How Did A Social Media Like Turn Into A Sales Pitch Invitation?

I’ve been out of the marketing scene for a few years. From 2010 to mid-2014 I ran a successful wedding blog that I really enjoyed. I met amazing wedding vendors, connected with some awesome bloggers I still call friends to this day, and I got to go on really fun trips like fall in Breckenridge, Colorado touring gorgeous venues. Some major life changes happened and I needed to take a step back. I sold my blog and spent some much needed time concentrating on me and other priorities at the time. After life got back into a good groove I realized how much I missed blogging. Insert the beginning of Thoughtfully Unraveled.

How Did A Social Media Like Turn Into A Sales Pitch Invitation?

Getting back into blogging means promoting on social media again. Something I was really good at, but am learning that things have changed quite a bit over the years. One major change I’ve seen is a huge shift in sales. It’s so different from anything I learned through marketing that it honestly surprised me a bit. Can someone explain to me how did a social media like turn into a sales pitch invitation? You post something on social media and I chose to like it. The next thing I know my inbox is being flooded with messages thanking me for my “like” and asking if I want to buy their product or participate in their group. Wait, what?!?

Here are some of the sales pitches that have made their way into my inbox. I don’t know any of these people on a personal level. They decided to send me a message, because I liked one of the photos they posted. None of them follow me either. Kind of a huge red flag that they are only interested in making money off of me and not really interested in getting to know me and find out if their product or service would be a good fit for my life. My goal is not to call anyone out, so of course I hid all identifying information.

How Did A Social Media Like Turn Into A Sales Pitch Invitation?

I may have liked your post because I thought it was cute. Maybe I thought it was funny. Maybe there was a voice in me that was saying, “You go girl!” and I wanted to show some support for what you are doing. But when a “like” on a post turns into my inbox full of sales pitches it honestly leaves me feeling a bit yucky. It also makes me not want to like your future posts, which is counter-intuitive if you are trying to beat algorithms and be visible to more people (another post for another day).

This might be an old school way of thinking, but from everything I have learned, marketing and sales have always stemmed from building relationships. At the core the person needs to trust you, trust your brand, and trust what you are promoting. Nurturing long-term relationships is vital for success. So why the shift?

If you decide to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest and you engage with my posts, I’m going to notice. I’m going to engage back. We will start to build a relationship online where I see that you care about what I’m doing and I care about what you are doing. After months of repeatedly seeing your posts, the products you are promoting, and engaging with those posts, I will have a much higher chance of deciding to try what you are so passionate about. I will also be willing to listen to what you have to tell me as opposed to a random stranger sliding into my DMs.

For those of you who have experienced this, I’m very curious. Have you ever purchased anything from a random stranger contacting you with a sales pitch? Have you tried this method on other people and found success with it?

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19 Comments

  1. October 5, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    I never purchased anything from a random stranger contacting me with their sales pitch. One person did DM me on instagram about Lipsense and I just ignored it. If they want me to purchase something, they should introduce themselves to me, say a little about themselves and try to have a conversation going before trying to sell me something.

    Linda

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:04 pm

      I ignore them too. It’s just interesting to see how much things have changed and I’m curious if it really works.

  2. October 5, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    If you’re truly interested in someone’s work, get to know them first. Build a relationship without going in for the kill first and thennn maybe a partnership will come of it. This is true vice versa 😉

    xo, Ilse
    http://www.livelearnluxeit.com

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      Agreed!

  3. October 5, 2017 / 11:30 pm

    I just had someone yesterday comment of one of my photos to look at my DM box. No
    Like, no comment on my photo, just a demand that I look at my DM box. It was in the hidden messages because they didn’t even bother to follow me. Basically it was a fashion accessories company telling me I was one of the chosen few to receive a discount on their product!? I was actually confused because I am a style blogger. They weren’t interested in any kind of collaboration to get a real person behind their brand… They just supposedly chose me to give a discount to if I wanted to buy something, like maybe I have consumer written on my forehead or something? The funny thing is that I actually liked their products and probably would have bought and posted something had they gone about things differently, like built a relationship with me. This was just aggressive and icky to me.

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:07 pm

      That’s an even more forward way to comment on your post. All of these go to my hidden messages too. It is a bummer, like you said because going about it in a different way could work well for brands to create positive relationships with people and get some great advertising from it.

  4. October 6, 2017 / 1:53 am

    This is a great post! I thought you were going a completely different direction until I read it. It drives me crazy when multilevel marketing people message me and want to collaborate. Sometimes they want to give me a free product, and have me do all this free promotion for them. One time they wanted me to buy the product and still promote for them for free. I am not OK with that!

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:07 pm

      Agreed! It has to be beneficial to both sides for it to be worth it. If they gain everything from the relationship, it’s not fair to you.

  5. October 6, 2017 / 2:17 am

    I absolutely agree with Ilse and Linda’s comments above! I think it’s been a bit of overkill lately with all of the sales pitches on social media. And in my opinion, they don’t seem to work anyway!

    xo Anna Elizabeth
    https://www.lifestylebyannaelizabeth.com/

  6. Leslie
    October 6, 2017 / 3:45 am

    Yes! I have gotten so many pitches about fitness and joining teams from home! Makes me a bit weary of who I am following on social media

  7. Beata
    October 6, 2017 / 6:23 am

    Hmmm… very interesting topic. I don’t think we will be able to avoid sales pitches via any social media, but personally I don’t mind them. I never purchased anything from random strangers, but I buy a lot of products recommended by bloggers, and I think that blogging (fashion, beauty etc.) is very match pitching, just in a more subtle way. But I like it, I buy recommended products, and I also recommend mine 🙂 personally, I much prefer it over DM from random people. Just ignore it, that’s what I do …

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Oh there is no way to avoid sales pitches and I always ignore them. This post was more about the surprise at the method being used and how it’s not very effective. Yes, blogging is 100% pitching products. It’s how we try to make a living, so that will always be there. Directly messaging a stranger is just odd to me. Not a method I would use.

  8. October 6, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    I’ve never purchased anything to someone who spams me

  9. Katrina Centeno
    October 6, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    I got my first pitch today. Somebody tried to sell me watercolors since I paint using watercolors. I like interaction through comments about the photo I post and those I like. If only the “pitcher” was a long-time follower, I would have felt better with the pitch.

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 6, 2017 / 6:13 pm

      Oh, that’s interesting. I like that they at least matched you to something you use. I completely agree that being a long time follower and engaging with your posts would have come off so much better though.

  10. October 6, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    I’ve never purchased anything from a random stranger reaching out after I liked one of their photos. Just like you, I’m usually liking it because it was a cute photo or to show my support.

  11. October 20, 2017 / 11:06 pm

    Not directly related, but I find it odd how all the fashion instagrammers caption their accounts. “Went pumpkin picking today! My shirt is under $30 and a size S (size up, it runs small), my booties are on sale for less than $60! [insert instructions on how to use likeittoknowit to click the affiliate links so i can earn cash from you]”

    It’s a very brief thing about themselves, then an immediate blunt sales pitch for their outfit and usually only mentioning the prices as “under $xx”. And heaven forbid they mention a brand or store they got it from, because if they were to do that they wouldn’t get the affiliate clicks…

    • Krissy
      Author
      October 25, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Yes, it’s such a fine line. On one hand I get it, since that is how bloggers make money…but it can come off not very genuine and just sales-pitchy all the time. I do think tagging where items are from could still result in affiliate clicks. A lot of times even if they tag the store, the exact item can be hard to find and you still need to go to the link to connect to it.

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