Monday, August 30, 2010

Social Media is not Selling

I’m fairly new to the social media scene and certainly don’t consider myself an expert in the field. So it may be best to regard this as an early observation.

In order to get an understanding of what social media is about I decided to follow some of the more obvious thought leaders in social media including @thinktankmedia and @smcmelb for a local perspective and @mashable for an international perspective. Interestingly most had initially bypassed Linkedin having started in social media from a marketing or blog background.

I recently attended a gathering for @smcmelb and was amused at the reticence of attendees to engage. Most of them were busy using their various smartphones to check the latest stream of witty comments. I was specifically there to meet people as I’m recruiting for some sales roles, so widening the network helps. It was better after the presentation but I’m sure that was an effect of the wine. This probably explains why social media clubs like to gather in a bar!

My observation is, apart from a few, most social media experts get there from two perspectives:
1) Marketing People using a new medium, or
2) Technical experts who understand how to configure the applications.
It reminds me of the time when every person who could run a PC suddenly became a “Desk Top Publishing” expert. Just because you can drive word processor, or blogger, it doesn’t mean you can increase revenue for any company, especially your own. Likewise, having a twitter account or facebook fan page does not make you capable of engaging a market or selling a service.

Whilst social media is great for brand awareness, product and business, and can be a great source for leads, business to business sales for any complex product or service still requires a structured sales process.


  1. Interesting observation about the unwillingness (inability?) of people to engage. I noticed exactly the same thing when I went to an Adobe forum earlier this year. And I'd turned my phone off to be polite! Very old fashioned.

  2. Helen, I apologise for taking so long to publish your comment. I'd changed a setting and did not realise that I'd need to check for comments!