptical that it would work for me.

I hear similar arguments on a daily basis and I’m amused to say the least. Online selling through social media has its own fans and detractors; it has its own success stories and debacles. There is no ‘One size fits all’ approach when it comes to selling online with social media.

The trick is to learn from others. Be it a success story or a failure in selling through social media, there’s a lesson to be learnt in either case.

What’s your social media selling story? Did social media work well for you? Whatever your thoughts, I’ll be eager to hear from you.

Join the Conversation


  1. Scott Empringham       Reply

    Great article! We've had phenomenal success on behalf of our clients with our social media efforts for many of the same reasons. And you're right. The key for us and our clients has been to create a unique and compelling opportunity for people to engage in a deep and meaningful way with our client brands. So, whether it's their love of California (, or desire to contribute to their community (, or just a plain old itch to roadtrip to Vegas…while getting a chance to drift Mustangs and race F150's (, we've found success in the simple idea of creating unique content, relevant to the group who we intend to attract and engage, always hold our client's brand in high esteem and creatively and thoughtfully integrate interesting and useful product knowledge. It's hard work…but if you check out the pages, you'll also see how much fun it can be.

  2. LLOnlineblogera       Reply

    Great article. On our end, we are trying to capitalize based on our following and relationships we have built over the past year and a half. Like you said there is no magic wand that will guarantee you anything. But we hard work, engaging your followers, and building relationships. We are tapping potential customers.


    LLOnline Blogera,LLC

  3. Austin Martinson       Reply

    Social Media has been a great selling tool. In fact, all our sales are online. I work with a social network services company… and have done research on the subject matter as well. If you it's not working for you, contact us!

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  5. Nathan Davis       Reply

    Thanks for the great post Douglas! Social media is a great way to get inbound links too… I feel getting natural links is a great way to increase visibility. In Matt Cutts video on… he mentions tips for creating natural links and increasing traffic.

  6. Guide to selling online       Reply

    I definitely agree with your post, but disagree with Nathan Davis’ post, no offence: although it’s right, you can get links from social media as well, they will definitely not help your rankings or increase your website’s authority…There will be just some links that appear in GWT, that’s all. :)

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