Everybody who manages their own social marketing has felt, at some point, as though they’re promoting themselves too much and are likely just annoying everyone with it.
There’s nothing wrong with you if you feel a little guilty when it comes to self-promotion. After all, we learn from a young age that being self-centered is bad etiquette. If anything, feeling self-aware and a little introverted on social media is a good thing.
When you allow that apprehension about overdoing it to stop you from promoting yourself effectively, though, it’s time to work toward finding a happy medium. You know that you need to get the word out, to use social to build a fanbase and get them to your website, but how do you do it without feeling so selfish?
Focus On Your Blog
Professional blogging used to be an SEO-centric strategy that meant posting a lot of keyword-stuffed, low-value fluff. Thankfully, those days are long gone. And with social in mind instead of search engines, blogging is more important to your site than ever.
Every time you update a professional blog, you’re creating an opportunity to promote your business on social media. Without one, your website only has so many pages to which you can send people, and almost all of them exist exclusively for one thing: making a sale. Blog posts, on the other hand, exist to be useful. They’re a space for you to share your expertise, personality and insights. What’s more, because they’re actually useful for readers, you can share them without feeling like you’re schilling for your business.
Promote Others, Not Just Yourself
The fabled 80/20 rule has plenty of applications in business, and applying it to your social media strategy is a simple way to avoid over-promoting yourself. If 20 percent of your posts are self-promotional, the other 80 should serve another purpose — but what?
One thing you can do is promote other websites and links. What content would your audience find useful and interesting? When you share it, you actually reinforce your own usefulness as a resource, because you’re directing your fans toward information they’ll appreciate. (Ninety-four percent of people think about how useful a piece of content is before they share it. You should do the same.)
Similarly, allot some of your non-promotional updates for posts that provide utility without making anyone leave their feed. Tweeting tips, commentary and bite-sized bits of wisdom, for example, keeps your social presence consistent and allows you to demonstrate your authority without the icky feeling you might get from constantly posting links to your own site.
Be Encouraged By Discouraging Statistics
Most people feel discouraged when they hear that the majority of Twitter users don’t even check their feed daily and that the average organic reach for a Facebook post is only 7 percent. If you’re worried about promoting yourself on social too often, though, this is actually good news.
It’s right there in the data: most of your fans and followers don’t see any given update you post, and that means you can post more frequently without worrying that the same people are seeing you in their feeds over and over again.
Don’t think of your audience on social as a packed auditorium, where every single person is always present and hears every single thing you say. Think of it as a tiny waiting room, where people are constantly coming and going. Your audience rotates, so the promotional updates you share are seen by different people — so you can post them frequently without feeling like a broken record.
Plan Your Promotional Updates Ahead Of Time
No matter what you’re promoting — blog posts, short-term sales, new products — doing it manually over and over is an active thing. Because you have to repeatedly make room for it in your day-to-day routine, you’re hypersensitive of how often you do it. Your followers don’t see every update you post, but you do, and that can make them seem overwhelming and overly self-promotional.
The simplest solution is to turn self-promotion from something you do actively into something you do passively. Instead of forcing yourself to write and post promotional material multiple times a day, every day, write a batch of promotional updates in advance and schedule them to post at later times. This ensures that you keep posting the relevant promotional links that drive traffic, but it happens automatically as a kind of background noise to your normal daily routine.
When you change both your social routine and your mindset, social self-promotion can quickly go from being something you dread into being something you actually enjoy — and something that actually makes a big difference to your business.