Thanks to guest blogger Christine Infanger for this post in the series on “Do This, Not That” for social networks. See her bio at the end of this post. Here are her insights on the delicate balancing act of self-promotion.
Engagement vs. Selling
A critical, and somewhat annoying mistake so many people make on social media, is confusing
selling and talking about themselves
being an involved social media user.
While I happen to work with musicians and therefore target suggestions and examples based on the music industry, these are universal truths.
Though your ultimate goal may be to sell a product of some kind, no one wants to be sold to constantly, no matter how much they may like you. Mixing up your social media feeds with interesting information to make it feel more conversational is a simple way to break up the marketing part of social media and still allow you to sneak in a few messages about online sales you may have and upcoming events. There is only so much time in the day to tend to social media, so don’t stress out about it too much; make it fun! Send a quick message about a book or film that’s caught your attention lately, a rediscovery of a favorite album, a new must-hear artist, share some photos of your soundcheck, it can be anything really. As silly as all of this sounds, it personalizes you and makes you seem ‘real’ to those who follow you on various social media accounts. People like ‘real’ people. They can relate to them and, with respect to musicians in particular, fans love to know what interests them and what inspires them to make such amazing music. Spending a few minutes a day sending non-marketing messages balances the art and the commerce of your career and in actually taking time to respond to, favorite, and retweet comments, with little effort you show that your audience isn’t simply a source of income, rather a group of people whom you appreciate.
What you shouldn’t do on social media is always try to sell something and only talk about aspects of your career that require your followers to spend money on you. You don’t want to come across as the online equivalent of a dodgy used car salesman and when your Twitter feed says nothing apart from
- Buy this single!
- Tickets for this gig available now!
- Our latest album is now on iTunes!
you look like the online equivalent of a dodgy used car salesman. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in particular allow very quick and easy access to your audience. While it’s wonderful in terms of having a global marketplace to sell your music and merchandise, remember to keep in mind that only an interested audience is going to continue to support you. Give them a reason to support you; all it takes is a little bit of time and small amount of effort for you to offer true engagement verses the hard sell.