Ellie Cruse
5 min read

Why Social Marketing Isn’t All Sell, Sell, Sell

When it comes to using organic social media to promote your business, you might be tempted to put all of your energy into pushing your products or services. After all, why have a business page if you’re not posting about your business’ money makers?

But it’s important to consider the reasons why people are on social media in the first place. According to this report from GlobalWebIndex, 40% of social media users say they use it to keep in touch with family and friends, another 40% to keep up with news and current events, and 37% just want to fill time. Generally speaking, people aren’t scrolling on social media because they want to be advertised to. Instead they’re looking for content that is relevant to their interests, educates them and perhaps above all, entertains them. So if your content checks all of these boxes, then you’re likely on to a winner!

What should my business be posting on social media?

When it comes to planning what you should be posting on your business’s social media pages, it’s worth considering the 80/20 rule. The idea is that 20% of your content is focused on selling your product or promoting your services and the other 80% should be made up of content that provides other value to your potential customers - whether that be through educating, inspiring or entertaining them. This could include:

  • Articles relevant to your industry
  • Aspirational photos/videos
  • Tutorials, How-to’s, Q&As
  • Engagement focused content e.g. quizzes or polls
  • Joining trending topics / viral jokes
  • National/International day posts (e.g. National Book Day)

You may think it’s futile for your business to have a social media presence if only 20% of your posts are actually sales-oriented for your business, but there are a number of reasons why switching up what you post can prove beneficial to your social media performance.

It keeps people engaged

Creating content that engages your audience is key to good performance on social media. On average, only 2-7% of your social media followers will see your posts organically while scrolling on their feed due to the algorithm. By posting content that people engage with, whether it be by liking, sharing with friends or writing a comment, every interaction puts your posts (and by extension your business) in front of more and more people. So regularly sharing posts that spark interest, comment on trending topics or simply make your audience react can be a great way to increase reach, keeping your audience - and crucially the algorithm - interested.

It humanises your business

One of the many benefits of organic social marketing is that it provides the unique opportunity to build relationships with your consumers in a way that other marketing channels don’t. This is much easier to do when people feel a connection to your business, so by posting content that is lighthearted - especially if it involves members of your team - it puts some personality to your business and humanises it, acting as a trust signal and setting you apart from your competitors.

It’s memorable

As consumers we are exposed to up to 10,000 advertisements per day, but the vast majority of these will be forgotten within minutes, or even go unnoticed completely. By posting content that provides value for your target audience, your business will stand out from the crowd and is far more likely to be remembered. In comparison, if your page is solely filled with self-promotion posts, not only is it not particularly memorable, but it may come across as spammy, deterring people from following you for your future content.

So how can I encourage business?

Of course, organic social media marketing is still a great way to promote your products and services, but as with most things getting the right balance is the key to success. Preferably the business-centric 20% of your content shouldn’t be boring or repetitive. Make use of the different media types, such as carousels or video to engage audiences. 

There are further clever ways to promote without being overly salesy. Examples of this could include:

  • Sharing news or updates about a product / service 
  • Featuring customer reviews left about your product / service
  • Revealing behind the scenes or sneak peeks
  • Promoting an offer or sale

Next time you’re thinking about what to post to your business pages, consider the 80/20 rule and how your next prospective customer may well stop scrolling to look at the helpful, humorous or people-based content you shared and then consider your business offering too.


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