Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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7 Social Selling Habits You Should Break Right Now

May 8, 2013 ,

Not clocking good responses from your social sharing? Maybe you don’t need to be doing more. Consider doing less.

In earlier social networking days, I think we felt the need to try every available tool out. After all, the company that developed them must have known more about their effectiveness than we did, right?

Todd Martin 041813 image 1Not necessarily. Application design is often done by youngish people who know computers but who don’t necessarily have the breadth of knowledge that you do about customer relationships. If you’ve been in sales for even a few years, you’ve probably developed good instincts about what not to do when you’re courting prospects.

So listen to those instincts. Think about the things that annoy you on social networks. Here are seven that I’ve found aren’t exactly best practices.

  • Automated direct messages on Twitter. You’ve gotten them. Gee, thanks for following us! Stay tuned for more insight from us! Use DMs sparingly, and make them personal. If you’re addressing a group that knows it’s a group to, say, announce a chat date, broadcasting a DM isn’t folly.
  • Dormant or sparsely populated social media accounts. Yes, there’s a new possible next-best-thing every week. But better to lurk and evaluate than to sign up just to have a presence. An empty feed looks worse than no feed at all.
  • Share or Like solicitations. Your audience knows you want them to make that riotous video from the office Christmas party or your how-to blog post on the correct way to stretch shoes go viral. Asking them to share or retweet looks desperate. Most people have been around the block enough that they’re judicious with those favorable mouse clicks. Begging may have the opposite effect.
  • And while we’re on the topic of sharing, don’t offer An abundance of sharing options. Those pretty buttons that make it easy for visitors to share your content on other sites certainly have their place. But put your effort into creating appealing content, not providing a pathway to numerous social networks. Look at YouTube. Videos have a simple Share link that doesn’t even use graphics or color – you have to click on it to get to your options.

Todd Martin 041813 image 2

Simple but effective: YouTube doesn’t overdo sharing options until you click.

  • Posts stuffed with hashtags. Another useful tool that should be used sparingly.
  • A one-size-fits-all social media strategy. You know how different the major social networks are in terms of user demographics, tone, visuals, etc. Focus your energy on just a few, and truly understand them as you’re developing content ideas.
  • A vital, dynamic social media presence accompanied by ho-hum search strategy and efforts. You still want your website and blog to come up when people Google your business type. While the pundits continue to argue about the value of SEO, use it anyway. It won’t hurt, and it will most likely snag some prospects.

It’s easy to get caught up in the gee-whiz factor on social media. Look at everything that comes along with a critical eye and stay focused on what you and your customers can gain from your social networking.

Stock images courtesy of

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