Using organic, non-paid social media (your business pages) to promote your business is a staple of most small, medium, and large businesses’ online marketing plans. If it’s not, it should be. But there are some pitfalls some businesses fall into, and one of those is overusing certain sales-based content for their social media posts. The content always tends to be ‘here’s what’s for sale / here’s our product / here’s what’s on sale / here’s why you should shop here’ kind of posts.
Businesses that use their organic social media in this manner tend to struggle to find or keep followers, and with few followers, they have a very limited number of potential customers in the funnel compared to what they could have. Think about it, how do you feel when you are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages? If you are overmarketing yourself on your organic social, chances are, you’re giving followers an experience with your business that’s underwhelming and not as positive as it should be…and putting off or outright losing followers instead of gaining them. The follower’s perception is it’s all about you when it should be all about them.
So, what builds followers who will view your posts and engage by liking or commenting? Content.
To be successful in gaining followers, keeping them and building engagement on social media platforms, statistically, your organic post topics should be 80% content-based, and 20% sales-based. Followers are following you because they have interest in your brand and/or what you are selling, but also the industry you’re in overall. Take your sales camera eye and step back for a bigger, broader view, and you’ll learn more about that follower…and the more you know about them, the better you can understand their wants, needs and behaviors as they apply to your business. This information is invaluable because you can use it to better position your product or service and craft the messaging of your organic posts to give them what they’re hungry for. It’s your chance to be a thought leader in the industry by providing information, expertise and opinions that your followers care about and won’t get elsewhere. It’s not telling them constantly that they need your product, it’s showing them how your business brand can make a positive impact in their lives. Relate to them with a personal human touch and be a resource. Sell through your content 80% of the time, and in it 20%.
Do these things, and followers are more likely to stick, and even engage by liking or commenting on your posts, which, as the algorithms control, will likely allow your posts to be seen by more followers organically (as this is written, anyway…). Then, your followers can grow and mature into a community of people who share your posts with like-minded people and grow that community outside of just one social media platform into a customer base. Plus, seeing how people interact with your posts can help guide you to create future content your followers are most passionate about and engaged with, and avoid subject matter than has fallen flat.
Let’s imagine that your organic social media platform is a radio station. If all your station airs are commercials and you never play a song, how long do you think a listener would pay attention or listen to your station? How long would you? If you make 80% of your radio station the music listeners want, and 20% commercials about products that appeal to them, now you have a sustainable station model that will build and maintain listenership.
Apply this thought process to your social media posts on all your platforms. You will gain followers and your content will build engagement. And the social media snowball will continue to roll and build for you. Really focus on developing top-level content, and always strive to keep your content-posts interesting, engaging, on-brand and customer-focused. Again, sell through your content 80% of the time, and in it 20%.
Social media is about more than just posting sales material messages. To create a marketable base of customers, you need a strategy that will grow followers and create content appealing to those followers that they will engage with (Like/Comment/Share). Let CMOco help you develop and execute a winning social media strategy for your company so you can maximize the impact your organic social media can have for your business.
– Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media