Sell, sell, sell!
The more you promote your content, the more people will buy.
That’s the conventional wisdom. It’s why sales professions cold call. The more people you call and speak to on a daily basis, the more sales you make. Or the more direct mail campaigns you send out, the more responses you’ll get in return.
The more you promote, the more sales you close. Period.
Except when it comes to social media, the opposite is true. The more you do it, the less it works. And yet, the less it works, the more you do it. It’s a total catch 22.
Here’s the thing, just because I followed you on Twitter or friended you on Facebook, doesn’t mean I’m interested in hearing your sales pitch. That’s not considered an “opt-in” (in my opinion).
The louder you try to be, the less you’re actually heard. Pitching me isn’t winning me over. Incessantly promoting your content, isn’t moving me closer to a sale.
Subscribing to your newsletter on the other hand, is completely fair game. By opting in to your newsletter, I’ve effectively given you permission to market to me.
Here’s some advice on treading the social landscape successfully:
- Talk less, do more. That means focus on creating exceptional content that delivers value. People share that sort of content. And, it’s establishes you as the subject matter expert.
- It’s ok to promote your own work, but always in moderation. Do it too much, or too often, and people will flag you as a “spammer.”
- Listen and find opportunities to be helpful. Folks like @comcastcares and @zappos have nailed it in this regard. They listen and find opportunities to respond and be helpful to customers and potential customers alike who are experiencing issues with their service. Ultimately, this leads to increased word-of-mouth, more sales and better client retention.
- Seek to be helpful, first. That’s the art of the soft-sell. You earn a reputation for being helpful. People value that. It establishes trust. It makes you referable. “You should talk to [your name], he/she is very helpful.”
- Don’t cross-post the same content in multiple places at the same time. That’s lazy. And useless. Instead, find ways to recycle your content so you’re delivering something fresh in different places. @Corcoran_Group has nailed this. Look at some of the content they post on their Facebook Page and Google Plus for example. It’s always different. And yet, it originates from the same photo archive that they have stored on Flickr and that they’ve posted via their Foursquare tips and check-ins. In other words, it’s content they’ve used before, but it’s recycled so that it appears fresh to audiences on different platforms.
- Show up. Day in and day out. When you start to produce exceptional content, it becomes expected that you’ll continue to do it. You can’t write 6 blog posts one month, then not show up the next two. You’ll lose your audience that way. To put it more simply, consistency matters.
What about you? What are you doing to earn a reputation of being helpful? Someone people want to do business with?