5 Recommendations to Tastefully Self-Promote Your Business

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.


15 thoughts on “5 Recommendations to Tastefully Self-Promote Your Business

  1. Wow, Abby! You have a lot of natural talent as a blogger. By far, this is the best post for this week. I wish I could give you some suggestions, but I think you have smacked this one out of the park! Well done. Good citations. Great use of links and savvy anchor text. Great title and I like that you’ve used images to site research sources. Zarella has done some interesting work via Hubspot with his whole ‘social scientist’ brand.

    Using this one in class as an example on Wednesday! Well done!

  2. Pingback: 5 Recommendations to Tastefully Self-Promote Your Business « Solomon's Sayings

  3. Abby, love this! I just had one question – what if your business/ your brand depended on your personal accomplishment? I am just thinking of a professional athlete that is trying to grow its brand, where his/her performance is an important part of his/her brand. Is there a way for the athlete to acknowledge their accomplishments without coming off as a “humble brag”?

    • Good question, Madelyn. In many cases I think it is absolutely necessary for individuals to tout their personal accomplishments. However, I think this must still be done tactfully, so that the tone of the content doesn’t come off as showboating. I would refer you back to #3 on my list, when Dan Zarrella suggests talking as yourself instead of about yourself. I think that athletes can grow their brand simply by being themselves, versus broadcasting their athletic accomplishments; otherwise, what is the purpose of the ESPN highlight reel? For example, by posting about their favorite restaurant, pair of shoes, TV show, etc., athletes could begin to form online connections with different brands, which could lead to future partnerships with those entities. Thanks for your comment and please let me know if you have any other questions :).

  4. Abby – Love #3

    I think Steve Nash (@SteveNash) does a great job of this. Everything he tweets sounds like it is coming out of his mouth as opposed to a PR agent. Because of this he is entertaining to follow as opposed to other athletes that are bland and pump their own tires over and over again.

  5. Abby– As you know. I particularly like this topic…bragging and self promotion on blogs is very distasteful to both you and me…I’m glad you went at it this way in your post…great job…I may be asking for blogging help in the very near future!

  6. After reading over your blog and you saying how you were a first time blogger as well, It made me feel like I need to step my game up as a newbie to the blog scene. Your blog as a whole seemed extremely well put together in its appearance, layout and content. Aside from that I completely changed my view of social media when I came across #3. I instantly began to check my tweets, and facebook posts to see if I was guilty of talking about myself or if I actually do talk as myself and it just made me think of how much more I am going to start thinking before I share something on social media next.


  7. Thank you everyone for your comments! The concept of this post originally began from me feeling like most forms of social media were shameless forms of self-promotion. I can now see the value of using such platforms, especially in a business context, but something I struggle with on a personal level is being active and engaging without sounding like you think the world revolves around you. Any thoughts on this? For ones personal account, where is the line drawn between showcasing ones skills and interests versus just showing off?

  8. Good stuff here gail. I liked #3 the most as it touches on some of the ideas in Google+ For Business. I don’t just want to know about a person, I want to know what they think and what they are seeing, as you point out.

  9. Nice, Gail! I like what you did with the style, fonts, graphics. I think the style of the post makes it a lot easier to read. Also think your conversational tone will draw in more readers. This thing is going viral!

  10. Abby, how did you come up with those examples?? It is much easier to understand the recommendations with those examples. Well done!

  11. Abby, I honestly can’t believe you’re a first time blogger. You have such a great flow and after reading this it seems like you’ve already mastered the art. I’ll make sure to keep reading your blogs to learn from them and help make mine better! Aside from the content, your blog just looks really good. I like the headers and the graphics and the different styles of font you used. Now back to the content, I really liked what you said and I learned a lot. I know everyone else already said a lot about it, but #3 was so awesome. Everyone should be aware of this one! Great job, keep up the good work!!

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