Social Media and the Art of the Soft Sell

It goes without saying that social media has emerged as a powerful and effective sales and marketing tool. It explains why a growing number of companies are happily jumping on the bandwagon as a way to boost their online presence.

One of the key lessons that many companies are learning, however, is that social media is not a place for the hard sell. Unlike other mediums, companies that try to blatantly pitch their goods and services are penalized rather than rewarded.

This is a difficult reality for many companies to understand or accept because it means changing their behaviour, as well as the way they have done business for years. Social media is not a broadcast medium in which yelling louder or more often than the other guy works effectively.

Rather than slapping someone in the face to get their attention, you give them a nice, friendly social media hug. Instead of repeatedly telling to consumers about how wonderful your product or service is, you whisper it in their ears.

In other words, it’s all about the soft sell rather than the hard sell. It’s about getting the message across without having to be blatantly obvious about it. If the product or service is any good, consumers will likely gravitate to it.

Here’s some tips about the “soft sell”:

1. Don’t try to sell.

2. Be subtle rather than blunt. Rather than selling all the time, relax and let your product or service doing the talking.

3. Provide information and insight about a variety of topics that engage, entertain or educate. This will provide the opportunity to also talk about your products or services without getting pushback from consumers.

4. Make sure you give and take. The more you give, the more you can take.

5. If you are going to promote a product or service, talk about the benefits and features. Provide consumers with a reason why they care or pay attention, otherwise they will quickly move on to the next conversation.

One Comment on “Social Media and the Art of the Soft Sell”

  1. I think your missing a key aspect here: Be Relevant.

    The conversation is for the company to identify moments of relevance. Only at this moment an attractive offer has value for the receiver.

    With http://www.she-tailor.nl we look for people who need bespoke tailor made suits. We’ve identified certain key moment that are relevant to our product, e.g. when someone tells on Twitter that they’ve just received an invitation to a wedding. It is for us the exact moment to ask what they will wear… and from there we take the conversation to a sell.

    nice piece by the way. It is really as simple as that.

Leave a Reply