It can be a challenge for businesses to come up with fresh content to post on their social media channels on a regular basis. That’s often why they hire a social media expert or contract a marketing company to did it for them. It’s difficult because it requires a unique style of marketing. That is, marketing that doesn’t look like marketing.
So before you begin using social media to promote and grow your business, you have to first understand the two biggest rules of social media as applied to businesses.
Rule #1: LIMIT YOUR ADVERTISING
Using your social profiles as nonstop sales machines just isn’t going to work. It’s hard to remember, but there was a time when you could scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing a single ad. This is partially why people gravitated to social media in the first place. It allowed them to connect with others and share their thoughts in an unmitigated fashion. It felt separate from the real world and was a freeing outlet for many people.
Of course, ads are now a regular part of the platform and social media as a whole has become much more integrated into our daily lives. But that doesn’t mean people are happy about it. As a business, you’re of course going to want to run promotions and advertise your company on a platform with a combined user base of approximately 2.51 billion and a low average cost per click (27.29 cents in the US). But it’s how you advertise on social media that’s key. Again, “marketing that doesn’t look like marketing.”
Part of doing this is limiting the number of ads you put out. If users only see you post ads, they’re not going to follow or subscribe to your profiles, and they’ll eventually filter you out of their minds. So among your ads, you have to post things that your customers will value or find interesting, which brings us to our next rule.
Rule #2: POST WHAT INTERESTS PEOPLE, NOT YOU
In the early days of Barta Media Group, we learned a valuable lesson about social media marketing by trying out different kinds of posts. One failed post was this question: “What is the worst marketing disaster you have ever had?” We waited patiently for the comments to flood in, but they never did. The next day we posted another question: “Coke or Pepsi?” Within minutes, the comments started piling up.
Keep in mind, we’re not a sales rep for either Coke or Pepsi, and we weren’t trying to get responses as part of a market research project. It was just an experiment. But what we learned was that people were more interested in sharing their thoughts on their favorite brand of soda than their marketing mishaps.
The point is, we naturally want to talk about the things we care about or are of relevance to us. But we can’t expect people to feel the same way, and we can’t make them either. As marketers, we have to play to our audience. So before you make any post, think about whether your customers will care.
Figuring out what they care about will likely require some trial and error, but it should be mostly common sense. You know who your customers are – at least you should – so post things that they’d want to see. Then sprinkle some ads in here and there to promote a sale or new service you’re offering.
What’s Social Media Good For?
Your goal with social media in regards to your business should be to build a relationship with your customers. It allows them to have a direct line of communication to you, and you to them. So talk to them in the way they want to be talked to. They’ll appreciate the effort and hopefully reward you by taking you up on your next offer, leaving a positive review, or giving a great referral.