A doge is an elected chief of state lordship, the ruler of the Republic in many of the Italian city states during the medieval and renaissance periods, in the Italian "crowned republics".
The word is from a Venetian word that descends from the Latin dux (as do the English duke and the standard Italian duce and duca), meaning "leader", especially in a military context. The wife of a doge is styled a dogaressa. 
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:
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!
Being successful anywhere is about knowing your audience. You usually can’t walk into a five-star steakhouse in sandals and your bikini top, and you usually don’t show up to a nice conference in overalls and a baseball cap. For the same reasons, you can’t expect to be successful on social media if you don’t make an effort to put out messages that fit into the environment.
Let’s do a test – go look at your Facebook feed right now. What do you see? Here’s what’s on mine:
So, let’s apply the lesson above about ‘fitting in’ to make sure you’re not wearing your swimsuit to a formal party, you’ll want to put messages on your network that fit into this social messaging mix. When we lecture we often talk about the Social Media 80/20. We advise that you put at least 80% non-promotional posts onto your network, and then you can use 20% of your posts to advertise your business, if you like.
What are these nonpromotional posts? Here are a few:
Do you have another trick that works for you? We’d love to hear about it.
…or, contact us to learn more about how we can help your campaign.
You see their name on your caller ID and cringe…’what will they want this time?’ you ask yourself. Perhaps you ignore them. Eventually, you block their number or decide to take them off your contact list.
You may have inadvertently become that annoying friend. That’s what your brand may be doing inadvertently if you are asking too much, and too often of your clients.
The way to avoid that is simple, and it’s by employing the same rules of the road that we use for our clients at TSS. We call it the 80/20 rule of Social Marketing; or, the ‘Social 80/20’.To illustrate, let’s get back to the analogy of your needy and annoying ex-friend. Think about how they could have avoided becoming the annoying pest….
They could have avoided this by simply talking to you during those in-between times when they didn’t need anything, but when it would be nice to acknowledge that they knew that you were there. And perhaps talk about something that was important to you!
The Social 80/20 dictates that you ‘give’ something in 80 percent of your social media posts…a useful piece of information such as a tip, recipe, or cool piece of information related to your business that you found on the web. You ‘ask’ only 20 percent of the time.
When you ’give’, these posts should point to an external resource, such as your blog (preferred), or a reputable news page. Doing this not only creates a situation where people are looking forward to your interesting posts, but these posts establish you as a thought leader in your field.
The 80/20 rule allows you to establish yourself as a trusted friend in the eyes of your followers, and ensures that you aren’t taken off of their contact list!