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Boost Social Media ROI by Making the Right Offers

Social Media ROI“Buy my product now!”

This is perhaps the most commonly seen offer on most marketing channels. Whether you’re looking at AdWords, infomercials or neighborhood Girl’s Scouts, they’re all trying to do one thing: get you to buy.

Yet social media is different. The “buy my product” offer is highly ineffective on social media. Not only is it hard to make sales; you actually damage your relationship with your audience.

So, what is the right offer? How do you turn social media users into buyers, without appearing too salesy? Here’s how.

Begin by Focusing on Engagement

The first thing you should ask for is the engagement. In other words, ask for likes, comments, shares or retweets. Most of your engagement requests should be for conversations. In other words, ask people to comment or @reply. This helps build the relationship and connection.

Asking for a comment isn’t perceived as being salesy or pushy. Asking for a share or a retweet is, although it’s still much more acceptable than asking directly for a sale.

Move Them to Another Medium

Instead of doing your selling on your Facebook page or your Twitter feed, use social media to move people to a different medium. For example, send people to a content page that has an email capture popover. Once you have them on your email list, you can use your email list to make the actual sale.

Doing this does two things. First, it preserves your connection and reputation on social media. Just as important, other mediums are just plain better for actually selling products. You’ll make a lot more money selling through your email list than selling through social media.

Social media can drive an enormous amount of leads. You can then convert those leads into sales later down the line.

Make Your Sales Process Valuable

Whenever you link to a sales piece from social media, try to make it inherently valuable. For example, if you’re linking to a video salesletter, make sure the video salesletter has content in it. Link to infographics that “pre-sell” them on the main concept of the product. Send people to webinars where they get 40 minutes of content before they’re pitched a product.

If you make your sales process valuable, you train people to keep clicking on your links. If your sales process is just pitch after pitch after pitch without providing value, people will very quickly stop clicking. If readers get a lot of value after clicking a link, even if they’re pitched something at the end, they’ll still keep clicking because they know you always link to valuable content.

Learn to sell social media users the way they want to be sold. Build engagement first, then use other mediums for the harder pitches. Always make your sales funnel valuable to keep people clicking.


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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. While I don’t think that social media sites are the place to sale things I also don’t believe blogs are that place either. I know, we all need to sale stuff some where; but really do we?

    Can’t we just inform people of what we want to talk about and let them sale themselves? How many blogs are out there that are filled with banner ads and such that just want to make you scream? I guess people figure that if they shove enough junk in front of you it will be mandatory for you to buy something.

    Why not offer instead a professional displayed resource library that doesn’t even need to look like an ad? That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m receiving Alexa reviews of how awesome my resource library is as a result. I’m not going to be the one to tell them those are my ads any time soon.

    Happy visitors make for very nice purchasers when you treat them the way they want to be treated.


  2. Along with what you specified, I find social media very effective in influencing what conditions a buyer is judges a product by.

    Example of this:

    Tow people are about to buy a can of soup:

    One is a health freak and reads every ingredient makes his judgment because one of the soup, he judges as healthier

    The other person is money conscience he picks up the soup that is the best value money wise.

    With social media I can talk to the consumers and change the way they will make their decisions on which can of soup to buy.

    After all for only a few cents more you can get the can of soup that all of the ingredients have no pesticides. They only used all-natural ingredients. Studies have shown that people eating the less expensive soup miss more days of work because of health. catching colds easier, have less energy during the day etc. etc.

    You could also easily turn this around and get the healthy conscious person to buy a less expensive soup.

    I am not asking them to buy my product, I am influencing the way they make a decision on what to buy.

    This position me as more of an authority without selling anything.

  3. Fantastic article. Hits so many good points. The “buy my stuff” type of advertising never works and just annoys people. Sean – you’ve set out some really good points here!

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