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It's Social Media, Not Me Media

It is all about me

Remember the 80/20 rule for social media promotion? If you are unaware of it or need a refresher, it states that only 20% of your social posts should be self-promotional, otherwise you are boring your viewers/fans and are actually decreasing the chances of getting business from them.

Apparently there are some businesses that missed the memo on this one.

Browsing through some real estate Facebook pages recently, I started to notice a disturbing trend. Overwhelmingly what I was seeing were pictures of homes that were for sale or homes that had been sold recently. The captions were what you might expect, ranging from “congratulations to the Smiths on their new home” to “another success story from XYZ real estate”.

Let me be blunt: you are killing yourself slowly if this is your tactic. These pictures and celebratory posts belong on your website, not on your Facebook page.

Why, you ask? Think this through logically. Facebook is a “social” media site. The reason people are there is to be social. If you are unclear what that means, then picture a dinner party or some similar social gathering, in a friend’s home perhaps. Now imagine that you have a colleague who is in attendance. While the group is discussing golf, weather, politics, or their families, your colleague is constantly talking about a home he recently sold or how well his business is doing in sales.

Be honest with yourself at this point. Is anyone at this party really that interested in what your colleague has to say after a few minutes? Instead, don’t you think that almost everyone would be completely annoyed and trying to scoot off to a different area of the room or house as soon as the opportunity arose? I guarantee you that would be the case.

Don’t be that guy.

Now, I’m not trying to imply that you can’t talk about business on Facebook. On the contrary, business is the reason you are there. However, subtlety is a powerful (though underused) tactic, and one you should employ with extreme prejudice.

The 20% of the time that you do promote, however, should not be used to tell everyone how great you are. Remember, it’s about giving them value and something that they are interested in. The best way to be engaging in a conversation is to ask questions and be genuinely interested in the other person. Social media is really nothing more than a conversation at its core. 20% is one in every five posts, not the other way around. If you are not making the other four at least twice as interesting as the one about your company, you are losing people’s interest quickly.

The classic rule of sales applies online as well as it does in person: people buy from people they like. The best way to get sales is not a constant bombardment with advertising or telling people how great or successful your company is. Instead, it is getting people to like you. A Facebook “like” is one thing, but I mean really like you, as in enjoying your posts enough to keep coming back for more. That includes conversation by the way, which is why you should respond to all of the comments on your page. Otherwise your online presence is really nothing more than the web equivalent of an automated telephone answering system, and we all know how pleasant and likable those are, don’t we?

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