Our most frequent question in terms of social media is “what should I post?”  A follow-up comment people often make is “…and who really cares anyway?”

One of the sins of the online marketing world, particularly grievous on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, is to constantly flood your follower’s content streams with incessant self-promotion.   But whenever we talk to businesses about using these prominent (and ever-expanding) online platforms for marketing, their eyes light up and inevitably someone will assert that because of the low-cost (or most often FREE) aspect of these tools, they assume their ROI to be sky-high.  “You mean we can market our products and services and tell all of our customers about each of our promotions several times a day – all for free?”  Au contraire.  Social networking sites were not intended for such purposes and to hijack them for your selfish gain goes against the rules of the game.

So, in opposition to the continuous self-promotion often evident from businesses on Facebook or Twitter, consider yourself a resource, a true helping hand to those who follow your activity.  Consider they don’t necessarily follow you just to be inundated with your self-promotion, so change the way you post.   Instead, be a H-E-L-P-E-R :

Follow this acronym:

  • H – drive them to high value content at your Hub (your website)
  • E – provide Educational value (this information adds value to their day; you can create unique posts or share articles you mind other places)
  • L – write thought-Leadership ideas; make them Laugh (people are inspired by leadership, but love a good chuckle, too)
  • P – occasionally Promote your promotions (in balance, it’s OK to do this, but just keep it as only part of the variety of postings)
  • E – make it a point to Engage (make and react to comments, encourage interactions by asking questions/polls)
  • R – intentionally look for ways to Reach out to key influencers (social media tools often permit you access never imagined before)

Promotion is not evil but it’s annoying and a turn-off when it’s all your followers hear from you.  Helping your followers with high-value content, they will not only continue following, but they will also encourage others to do the same.

– Randy