Why do you use social media?
It’s an interesting question.
Curiosity? Fun? Learning? Staying in touch? Building relationships? Building a business? Promoting your personal brand?
Expressing your opinion?
Back in 2013, Whiting and Williams* identified 10 motivations for using social media:
• Social interaction
• Information seeking
• Passing time
• Expression of opinion
• Information sharing
• Surveillance or knowledge about others – or spying in any other language
Whatever your motivations, I doubt anyone is on social media to be sold to.
You might be happy when you come across interesting new products or services. But it’s unlikely that that’s your reason for being there.
So why do so many businesses constantly self-promote on social media?
Surely, constant selling turns people off?
If you want to sell, you’ve first got to be interesting.
You’ve got to make your audience curious. You’ve got to help them learn. Entertain.
Or offer something of value.
You’ve got to build trust.
Trust doesn’t come from bombardment.
It comes from having something interesting to say. Helping people to understand where your expertise lies. How you solve problems.
You may think that the best way to compete with all the noise out there is to shout louder and more often.
But, if you sell too hard, your audience will start to ignore whatever it is you’re saying, or worse, unfollow you.
So don’t try to be prolific.
Just be consistent, and stay on message.
And if you’re got nothing interesting to say, don’t say anything.
*Whiting, A., Williams, D. (2013). Why people use social media: A uses and gratifications approach. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 16, 362–369.