Stop trying to sell me stuff and just talk to me

It amazes me how humans seem to have this need to turn any new form of communication into a sales and marketing tool.

Okay, so I suppose I know why, money. We all want to make money.

When post was invented, we got junk letters. When the phone was invented we got cold calls. Fax led to sales faxes and email gave us spam.

Now in the world of social communication we have the exact same thing. Make mention of a product name on twitter and you are instantly bombarded with rubbish.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this. I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who has fallen for “wow I got a free iPad just by clicking this link”, but I am sure some have. What I do know is that I personally have been encouraged along the way to buying something by companies that have struck up a conversation with me over twitter, not just told me they want to sell me something.

I while back I was interested in TiVo from Virgin Media. As is so often the case, I asked people about it on twitter. Within ten minutes Virgin Media was asking if they could help. After a small conversation and an offer of a great deal, I bought not just TiVo, but also their SuperHub.

All it took was them talking to me. What is even better is that the support didn’t end there. Anytime there is an issue, I can message them on twitter and they will investigate or give advice.

Ewan MacLeodof Mobile Industry Review gave another great example of where a conversation is much more effective than a pure sales approach. He got a call from Vodafone offering him an iPad deal with his contract. After a good chat with them, he was sold! All because they talked to him, rather than just using a straight sales line.

If you want to use communication tools to market or sell, be prepared to talk to your target audience.

My three rules of social media.
Engage, engage, engage!

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