I recently came across this article in Wired, called “Email is Crushing Twitter, Facebook for Selling Stuff Online.” My initial observations are, a) of course and b) so what?
The point isn’t to neglect sales and say they aren’t important. In many ways, sales are of the utmost importance because they keep a business running. However, to rule off thriving networks with a ton of people as “bad at generating sales” is at best negligent and at worst, ignorant.
Yes, we should all care about bringing in revenue. In no way, am I suggesting we forget that critical component of digital marketing.
However, building trust and value lead to sales. Selling something (yourself, a product or service, someone else, etc…) should never be the primary focus when using “social media.” Social Media, by the way, is a term that’s both vague and wildly misused. Every channel you operate has its’ own intricacies and audience, to casually lump all these networks together under the title of “social media” leads to confusion and a general misunderstanding of how to use these tools.
If the only thing you care about are sales at every point in the customer/user acquisition process you’re doing it wrong.
As +John Dietrich on Google+ astutely points out:
“Social isn’t for selling! There is a great deal of value for business on social such as branding, content sharing, authority building and much more.It’s important to have realistic goals with social, and a good understanding of how to measure success!”