Avoid These 3 Engagement Killing Mistakes When Selling on Social Media

Avoid These 3 Engagement Killing Mistakes When Selling on Social Media

I didn’t want to write this blog, but I couldn’t help myself. Too many people still don’t know how to use social media for sales (or seemingly any worthwhile purpose). If you are reading this, I know I am #PreachingToTheChoir, but we all (the choir) have to do something to make things change.

Business leaders must understand social selling for themselves and their companies and employees. Not using social selling to promote your business is the equivalent of not having a listing in the phone book (in the “old” days) or a sign on your door. How on earth would people find you?

But, having a profile alone will not help you sell successfully on social media. If you don’t understand social media and haven’t spent the time to learn more or hire someone who does, you may be doing dumb things online. Yes, I said dumb. Dumb things include:

  • Sending spammy sales messages through social media to prospect
  • Making generic connection requests to cold prospects and hoping they connect — even though you haven’t fully introduced yourself or your business
  • Having an incoherent and outdated online presence

Every item on this list is #WRONGWRONGWRONG — yes, I am shouting on purpose.

Engage, Interact and Convert

The key to social selling is not sending sales messages or broadcasting how great your product. It’s not even about posting relevant, interesting content — which at least is a step in the right direction.

To use social media successfully, you must engage with people, interact with them, and build a relationship. Once you’ve established a relationship with someone, they are more likely to take an action that could lead to a sale such as following a link to an article or landing page and giving you their email address or in some cases agreeing to a quick phone call.

Meeting people on social media is just like meeting in person. Get to know your new social media contacts and learn more about them so you can be a resource. Ultimately, you want them to get to know you, like you and trust you. Then, when they need what your company offers, they will consider buying from you. Or, they will refer you to their connections who may need what you offer. And perhaps, you will do the same for them.

Building relationships online

Whether you are selling, job hunting, hiring, looking for resources or your next date on social media, a few basic principles apply:

  • Your profile is only the beginning
  • Offering great tips and ideas that make people think is a must — but is not enough
  • Having conversations is critical

Unsure of how to have a conversation on social media? Here are my best tips.

First: Like

Think of a like as you would a wave to someone you know who is pulling into the parking lot at the same time you are. On social media, a like means you see the item a friend posted, acknowledge it, and moved on.

Then: Comment

Commenting on a post is the equivalent of stopping for a moment for a quick chat. To extend the parking lot analogy, we both parked our cars at the same time and are walking to the same building together. On social media, I see your post and I stop to read it and make a comment on it.

Finally: Share

During our quick chat, you tell me about a great event or a new book you read. Then, I tell my friends about the information you’ve shared with me. On social media, if I like what you posted and believe others would enjoy it too, I’ll click a button and share it with my friends.

To review:

  1. Like = Wave
  2. Comment = Quick chat
  3. Share = Tell others

Selling is Social

Selling has always been social. You spend time getting to know people. You have conversations. You help and recommend. You share ideas. Social media can help you leverage this fundamental human interaction via the internet. By building relationships online, you can become a resource to a wide network and reach more people with your products and services.

If you want to learn more about how to use social media to build relationships and your business, I suggest learning from people who do it right:

To keep up with what’s new in social follow:

If you want to read more about social media and find even more great resources, read this HubSpot article.

If you are part of the choir, please share this article. Or comment below with ideas for helping others with social selling or your success stories.


  1. Thank you kindly for the mention, Alice!!! You rock!! :) xxxoo Happy to share this with my peeps. hehee.

  2. My pleasure, Mari. You are out there doing a great job! I appreciate you!

  3. Mutual admiration – you are both doing a great job. Alice, excellent article and couldn’t agree with you more. Mari – I’m awaiting further news you post per Facebook Video Live – will it take over Instagram? May everyone share!

  4. @Elinor, yes, very interesting to see who the clear winner will be. I love both and I do think that different audiences are on each platform. You’re thoughts, Mari?

  5. Well first of all – great article and so important to get social selling right. I only hope the poeple who need to see this post do see it! (and yes, I’ll be sharing!) Also… thanks for the mention!!!!!

  6. Thanks, @Viveka, please do share!

  7. Selling be it through social media channels or just in general is a two way street especially for SMBs. Great and simple points you shared.

  8. Thanks, Leanne! If we can get salespeople to adopt a mindset of serving and problem solving they would have better conversations. When they are worried about selling from the start, it always gets them in trouble.

  9. Pingback: HEADWAY DIGEST DAILY: 30.01.2018 | Headway Coaching Group Blog

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