How to Really Sell Social Media

Ok, some of us had a good laugh on my previous humor post on selling social media. But when it comes down to it, this is no laughing matter. People want to know.

Prior to our 2nd meeting of the Social Media Club – Louisville chapter, folks wanted the topic of conversation to be about selling social media. I was one of the speakers of the night – my subject being on selling social media to clients.
(You can check out the rest of the updates on the SMC Louisville Blog, or Smorty71).

If you made it out, thanks for being a part of SMC Louisville! We are growing at a nice clip and look forward to making our little area of the world something to be reckoned with.

If you didn’t make it, here’s a brief outline on the presentation:

    What is Social Media? – going through the basics of what this field is, and why it is important.

      Who to Sell to – in short, just about any company can benefit from social media.

        How to Sell it – you’re going to need to pitch to the folks that make the decisions and are probably not as heavily invested into social media as you are. Therefore they may question its value, keep terms flexible and consider a trial run. Show them that people are already talking about their company/brand as well as their competition, too. Social media is about conversation and putting one’s unique voice out there.

          Expectations (from both sides) – any good consultant can tell you about the 50/50 partnership you should strive for up front with your client. Knowing who will do what is the name of the game.

            Social Media Learning Curve – nobody is born with the innate knowledge of how to play in social media.

              Do it Yourself / Not Doing it Hurts – simply not participating in social media could ultimately hurt you, your brand, or worse yet – your clients. Doing social media without learning the ropes could hurt, and ignoring what people are saying about you could turn into a serious PR nightmare.

                Live Demonstration – Had a little fun with the audience with a live demonstration with some delving into people’s StumbleUpon accounts. Found some revealing things about how they were utilizing the accounts which I hope was helpful for all.

                After several requests, I’ve decided to post the presentation: How to Sell Social Media.
                Presentation on selling social media

                Also, for those of you that hate downloading presentations, here’s the presentation on Slideshare:

                Recommended reading:

                How to sell social media to your boss – Ebizz by Chris Salazar
                How do Social Networks applications incorporate the ladder of engagement? – Beth’s Blog
                How to sell the value of social media to your boss – Rohit Bhargava – Influential Marketing Blog
                Web Strategy: How to Measure your Social Media Program – Web Strategy by Jeremiah
                10 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Sucks – Collective Thoughts – Andy Beard
                Selling Social Media – Social Media Optimization


  1. Denver SEO

    Great presentation and good tips and links! Thanks. – Brett

  2. Trisha

    You were right – I do like it. In fact, I’m impressed. The “learning curve” graph and the point about your voice being key really caught my attention.

    Expect two linkbacks to this article in particular, at least, from ComHacker once it is launched. You know both reasons 😉

  3. Jeffrey Appelbaum

    Very informative piece. I’m definitely gonna take a lot of this info to heart.

  4. nick huhn

    Outstanding presentation and discussion afterward, Brian. I look forward to chatting more with you again soon!

  5. brian

    @Brett: thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    @Trisha: yes, those were 2 important types. Good luck on launching the new sigte and drop by when it’s up!

    @Kristen: indeed it is more fun to see a presentation in person vs. just trying to interpret what a presenter would have said along with the slides.

    @Jeffrey: hope it helped you!

    @nick huhn: thanks very much Nick, glad you enjoyed it. Your quotes were classic! Keep in touch, man!

  6. James Clark

    Brian, great post. Love the learning curve graph.

    In our experience with selling social media, it requires time and effort. Like most ad agencies that put together concepts to present to the client so they can show their creativity, we found that actually doing some research and presenting a populated Google Reader for them turns their lights on and moves them from unconsciously ignorant to consciously ignorant – which can be scary for them.

    This is can be done quickly too. Set up a google account for the prospect, set up a Google Reader, begin pulling in feeds on their company and product names, tags in delicious, etc.

    Then do some simple research into the groups areas of big social media sites and show them how many people are participating in the group and how active it is.

    Once they see the conversations, they can’t help but to want to respond.

    So in our experience, selling social media is about showing it to them, giving them something tangible.


    James Clark’s last blog post..How Quickly Times Changes — A Look Back Before the Internet

  7. brian

    @James: thanks, glad you liked it. Some of the conversation at the event was around just what you are saying about RSS. While this is also a good method to help them understand the conversation, consider this: a statistic was thrown out there that only 8% of web users utilize RSS.

    Don’t get me wrong, RSS is great. Still, I think that RSS needs to evolve to capture a greater level of interest. It can quickly turn to information overload and another inbox to clean out if you are lax on it for a few days are are pumped up with feeds from all over.

  8. brian

    @Beth: thanks for stopping in. Would love to talk to you further, please drop me a line when you can.

  9. Social Media

    thanks for these tips – although the article is already two years old i think these advice it still count today.


  1. Putting The "Social" In Social Media Club Louisville | Social Media Club - Louisville - [...] Comments How to Really Sell Social Media on Putting The “Social” In SMC Louisvillenick huhn on A Fantastic Day…
  2. Public Relations Nightmares » Blog Archive » How to Really Sell Social Media - [...] post by brian Share These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover…
  3. selling lemonade: a social media example for marketers - [...] fortune of playing clean-up after outstanding presentations and discussion led by Brian Wallace of NowSourcing and Aaron Marshall of…
  4. Links of the Week Feb 22th, 2008 | .eduGuru - [...] How to Really Sell Social Media - Nice powerpoint presentation put together to help you convince the rest of your institution…
  5. Liberate Media » Blog Archive » Best weekly round up of social media and web 2.0 resources for week ending 29th Feb 2008 - [...] How to Really Sell Social Media. [...]
  6. See You at the American Marketing Association tomorrow - [...] About Social Media (but were afraid to ask).” As done in one of my prior presentations on Selling Social…