Content Marketing has been around a long time, but only using this buzz phrase for a short time. Article marketing, blogging and sharing and other methods were used way before that phrase was the new buzzword.
Social Media. if you think about it, covers what we did in forums, BBC, IRC and other places way before that buzz phrase existed. We shared thoughts, ideas, content, links, images and video and yes, made friends and had followers.
The new hot buzz phrase is Social Media Selling and it's no different. There are suddenly a lot of experts. Many Social Media Marketing experts are now Social Media Selling experts.
But, let's borrow a couple of definitions and examine it a bit further.
- Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizessocial networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach. Source
- Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.Source
- If we broke it down to the basics, marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. Source
Sales and Marketing are two different departments in most companies for a reason. I don't think social media marketers should feel pressured to also be social media sales experts.
Most good social media marketers understand their audience and they know how to attract attention and get more click-thrus that do lead to sales. But this is defined as pre-selling.
Conversion Optimization and closing sales once the marketing is done requires a strong sales background.
The reason I bring this up and make this post is so that people understand they don't have to be everything to everyone. Marketers and Salespeople have to work together to achieve success. Both are necessary. But, they really are two different skillsets.
Chris McElroy manages TrafficAndLeadGenerator.com.