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.
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.
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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