The Best Social Media Selling Strategy? Don’t Sell.

Textbook marketing

Have you ever read a LinkedIn post that you enjoyed, or remembered? Much less one that made you stop and think?

Unfortunately, the answer is often ‘no’.

That’s because most of them are sales pitches. Some are disguised sales pitches, others are a little lot more blatant.

It’s inevitable really. Social media has become an important sales and marketing tool for businesses, and it works. In its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner found that 97% of marketers participate in social media to market their business.

But as any marketing professional worth their salt will tell you, the best way to sell on social media is to stop selling.

It’s about sharing knowledge, giving advice and offering solutions. This information shouldn’t necessarily come back to your products; rather, it’s about engaging your followers and giving them a reason to remember you.

This article on LinkedIn Pulse by Jason Jones sums it up perfectly. I hope you enjoy it. I did, and it made me stop and think, which is why I’m sharing it with you. And I’m not selling anything.

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If “Buy my stuff” is the solution, what was the question?
By Jason Jones | Sales Manager at Access Self Storage | Aug 27, 2015

Linkedin is often awash with thinly veiled promotions, passed off as editorial content. This is after all a business orientated site and we are all here to further the aims of our own business.

(Apart from those who are on here because Facebook is blocked by their company’s internet filters)

So why is it that I believe the best strategy to sell on Linkedin is not to sell?

I’m glad you asked and yes I am speaking in riddles. My industry is Self Storage (shameless plug) I provide self storage solutions for Businesses who need ad hoc usage across multiple sites or a single location on flexible terms. The thing is, if I messaged every single one of my Linkedin contacts and asked them if they want storage the overwhelming majority would say no.

Worse still, I would probably get more people deleting their link to me than I would sales orders. Remember the following.

  • Your contacts are not prospects
  • Your posts should not be promotions
  • Your reputation is your best asset

What I have done is to join forums and contribute, answer questions, advise and where needed, refer people and introduce them to contacts better placed to help.

This isn’t totally altruistic, those I helped remember it, those whom I referred to appreciated it and those who witnessed it were impressed. This creates not one but three potential referrals back. Something I’d consider more productive than spamming forums with a daily dose of drivel.

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In the time I’ve spent on Linkedin I’ve made many sales, even though I have not sold on LinkedIn.

Enough riddles, now buy my stuff.

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PS: If you want to know how to write good Linkedin Pulse articles, check out these tips from Daniel Roth, Executive Editor at LinkedIn.

Image credit: Hubspot

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