The Difference Between Social Media Marketing & Social Media Sales

the_difference_between_social_media_marketing___social_media_salesBranding Brand weighs in on Wednesday morning this week on TechCrunch on mobile conversation rates through social media, and the results are a bit grim.

"Social media, as a whole, was responsible for less than 1% of the total visits to the retailers' mobile sites, Branding Brand found, with Facebook providing the majority of the referral traffic.  Facebook sent the clients 95.1% of the social media-driven mobile visits, Pinterest sent 4.88% and Twitter 0.2%."

The online consumer is savvier than you think. They no longer just want to interact with the brand, they want value, they want experience and they still need to understand many products better than social media can provide, before making a purchase. This may be why mobile conversion rates are not as high as we would have predicted them to be. Even in the age of social media, a sales team still holds a lot of value.


Social media is a great marketing tool, don't get us wrong. We use it everyday, we use it to share, connect and learn. That being said, we know very well that social media is not necessarily a sales tool. It is a great way to interact with the brand from a customer point of view; and a great way to interact with the customer for important feedback. But, as a sales tool this is the extent to social media:

  • Create leads- Think of social media as a database of people and their interests. It is a great way to find the right people. That being said, if you reach out to them on social media it is still considered a cold lead.
  • Broadcast information about your product- The beginning of sales is marketing. But true to marketing ideology, if they get the message, as a marketer, you are winning; not necessarily if they buy the product.
  • Stay connected with your sales team- Salespod[Now Repsly] is a utility for exactly this. We are very similar to a social media platform in many ways. That being said, our purpose is to make sure that sales teams have real-time information to lead to more and better coverage of sales territories, not because we think we replace the sales team (which, can often be mistaken when companies first start using social media).

This being said, social media is a very powerful broadcast medium. Use it to share, learn and connect; do not mistake it as a sales platform directly to consumers.

Jenna Hannon

Jenna Hannon is a Canadian born technology marketer and writer living in Silicon Valley. She is currently Strategic Communications at Fanhattan, advisor at Treasure Data. Jenna is also an adrenaline junkie; as a kiteboarder, skateboarder, snowboarder and surfer.

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