Social Media and Selling


On Monday the 26th, Ulster Bank in co-operation with County Tipperary Chamber of Commerce are organising a panel discussion around social media and selling. You can register your place here. Compliment of Business-Achievers and Ulster Bank.

The session will be moderated by one of our own. You can download his book with the same title here

Charlatan or Guru

It was Drucker that said that he uses the word guru because he would not know how to spell charlatan. Or Freek Vermeulen’s Business Exposed. Most management theories we believe in are wrong.

Conversation Prism

I think the same is going on with social media. Anyone claiming to be an expert is wrong. You only need to follow the evolution of the conversation prism, to understand the complexity of social media and the speed in which it develops.


Which is why you need to read The Second Machine Age to understand the exponential effect that is yet again rearing its ugly head. The speed in which social media is developing is mind boggling. Think Artificial Intelligence, think big data, think speech bots, think neuro-marketing


That does not mean that there are still sound principles at work. Starting with the principle that the purpose of social media is selling. Selling has become a bit of a lost art and has been having some image problems. If you want to reconnect with the nobility of sales, the book to read is Life is a Pitch. If you want to know more about the dark side of selling, The Science of Selling is for you. Applying neuroscience to selling. It is quite amazing how easy we can be manipulated. Which is why I always suggest The Code of the Extraordinary Mind as the antidote.

Networks and Platforms

There is quite a lot to social media as it touches on so many other aspects of business. There is the network and platform element. Peter Hinssen in The Network Always Wins suggests that if your market is a network, your business should be organised as a network. Everything else is too slow. Very close to a classic title on this topic, which is The Connected Company. It asks a basic question; are you designed for customer delight?

Customer Delight

Customer delight is important in a world that is basically word of mouth on steroids. One of the first was Guy Vaynerchuk with The Thank You Economy and Peter Hsich with Delivering Happiness. Are you focussing on word of mouth?

Culture is the New Marketing

Which brings you to culture and the book to read is Marketing 3.0. HRM as the new marketing. If your staff does not love you and your product, you are on a hiding to nothing. What is the net promoter score amongst your staff for your product or service? Anything under 10 is a problem.


The choice of your channels is important. It is not even about network anymore. It is about picking the right platform. Because it is not the network that is winning. The platforms are winning. It has gone beyond Platform Revolution to Machine, Platform, Crowd and not many choices are left. Winners are taking it all.


Which why it is no harm reading Filter Bubble on how easily we can be manipulated. You literally become what you click. Or if you want to go darker read Future Crimes. Cyber and data security are hot topics. And consumers will increasingly realise how easily manipulated they are. Creating new filters. One of them will be mindfulness. Until they hack your brain. The Future of the Mind, will give you an interesting perspective on what is happening, or has already happened.

The Attention Economy

It is time to switch it off and create some stillness. As asked for in The End of Absence. If you are over 40 you will understand. Because our attention span has been shot to hell. Attention is the new black. The attention economy is worth 467 billion. As Paid Attention and Attention Merchants will tell you, it is a different world out there. As a marketer, you need to understand neuroscience, content, emotion, branding and channel and gaming.


That is why I always include Reality is Broken when I talk about social media. If you are a gamer, you will understand. Nothing is as engaging as a good video game. And soon that type of engagement is expected everywhere. Design becomes more and more important. How immersive is your product, your website, your communication? You have less than 8 seconds to capture the imagination.

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is my social media guru. He is one of the thinkers behind the conversation prism. You should read all his books, but his latest book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design not only touches on social media but also on design. Using customer experience to create the Ultimate Moment of Truth; will you recommend the product and become part of word of mouth on steroids?

Reputation is Everything

Because reputation (which is the sum of word of mouth) is the new branding. It has economic value. Hence Reputation Economics. And marketers understand that. However, I am not sure if the old rules still apply. The Old Rules of Marketing are Dead. What is your current reputation? And I think that goes beyond NPS and needs to measure heart share. How much are you loved? Focus on Lovability.

The Lindy Effect

Are the old rules of marketing dead? Word of mouth has been around forever. I am increasingly taken by Nasim Taleb’s Lindy effect as described in Antifragile. If something has been around for a while, it will probably stay around for a little longer. Hence The Power of Branding. A marketing classic. It hits all the spots. Including yet again, culture. The big lesson is that branding is worth the investment.

Science and Marketing

How Brand Grows is another example. Bringing science to marketing. A myth buster like Business Exposed. And you have to admit. There is very little science to social media. Another science approach to marketing is The Seven Laws of Guaranteed Growth. Marketing with a guaranteed ROI, if you apply the metrics. Completely focussed on the end result. Branding, image and traffic should all lead to sales. Combine that with artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, and you will create some amazing effects, Marketeers as data scientists.

Blood on the Wall Marketing

If you like the hard-nosed sales side, there are two books you will like. Sell or be Sold and Do It! Marketing. Blood on the wall marketing. Kill or be killed. Closing. There is no bread on the table without it. As Aligning Strategy and Sales will tell you, most strategies fail because of the disconnect with sales and the people selling for the company. Which is amazing when you think about it. I suspect the same lesson applies to social media. You need to understand the link between social media and selling.

Be Different

In all of this, there is one universal lesson. You need to stand out. Different is the book to read and will become a marketing classic. If it is not already. Or Difference, which is from the emotional point of difference and storytelling.


Because in a world where everyone is suffering from ADD, attention is at a premium and where there are too many communication channels to choose from, the only thing that will get an impact on social media and sales is a good story.

The Lindy effect again. Good stories have never gone away. They now become more important. What stories are you telling? Start there.






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