Yesterday I read an article that Amber-Lee shared here in the comments from a gentleman that was basically saying that Social Media was worthless in driving sales. This was my favorite quote from the article:
Like anything else, if you want even a 1 percent chance of succeeding with social media, it requires a strategy and a commitment. Bet you either don’t have a strategy or you have a strategy created by a person or people who have never been successful with social media…because no one really has been.
Then later yesterday I was running some errands and as I was out driving, I heard a local hotel advertising their Valentine’s Day special for couples. They told you all about the wonderful room you’d get, the amenities at the hotel that were provided, a meal at the on-site restaurant, etc. Really selling you on how amazing this offer was, then at the end of the commercial they give you…their street address.
No telephone number, no website address, they don’t even clarify the city in which the hotel is located (and it’s in an area affectionately known as ‘The Quad Cities’). They used the radio spot to do a great job of selling you on why this hotel and its Valentine’s Day offer was wonderful, then when it came time to close the sale, they only gave you a street address as a way to contact them.
The lesson here is: You can’t blame the tool when you don’t use it correctly. This makes about as much sense as driving a Hummer into the lake and when it sinks, cursing it as being a terrible boat.
The question isn’t ‘can social media effectively drive sales for my business?’, the question is ‘do I know how to effectively use social media to drive sales for my business?’ It’s been well established that social media CAN be used as a tool to drive sales. It’s also been well established that many businesses have great difficulty in using social media as a tool to directly drive sales.
See what I did there? I added that many businesses have great difficulty in using social media as a tool to directly drive sales. Social media simply doesn’t function very well as a direct sales channel. It does functions exceptionally well as a channel to build networks and relationships. And frequently as a result of those relationships, you can generate sales.
But as with any form of marketing or contact you have with your customers, your ability to use the tool successfully depends on your understanding of its proper use. Often the blame falls on the shoulders of the carpenter, not the hammer.