Selling in the Social Space

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“Social media is not about making money, it’s about relationships”

Watch out for statements like this…

Social media as it relates to sports teams, organizations or athletes is about marketing. The last time I checked, marketing is about making money – isn’t it? Marketing is not sales (obviously), but it is about awareness, brand, positioning… and there are several tools available to do this in order to drive sales.

There are many who continue to drive home the message that social media is about “relationships” – and yes this is true, but isn’t all marketing? The same for sales; I have trained dozens of sales people on the value of “relationships” as it directly relates to sales. Social media is a marketing tool – its time to demystify exactly what social media is and does from a marketing perspective.

Now, having said all that, there is 1 very important rule to marketing and selling in the social space…

It’s Not Yours

Your fan page is exactly that, it belongs to your fans. It’s a place you build for them. As such, you are best to not go around selling things left and right as it will turn your fans off. The vast majority of the social content online is generated by them. Listen to what they tell you and give them what they want.

With sports brands, its possible to build a fan base of several hundred thousand fans quite quickly – but remember, they can unlike and un-follow you just as fast.

If something is wrong, they will tell everyone about it – and in doing so, will tell you about it as well. You can’t control that – but you do have the opportunity to address it, deal with it/fix it and tell them about what you learned and what you did about the problem. These things happen in real-time, so you need to stay on top of it. Similarly, there are times when its best just to leave things alone.

Remember: Fans first… and success here depends on the triple win for the fan, the team and the sponsor alike.

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