It’s hard to dispute the importance of social media as part of your marketing mix, but what is the right approach? Some businesses use social media as a tool for selling their product or services. There is certainly no question that making your audience aware of competitive pricing or a special offer has a place on social media. A company may promote discounted service on Black Friday, for example. Is there a benefit, however, to staying away from too many sales pitches and instead focusing on building your brand?

People don’t want to keep seeing ads
Just as you have to sit through commercials watching live television, all social media users will encounter ads as they scroll through content. People dislike being interrupted with commercials, and the same is true for posts that feel too much like advertisements. Instead of pestering potential customers to buy, make your posts interesting, educational, and entertaining. Human interest stories around how you started your company are far more intriguing than ads.

Build trust with the community
If followers feel your only intent on social media is to sell, they are less likely to trust your service or product. Use these platforms to showcase your staff, workspace, and knowledge. The more comfortable people feel with your business and employees, the more confident they will be in purchasing your services. Imagine you are a bookstore owner. You could post a two-for-the-priceof-one sale for the month of April. Or you could post a video of the store owner talking about her favorite childhood book. APRIL 2023 2 STRATEGIC GUIDANCE WHY IS IT SO VALUABLE?

Provide content with value
Using the example of the bookstore owner, it’s helpful to provide your audience with useful, pertinent information. Maybe post the top 10 young adult books selling this month, or suggestions for holiday cookbooks. Valuable content will give people a reason to pay attention to your social media posts.

Look smarter than your competitors
Show people that your business is a leader in the industry. Social media is an opportunity to display your knowledge in the field and set your company apart from competitors. This could be giving advice, explaining how your service benefits your target audience, or informing the audience of trends. Most customers would choose the knowledgeable expert over the company pushing sales.