First Rule of Social Media Sales – By Chris Conrey

Social Media has grown beyond its infancy now and is in full-on puberty, its getting all gangly and awkward now, showing a few pimples here and there, and worst of all, its trying to impress people and show off in new ways. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent attacks of spammers, over-agressive marketers, and pyramid schemes making their way through Twitter and Facebook and their smaller cousins like Pinterest and LinkedIn.

As a salesman and a professional, there is only one rule to follow if you’re going to be using any of these Social Media platforms as a weapon in your arsenal:

Don’t Sell Anything on Social Media

That’s right. Don’t sell anything. Don’t start publicly bidding on things, don’t throw prices, don’t brag about your product, don’t ask for business. These things will get you labeled as a spammer, douchebag, loser or some combination of the three. To be successful all you have to do is follow the corollary rule:

Just be visible and authentic

Be in the conversation, answer questions, ask questions, be helpful. Pay attention to the conversation about markets or things that are relevant to your selling. Answer questions honestly and fairly – even if they don’t directly make your product look better. Be available when people are complaining or questioning about what you’re selling. Be a part of the online community – and use it to be a part of your local community and your business community.

This sounds too much like “sit back and wait for the phone to ring” for some people. You’ll be itching to respond and jump into the latest discussions where you can pitch your offering. But by listening and finding the right moment, you’ll be more prepared and more natural when it is time to sell.

Chris Conrey is one of the founders of digital marketing powerhouse, VUURR (http://vuurr.com) which applies an analytic approach to your marketing efforts.