John Lawson: 21 Kick-Ass Social Commerce Tactics to Sell More Today

In this Inbound Speaks interview, I chat with John Lawson about his INBOUND 2020 session, 21 Kick-Ass Social Commerce Tactics to Sell More Today. He shares a couple tips, myths, and hurdles for us to learn from. He also shares who should attend his INBOUND 2020 session and why. And finally, he shares the hashtag of all hashtags for us to pay attention to!

See his session details

21 Kick-Ass Social Commerce Tactics to Sell More Today

Forget what the self-proclaimed "gurus" say, business is not about likes, hearts, friends, and followers it's about SALES! If you want to be successful with social you need to sell more. Learn from one of the most respected and listened-to voices in online commerce on how to make more sales with social media.


About the Expert

John Lawson

John Lawson is a 3-time Amazon #1 best-selling author, entrepreneur and international speaker. John is also the Chief Marketer at ColderICE Media, an IBM Cognitive College adjunct professor and is celebrated as one of the Top 100 SMB Influencers and The 50 Most Influential in SMB Marketing. John has spoken to over 200,000 people worldwide on eCommerce and social media marketing.
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Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:00
All right, inbound attendees, it's your boy George V. Thomas. We're back with another episode of inbound speaks where we talk to inbound speakers about the speedy topics at inbound anyway, Did I get that right? I think so. You know me, I'm super excited. I'm ready to rock and roll because well, we've got some kick butt or maybe another term, huh? Well think about it, some tips and tricks and hacks that we're going to talk to you. But before we dive into the deep end of the pool, let's go ahead and run that bumper and get into the good stuff. All right, I'm here with john Lawson. JOHN, why don't we start at the very beginning, maybe with your birth? No, I'm just kidding. Not your birth, but let the inbound attendees know a little bit about you. And really what makes you tick.

John Lawson 0:42
Yeah, I mean, I am an e commerce, you know, guy, I started my own business back in, you know, 2001 on eBay and been doing e commerce for like 20 years with the last 10 years. I got into social commerce, which I believe is Personally, that eBay was the first social commerce platform all at all. And as such, I started teaching and training around social commerce. So that's me. I

George Thomas 1:13
love it. So when you think of your session, and you think of all the like, I don't know, the whole world this year could attend in bound because it's a virtual experience, right? A digital experience, when you think about your session, who should be in the room? And why should they be in the room?

John Lawson 1:32
Honestly, I think everyone that has a desire to get some commerce out of their social, it's a whole you know, thing if you're doing social just for lights or so that they'll follow you and so you'll feel good about your personal thing. But if you want to feel good about your wallet, and your social turns into conversions, then that is the person that needs to be whether you're a big or small commerce, you are the person that needs to be in this session.

George Thomas 2:04
Alright, so I want to go a little sideways because listening to you another question popped into my head. And so this may be a lengthier inbound speaks, we'll see how this turns out. But I love it. When you think about what most businesses are doing, or when I think about what most businesses are doing, it's like, Hey, we're gonna share our content so that we can bring them back to the site. And then we can like, nurture them and educate them and add value. And these are all words that I've said historically, but you're kind of driving into like, if you want your social to drive revenue, if your want if you want your wallet to get fatter, because of what you're doing on social. So I really want you to dive into when you say the term social commerce, just so the people who are thinking about attending the session, when you say that term, like what fundamentally Do you mean would be different between what businesses are doing now and what businesses could be doing social commerce.

John Lawson 2:58
So let's break that down. You Got social media, social marketing, social commerce, and even social engagement. Right? If I remove the one thing that is the same in those, I remove social, that leaves me with media, commerce engagement. I don't remember what the other thing was that I said, right? But look at that. None of those are the same. So all of a sudden, we've got this society where if I say social media, that means the same as social commerce. But if I say media, you immediately think about Fox News, CNN, all of that. If I say commerce, you start thinking about Amazon, eBay, you know, Macy's, they're not the same, but just because we throw the word social in front of it. All of a sudden we get all that jumble. So look, guys, what I'm talking about. It's not about likes, it's about sale. I don't care if you like me. I want you to buy something. So my intention is commerce, not just social. For the game of social,

George Thomas 4:01
I love that so much. And I'm glad I asked that question. So now let's talk about how your session is actually 21 kick ass social commerce tactics to sell more today. Listen, if you're a company that wants to sell more, and you're on social, this might be something to really lean into. Now, here's the thing, john, we don't want to give away the whole farm here. So maybe what's one or two of those tips that you think businesses could easily lean into between now and your session at inbound 2020 to kind of get the engine started and get going with this.

