Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

Why Are My Friends Trying to Sell Me Stuff?

May 3, 2010

This article was inspired by a Jeremiah Owyang blog post called Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s and Facebook Prompt Your Friends to Improve Your Buying Experience: found here

Social media sales are taking flight. You’d be surprised by the amount of product promotion and sales that is done by regular people. Think about it. How many iPad Facebook group members have praised the product without personal gain? I’m sure your friends write about how much they like new purchases on Twitter. Word of mouth has truly become a global epidemic.

I am okay with this peer-to-peer sales movement. I mean, it sure beats the persistent used-car salesman technique. However, the actively engaged and outright crazed fan network that Steve Jobs’ Mac has been able to create flummoxes me. If you’ve ever read the book Tribes by Seth Godin, which is all about creating a tribal following online, then you’ll have a newfound respect for the tribe that Mac has created. I am always impressed when I overhear intense arguments among Mac and PC users. PC users passively mention that their computer seems to be working fine, and that they don’t see what’s so special about Macs. That’s when the Mac user will explode in a fit of rage to force the concept of Mac superiority on the shocked PC user. But that’s not it, they will blog about it, talk about it on one of the many Mac chat rooms, write about their argument on Facebook, and then tweet and re-tweet it. This type of follower is called a true follower, and you only need a thousand true followers to make millions.

People are spending their time marketing products free of charge. It all makes sense. People usually buy things that their friends have bought. If someone is praising a product with no obvious personal gain, then the product must be worth it, right? Ford is sending traffic to their Facebook page instead of Ford.com. Why do you think this is?

This referral-based sales technique is not new by any standards. What is new is the size and speed of these pro bono promoter tribes. Products are going as viral as bell-bottom pants overnight, and I here feeling like a straight-legged PC outcast.

If you’re still sceptical, here’s proof: Levi’s Social Sales Video