I’m sure it is blatantly obvious to those reading this blog that I am new to digital expression and I suppose that it should no longer be a secret that I sometimes find social media to be a narcissistic platform. While useful if used correctly, all of these mediums have also created a bragosphere; and whether it is a personal or business account, irrelevant content and “humble brags” make me a bit nauseous. Before you write me off as a close-minded cynic, please hear me out!
The purpose of this blog is to document my own personal journey from social media amateur, to at the very least, digitally proficient. This is all a learning process for me and I want you to learn with me, and educate me if at all possible. So, to get to the point of this post, I am attempting to learn the art of tasteful self-promotion. Thus, for my benefit and yours, I present 5 Recommendations to Tastefully Self-Promote Your Business.
1. Educate Your Consumers: Social media should be used to educate consumers on up and coming trends in your industry and how these may affect their needs. They don’t want to hear you tout your latest and greatest in a blog post or Tweet, rather your content should provide the reader with insights into developments that have a direct impact on their lives. Note, this should not be done in conjunction with a gimmicky sales pitch.
Example: A real-estate agent sharing an article on falling interest rates
2. Answer Questions: Information distributed via social media platforms should be in response to customer inquiries or common issues experienced by your target audience. Particularly in blogging, a foundation of trust can be built by personalizing content to be about them.
Example: A university conducts a chat via Twitter to answer questions from incoming students
3. Stop Talking About Yourself, Start Talking as Yourself: This is my personal favorite bit of advice I found while researching this post. While writing on a similar topic, Dan Zarrella stated, “…stop talking about yourself, it’s boring and nobody wants to hear it. But start talking as yourself and show us how the world looks through your eyes”.
Example: A social media coordinator for a music company shares a playlist created by an up-and-coming artist
4. Interact With Peers: Businesses or the individuals working on their behalf should comment on or create posts that are of interest to or related to their clients. The true value of social media cannot be realized without engagement and reciprocal dynamics.
Example: A sponsorship sales executive for a sports team creates a congratulatory post that details a partner’s recent accomplishments
5. Save Personal Accomplishments for Your Own Website: No one likes a shameful self-promoter. While business successes should most certainly be celebrated, it is best to save press releases and content concerning great accomplishments for your own website versus blasting them throughout the social media world. If a business follows the recommendation outlined in #4, your clients and peers may do all the bragging for you.
Example: When an organization is recognized as the best in its industry, it distributes the information internally and via e-mail to its employees and partners, rather than via Twitter or Facebook. One of the business partners of said company then chooses to distribute a press release on their own, creating an instant referral.
So there you are bragosphere, a social media amateur’s best attempt at providing businesses with the best practices concerning tasteful self-promotion. As I mentioned previously, I am also hoping to learn from you, the audience. I would love to hear from you about any other social media initiatives used by businesses that wouldn’t end up onthis blog.