Mark Jamroz
Mark Jamroz
April 7, 2016
Make friends.

Our clients often ask, “Can you really sell anything on social media?” Tricky question. Plenty of brands have 10,000 followers yet they claim they don’t really “sell” anything with social media.

Followers and readers and eyeballs are only one part of the equation. There’s no denying that having 10,000 fans of your brand has tremendous value. Another value of blogging and social media is that search engines will crawl your copy and that will lead to improved SEO rankings.

Looking at it from a packaged goods perspective, you can argue that blogging and social media is like adding “shelf space” for your brand. There’s Tylenol, Tylenol Extra Strength Tylenol, Tylenol Night, Tylenol Arthritis and on and on. Before you know it, you’re standing in front of 6 feet of Tylenol media in the aisle of the drugstore. It’s about owning as much real estate on the shelf as is possible. The same applies to digital media.

But beyond the data and the digital scoreboards let's break it down to human connections. We so often hear the same question from clients: “Why should we blog? Why should we do social media? Who cares about our boring _____ or our dull service category? What can we possibly say about it?”

Just this week Adweek published an article about Mercedes Benz and their success in the realm of social media. Note there’s not a single mention about lease offers.

At Telegraph our mantra is “Spark a Connection.” No matter what you do, whether it's an ad, or a social media post, or an email, we believe the end goal is to spark a connection. This is what consumers truly respond to.

So, “Can you really sell on social media?” I’m not dodging the question, but there is no direct answer just as there is no direct response. So as a result, we see many social media accounts pushing heavy on sales messages. We get it. We are in the business to sell, but let's think of this from another perspective.

We have all gone to networking events and we can all spot the salesman a mile away. They come up to you, you have nothing in common, and within 30 seconds of the conversation they're trying to sell their product. Within 5 seconds of the conversation, you're trying to figure a way to get out of that conversation. Social media works the same way. If a salesman knocked on your front door every 30 seconds, you’d be slamming that door shut. Eventually, you won’t even answer it.

But what if a friend came over to watch a football game and made wisecracks about it? Or shared a funny story about his friend using a product? Or told you a new way to make a margarita? You’d be far more inclined to spend some time with that friend.

Business author Mark McCormack said, “All things being equal, we do business with friends. All things being unequal, we do business with friends. The moral of the story? Make friends.”

Simply put, your brand needs to become friends with your consumer. You need to make a connection. Will it lead to sales? Not immediately, but eventually. And the better your friendship, the more likely they are to share with their friends. Want to make a friend? Spark a Connection.