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The art of selling
on social is subtlety

Posted 15.02.19

The art of the sale on social is about subtle micro-persuasions; building up a dialogue between a brand and their audience.

The best ads don’t always need to stand out. Think subtlety, be chill and don’t always broadcast your sell.

Everyone on social is selling something. Brands, insta-celebrities, influencers, real celebrities, agencies, people – we’re all selling a story. More and more people are concerned with their brand on social. In a relatively short time (most) humans have adapted to a social landscape where everyone is curating their story. We formulate a narrative about how great our lives are; how stunning that view is; how delicious that meal was (it did LOOK delicious to be fair) and we SELL people on this idea of ourselves.

Agencies and social marketers get best results when they are able to tell their brand story in the same way that a (decent) human would offline. By creating a back-and-forth, generating interactions and responding to users.

Given the above, it’s weird that a lot of advertisers on social seem to be unable to grasp that this human-led approach to social ads is the best way to get results. Users on social are by default in browsing mode and it takes time and effort to transition them into buying mode. In the same way you wouldn’t hang out with someone who is constantly broadcasting about their life in your face, online people are put off by the hard sell. A lot of the ads I get served on social are the equivalent of someone sidling up to me on the street unsolicited, opening their gross overcoat and showing me a selection of knock-off watches that are available at VERY reasonable prices.

The art of the sale on social is about subtle micro-persuasions; building up a dialogue between a brand and their audience. First you need to raise awareness, identify those users who don’t know you and educate them. Once people know who you are they will be more likely to interact with you. This second phase is about fostering deeper engagements and building buyer trust. Subtly shifting users from simply being aware of you to considering whether or not they want to buy from you. Once people know who you are and you are able to identify users who have shown real interest in your brand then you can convert them from consideration to consumption.

Interaction. Traction. Transaction. If only the guy with the dodgy watches was just a bit more subtle about it…

Jamie Maple, Strategy Director – Wilderness Agency