Keeping up to speed with each and every social media marketing‘rule’ is tricky. Which is why the best advice is to focus on the rules and standards that carry the most weight.
One of which being the often-overlooked one-in-seven rule. A favourite among established digital marketers, though one that often slips under the radar of business owners. In any case, if you really want to make your social strategy work for your business, this is one rule you cannot afford to ignore.
What is the one-in-seven rule?
In the simplest of terms, out of every seven posts you publish on social media, only one of them should be a direct marketing message or promotion. Regardless of how you approach your social media marketing strategy, the last thing you want is for the whole thing to come across as one big advertising campaign.
Even if that’s exactly what it is, deep down.
By ‘direct’ marketing messages, this means anything that focuses on yourbusiness and yourinterests. As opposed to the interests of your customers/followers, which are far more important. Obvious examples being details of special offers, instructions to “Check out our latest….” or anything that qualifies as conventional marketing or advertising.
Research shows that keeping these messages to a ratio of about one-in-seven is more effective than publishing more or fewer messages on your profile.
The question being…why?
Social vs. Promotional
While the detailed psychology of social media marketingmay be complex, this particular issue is relatively simple to grasp.
The key to successful social media marketingis right there in its title – ‘social’. Marketers have a thousand and one platforms to use to their advantage these days. Nevertheless, none are quite the same as social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on – all everyday essentials for today’s web user. These are the sites and services hundreds of millions of people rely on every day to satisfy a variety of needs. Entertainment, education, communication and so on.
By contrast, nobody heads over to a social media platform thinking “Hey, I hope I get bombarded with marketing materials today!”
Social media is all about community. It gives everyday members of the public and businesses alike the opportunity to come together. More importantly, to become part of one extended group of people who share the same interests. Hence, it gives businesses a priceless opportunity to break the company-customer barrier. Effective social media marketing enables you to dive into the heart of your target audience and build a reputation as thebrand to go to.
All of which takes focused efforts on engaging customers and building their trust. Something that doesn’t happen by constantly reminding them that you want their money.
Direct vs. Indirect Social Media Marketing
Marketing something directly on social media is easy. You simply state whatever it is you are selling and present it to your audience. Direct marketing messages can, when approach strategically, be effectively woven into a social strategy. Nevertheless, the bulk of the power and effect comes from classic content marketing – the art of selling without selling.
Indirectsocial media marketingis exactly that. The fine art of building the kind of reputation and authority that does the selling on your behalf. If your products, your services and your business really are that great, you shouldn’t need to resort to the hard sell.
All social marketing strategies are inherently unique. Nevertheless, building yours in accordance with the one-in-seven rule is a good place to start. Let your natural salesmanship take a backseat to your social side. Become a part of the community you’re reaching out to and build your authority. More importantly, give your target audience a reason to come back for more and that’s exactly what they’ll do.
Long story short – build a strong enough connection with your target audience and the hard sell won’t be necessary. Your products and services will pretty much sell themselves!