Social media posts for business walk a fine line between fun and engaging brand awareness and annoying, sales-driven behavior. When you check your social media feeds, you have a certain expectation of what you want to see and most of the time, this doesn’t include ads.
But as we all know, the digital world is shifting to include ads wherever there’s space to house them. It’s not too different than the commercials we’re used to seeing on television and the jingles we hear on the radio, but it can be jarring when a brand you like bombards you with social media posts that include nothing of value, but rather, a “buy now” offer or discount on their products. Every. Single. Time.
After all, ads are ads and social media posts are social media posts. Yes, the line is blurry, but the defining element you have to consider every time you put anything online for your business is: what is the goal?
When Organic Is Best
For paid social ads, the goal is typically conversion. This hybrid between social media post and straight-up ad entices the user to sign up for your newsletter or take advantage of your special offer, whatever action you’d like the user to take.
By using the ad platform it sets the user up with the right expectations. We all know that in order to use our social media platforms these days, we’ll inevitably come into contact with ads disrupting our newsfeeds.
We are less likely to accept this, if it’s coming straight from the brand’s channel as an organic post. We expect more personal connections from these rather than a hard sell.
If your company can only think of sales-driven content, consider how engaging each post really is. Test your KPIs and see where they might be hurting your brand. Have your followers dropped off since you began using this sales copy? Do you have lower engagement? In short, is it doing the job you intended for it to do?
Sales and Social Are Two Different Things
Think about how ineffective and pushy your sales-related social media posts would feel like in real life. It’s like being invited to a party only to find out that it was a pitch to join an organization/small business/other entity you didn’t want to sign up for at all! If this happened, you’d feel duped, annoyed, and quite possibly leave on the spot or never interact with said “friend” again.
Same goes with the online world. You can’t invite someone into your world with the intention of giving them great content, helpful insight, or a peek into what makes your business tick and then do the complete opposite and feed them a bunch of ads. They most likely will bounce right off the landing page you directed them to and click the “unfollow” button for good.
If you’ve been guilty of this (and who hasn’t, really), don’t worry, you can still change your ways and slowly win back the trust and loyalty of your customers and clients. First, think about your goals. Keep in mind you don’t have to eliminate sales-related posts altogether, but they must have a purpose. For instance, if you’re always having a sale, what does it say about the actual value of your product or services?
What is the sale for? Is it a holiday? Is it a customer appreciation initiative? There has to be a benefit and allure for the customer who’s interacting with your social media channels. They need to clearly see the value of your ad when they’re expecting to see a helpful article, beautiful imagery, or something not quite so blatant in its (sales-driven) intentions.
Social media is about making a connection with your audience. To do this, they must trust you and like you. To do this, you have to come from a genuine place of delivering content that isn’t created just to get the sale.