Social media’s capacity for promotion is wondrous. However, ecommerce merchants must be careful to tread lightly, lest their well-intentioned marketing messages be misconstrued as self-aggrandizement.
In other words, there is a right way to engage in social media self-promotion and there is a wrong way. Example, if you design a logo for your business based on the Superman “S”, presenting it in a humorous fashion will find people laughing with you rather than at you.
Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Think of Others’ Needs First
Credibility must accrue. Demanding it like some petulant adolescent will have the exact opposite effect. Meet people where they live. Determine why your core audience inhabits the platforms it does and bring value to your people based upon the nature of the platform. Said simply, provide helpful information when you’re creating social media posts.
Demonstrate Your Expertise Rather Than Touting It
Odds are you know far more about your area of interest than the average person. In social media, you want to be part of the conversation, rather than dominating it. When a topic that’s firmly in your wheelhouse comes up, make your points graciously and back them up with credible sources. Keep the conversation centered upon the topic, rather than pivoting it to your company.
Figure out what the people in the community find interesting, from what do they derive value? Opportunities to demonstrate your mastery will present themselves. When they do, you’ll gain respect if you’re gracious in the imparting of your knowledge.
Now, with that said, it’s OK to insert a link to your site wherever it’s relevant.
Provide Accuracy, Relevance and Usefulness
Overt promotion is frowned upon in social media. The trick is to consider each interaction as an extension of your brand, rather than a direct advertisement. In other words, when you mention your products or services make sure it’s relevant to the topic of the conversation.
The best way to accomplish this is to be specific about what you share by always keeping to your area of expertise. People will appreciate what you have to say when your thoughts are consistently accurate, relevant and useful. You’ll be looked upon as a thought leader.
Be Interesting to Others
The emphasis here is on the last two words of that phrase—to others. Craft your posts to speak in terms of others’ interests. Use emotion to draw people in. Be witty when it’s called for, reverent when it’s required and buoyant when it’s needed.
Promote the lifestyle your brand affords, rather than the products themselves. Focus on benefits rather than features. Give people something to envision, rather than spelling things out for them. Inspire them to experience delight when they get where you’re coming from.
Figure Out People What People Want to Know
Before you begin interacting in a forum, observe it for a while to learn why and how people inhabit it. What questions recur? Which questions go unanswered? Look for inaccurate answers—and be gracious when you correct them. Take some time to get to know the audience so you can figure out what they’ll respond to and give it to them.
The right way to engage in social media self promotion is largely a matter of common sense. Talk about others rather than yourself. Be engaging, accurate and relevant. And, stay in your wheelhouse.
Others will be drawn to you if you do these things consistently.