In short, sparingly.
Before we expand on that, let’s think about social media, and what social media users are doing when they are reviewing their news feed posts. They aren’t shopping for products and services; they are simply catching up with friends and family!
Certainly, the reason they have made a decision to connect with your brand is because they understand there will be some sort of special offer that you will make available to followers only. Take a deep breath before you act on the instinct to tell everyone how wonderful you, your products, and your services are. Remember that you are in this special friends and family zone on social media.
If you start ‘spamming’ your audience, or bragging about how wonderful you are, they are likely to tune out or (worse) hit ‘unsubscribe’.
Don’t believe me? If you are an social media user, you likely have a friend or relative who is all-too-eager to put out their daily promotion or pitch. They’re trying to sell you their Amway, Mary Kay, or other product.
Annoying, isn’t it?
Does that example not apply to you? Try this one:
Have you ever had an annoying friend or family member who calls you ONLY when they need something from you? So much so you hit ‘decline’ when you see their name pop up on caller ID? What we are saying is that you do NOT want to be ‘that friend’.
But let’s get real. You have a business to grow, and you have (hopefully) entrusted Total Social Solutions to grow your brand through social media. You have to get some promotional messaging out there, but how much is too much?
Last year, we wrote this article on the ‘Social 80/20’, which guides you to put out at least 4 no-strings-attached non-promotional messages for every promotional message. This is simple enough to follow. Often, we are asked, “Why don’t I subtly discuss the products of services that I offer within my non-promotional posts?”
Good question, and it can be done. You should understand that this move comes with some significant risks. Your customers are smart people, they’ll see through veiled advertising when they see it.
Let’s say you are an expert laser skin care center, and want to put out non-promotional messaging about lasers in general. Perhaps you have a new spa that carries a line of products containing botanical ingredients. You can put out good education on the benefits of these procedures in a manner that your audience will not view as promotional or self-serving. However, it must be done in a manner that appeals to the higher-order benefit that people are seeking by getting laser procedures or buying a skin care product’ they want to feel better about themselves!
What does this look like? It means:
- Not using brand names of devices or products
- Not tying it to any promotion you are running
- Directly fixing the theme of the post to overall health and wellness
This is just one example, but if you have a question about your specific program, contact your TSS Account Coordinator. We are here to help!