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Jul
25
2013

Engaging vs Promoting? How does this affect your Social Media presence on the web?

by +Kirsty Wilson in Blog, Social Media, Tags: , , , ,

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Engaging vs Promoting on Social MediaIs your business on Social Media? Are you getting mixed results with it? If so, you’re not alone. Over the years, I’ve seen many businesses struggle because they put too much emphasis on promoting their products and services and not enough effort into creating authentic ‘engagement.’

So what’s the difference? 

Well, it’s pretty simple. When you choose to ‘promote’ something within your business, you’re doing it in the hope customers will buy from you. This can work in some cases but can often be a rather boring and uninspiring way to communicate with your target market.

As you might already know, I’m a big fan of relationship marketing. In my role as Virtual Assistant, I’ve helped multiple businesses develop successful social media strategies using ‘engagement’ as a primary tool.

It’s a pretty simple thing to do, once you get accustomed to the basics.  I’m a big believer in two-way communication with your target audience. For example, over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with a diverse range of people via my Twitter network – simply through practicing the art of ‘engagement’ and the mutual ‘sharing’ of information. I rarely use it as a platform for direct selling but rather to remind connections of what I offer. I like to think of it as ‘planting a seed!’

In fact, I know how easy it is to blow your own trumpet but I highly recommend you don’t do it too often.  And, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Yes, social media can be a great way to promote your brand but it’s not really the ideal way to generate positive brand recognition or even get people to like your product. These days, social media is more about interactive engagement, asking questions, sharing bits and bobs with your audience and generally just being helpful.

If you’re not currently doing this, there’s a good chance your social media strategy will be a complete waste of time and not be truly effective in the long term.

I often encourage business owners to step into a different ‘social media’ mindset. Rather than using it to attract lots of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, get into the habit of sharing great content that your audience can relate to. This could be in the form of an article that may be of interest to them, blogging about a topic that will help solve a problem or simply sharing something humorous.

If you do this consistently, it will be enough to be recognised as a leader in your field. In fact, not only will you be the go-to person, you’ll remain memorable and ultimately inspire your connections to buy from you.

Spending less time promoting and more time engaging is a surefire way to develop real rapport, trust and credibility with your customers. If you remember to ask the right questions, initiate conversations and reply to fans in real time, there’s no limit to what your business can achieve through social media.

Now off you go and start engaging! 🙂

2 Responses to Engaging vs Promoting? How does this affect your Social Media presence on the web?

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Kirsty, thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding engaging v promoting.

    I have been reluctant to get engaged in a long two-way conversation with individuals in my business fb audience as a fear that constant posts will ‘put off’ others and may encourage others to unlike… I realise that others may get annoyed by the conversation posts hitting their newsfeed.

    1. is this a valid concern
    2. if so, how is it best overcome. ie. direct messaging?

    Your comments are welcomed. Cheers Christine

  2. Hi Christine, thank you for your queries. I generally post 1-3 posts per day to my business Facebook page and I don’t believe that is excessive but you definitely want to encourage engagement on these posts from your audience. This will assist to extend the reach of your page. The posts don’t all need to be about your business, anything relevant to your audience is great to share.

    If the discussion thread becomes irrelevant then you would take it to a private message but this is usually rare. I hope that helps.

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