John Lawson 4:35
Let's do the exercise that a lot of people have done or think about, it's like, who is my consumer? Right? Who is that avatar? I like to call them the king consumer. Why? Because the consumer is king. You know, if they don't, if they're not happy, we're not making money. So we want to think about who that consumer is. We want to create an avatar for that consumer and once we understand that, Who our customer is, then our content needs to attract that customer, right? Which is pretty standard. But where I come from and tell you also is it needs to repel the people that are not your customers. So it's got to be both things. It's got to be very specific to attract the customer, but also repel the people that are not your customer. That way those King consumers, consumers know that this is for me, when somebody comes and says, Hey, I sell to everybody. You're literally saying you sell to nobody. And a lot of our content kind of reflects that. nobody's really interested because you're not talking directly to a consumer. So that's one thing you want to think about. The other thing like you were saying is creating content that is helpful. You have to do that. But you want to do that with the idea of reciprocity. If I give you something, because I understand that human nature means if I put something on the scale, just in general, most people want to balance that scale out. And that's called reciprocity. So we'll go through reciprocity, how that works, and how that gets people from just a, you know, somebody looking at your content, looking at your stuff to actual purchasing and buying so much

George Thomas 6:28
good stuff there. The idea of like understanding of being polarizing in a positive way, meaning not everybody is a good fit for your business. That is something that so many companies aren't paying attention to that I'm glad you brought up. And this idea of reciprocity. It's a long game. It's a long game, but it's a super powerful game. It's something that you definitely both of those tips are great. I can't wait for the other 19 or 18 or however many more tips that are going to be during the session. I do want to dive into this thing because humans we can be very interesting sometimes. And I feel like you started to unpack this like social, social, social, social, like media, e commerce. Are there any myths that you feel that you should debunk right now when it comes to social commerce, that will help unlock somebody's mind to be like, Oh, well, this is the way I thought of it. But you know what, now that john mentions this or that, I should probably attend this session.

John Lawson 7:28
You know, social is the future of commerce, there has never been a society that started trading goods, one with another that didn't start with their social game. I mean, if you go to any third world country, if you go into the center of the city, there are people that are doing commerce and trading goods, because that is part of society. So as social grows, more and more people will buy more and more and even today De 80% of all purchases are being influenced by social, you've got to stop taking it for granted that this is something that's not to be serious. It's not just and also, it is now and and

George Thomas 8:16
john, with that said, because it's imperative that people do this. What's the number one hurdle that you seen companies kind of face as they try to transition into this social commerce as well as social media, mindset,

John Lawson 8:32
personal, I think they have a problem with the thought of making things personal. We've come from such a old school business mentality that we want to separate the personal from the business, but now today, we're going back to personality in our business. People want to support businesses that support their community. And it's really important now especially with this millennial and digital Generation if they are your consumers, then you want to make sure that you are getting that conversation going. And it's a personal conversation. It's personality at scale. That's what social media allows you to do.

George Thomas 9:14
It's all about being you all about being human. How about transparent or authentic? You can throw that in there too. Like Like I am totally down with that I'm an advocate of being a happy helpful humble human. And that you know, like for me that is the core of sprocket talk calm that's the core of myself. There is no difference because we are really leaning into this. It's it's it has to be a personality a person as far as the brand and especially in social commerce. Totally. I'll give you an Amen on what you're preaching brother. So here's the thing.

John Lawson 9:49
Here's one thing I will tell you. There's a reason why the highest paid person in commercial television is a character named flow. Right, we all know Flo, and she does the insurance commercial. She's not a real person. But you feel like that is a person that is a personality of a large corporation. So it doesn't have to be you personally, when we're talking about making it personal. So just think on that level two.

George Thomas 10:21
I love that little addition. So john, people, they get done attending your session, historically, you would get an audience that would stand up, they give you a rave round of applause. This year, we're probably hitting applause buttons that we're buying from Amazon. But at still, at the end of the day, as a speaker, we know that we want to have them take this big idea or like a one thing that we want them to run with for you around social commerce and businesses in this transition. What's the one thing that you hope that they grab ahold of and run with as they move forward?

John Lawson 10:55
Okay, here's your hashtag, guys. It's big mama. If you get eaten thing from my talk. It's about not being big brother. But being big mama. They're actually the same people. But the way they come off is totally different. Big brother wants to know everything you're doing, and so does Big Mama. But Big Mama wants to know because she loves you. So she wants to know what you're into where you're going, who you're hanging out with. Not in a bad way, but because she cares for you. And that's what we have to do with social with the tools we have today.

George Thomas 11:31
Hashtag Big Mama and I gotta be honest with you, as we close out this episode, when I think of what you just said about hashtag Big Mama. I think of love. I think of empathy. I think of caring which by the way, those three things are how you become human and how you can do a person or personality to your business. While you're unpacking all of that and using the hashtag big momma on the socials will be here waiting for you in the next episode.