I’m not a marketer. That’s why I needed a social media marketing tip or two (or ten) as I learned to navigate cyberspace with my online biz. Since social media is free and accessible to everyone, I knew I could reach plenty of readers in my niche with just a little bit of intentionality.
But I don’t want to “sell.” And while my hat is off to the plethora of wonderful salespeople out there – both online and off – my skin crawls with the idea of trying to convince people to buy stuff.
If you feel the same way, I’ve got good news for you. A recent study reported that the top reason people go on social media is to stay in touch with family and friends. Other motivators are to fill spare time … read the news … find content … watch trends … discover inspiration. Do you log onto social media to read ads? Me, neither. Finding products to purchase is way down on users’ priority list.
Bottom line: people don’t go on social media with the goal of being “sold” or even with the goal of getting product recommendations. They use social media to connect with other people.
That’s a relief for sales-a-phobes like me. I love providing useful content and news and ideas for people. Information sharing is an ideal reason for you to post about your biz on social media.
But do a quick scan on any of your social media feeds and you’ll see a disproportionate number of sales pitches when compared with useful information and comments. The ratio of helpful content versus promotional content is skewed.
Here’s where a solopreneur or small biz can benefit by using a few smarts … and a nifty little social media marketing tip.
“80% of social media posts should be useful to your audience — meaning, content that educates, entertains, or offers a solution to their problems,” according to marketing experts at BrandMuscle. “And only 20% should explicitly promote your business.”
That’s a clever twist on the celebrated 80 20 Rule, also known as The Pareto Principle (in a nod to its 19th century originator, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto). The rule explains 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts. For instance, 80% of crimes are committed by 20% of all criminals … 80% of a town’s traffic jams 20% of its roads … 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers.
Tweak the Pareto Principle and you’ll get the 80 20 Rule for social media: 80% of your posts should offer valuable information to your readers. The remaining 20% can be promotion.
Think what can happen when you put this helpful little social media marketing tip into practice.
Let’s say you post 10 times a day. Eight of those posts are tips or how-tos or facts or bits of information that are especially timely or useful for readers in your niche. Just two posts present offers – and each offer is sweetened by a morsel of information, too. Plus, you link all ten posts to your website so users can read more if they choose.
This approach positions you as an information provider, not a salesperson. Readers see you for what you are: a source of valuable content. You win readers’ hearts and simplify for social media strategy. And when it comes time for a reader to purchase a product or service in your niche, who do they trust and who do they turn to? You.
By putting the 80 20 Rule of posting into practice, I’ve discovered an unexpected plus. I don’t have to create “salesy” posts or tweets or pins. Instead, I focus on creating social media content that is useful to my target readers.
That’s why the best social media marketing tip is this: post useful content. Make sure that at least four out of five of your posts – 80% – provide value to your reader.
Your generosity will return to you. You get by what you give. In the end, information sharing is the best way to sell.
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