Email Marketing Social Media Marketing

How To Not Do Social Media Marketing

If you’ve been on LinkedIn long enough, you’ve received plenty of solicitous messages from new and potential connections. They usually look something like this: “Hello, we at XY Company offer the following services…”, “Hello, I recently graduated and am seeking a job at your company…”, and more recently, “Hello, promote me by subscribing to my channel…”.

If you’re like me, you give them a cursory glance: 2-5 seconds, then move on with your business… Until you open Instagram and see your friend’s business’ page spamming your timeline with posts “advertising” their products — you want to be a supportive friend, but it’s the third time in a week and it’s getting on your nerves now.

Why do these things grind our gears so much? These two examples highlight a phenomenon that takes shape in a myriad forms. Put simply, the problem with these people/businesses is that they try to take before they give. And our brains don’t like that — no one likes to be finessed. See, humans are inherently selfish — it’s a necessary element of self-preservation. When we encounter new opportunities, we think “Hmmm, what’s in it for me?” We analyse the benefit to us — even the most altruistic of humans still consider the benefit to them and/or those whom they are serving.

Knowing this, it honestly puzzles me why anyone would start a DM by talking about themselves. Do those DMs actually work? I’ve never sent one like that, so I don’t have the data. But I have done a series of sales-y posts for an eCommerce store, and I can freely tell you that they actually hurt your business.

If you give it away, they will come

No ones goes on social media to be sold to. We want to be entertained or informed, and being sold to is only a part of the experience, not the main draw. So if all you do is “sell” on your social media, that’s something you should correct with immediate effect.

What can you do instead?


Seriously. Stop asking so much from your connections or followers, and instead focus on improving their experience on the platform. LinkedIn is easy: inform more. If you are to DM someone, stop asking for them to open their wallets, but instead seek to educate them on how you can help them achieve their goals. It has to be organic as well. I am more likely to read something like this:

“Hello Felix, I read your article on the future of Kenyan agriculture and I had some thoughts, starting with how small-scale farmers can position themselves to take advantage of this opportunity…”

Give at least 3 times as much as you ask

The benefits of this approach are immense. Here’s a few examples who have used this strategy to great effect:

Give away your best content for free

Oberlo: One of the most widely used Shopify plugins. Their Facebook page offers tons of insight into the world of eCommerce, and they’re constantly educating their followers about trends and changes in that sector via their YouTube.Give away your best contentTai Lopez and Gary Vaynurchuk: These two gentlemen have been able to create multi-million dollar marketing machines by giving away information for free. Information that some consultants would charge you an arm and leg for. I literally get excited whenever I receive an email from Tai’s newsletter. Think about that — how many of your email subscriptions do you look forward to hearing from? How many do you actually open? If you’ve never heard of either Tai or Gary, I dare you to look them up on YouTube and watch their videos for 20 minutes — you will learn at least 1 powerful thing.

Giving away your best content is a powerful strategy that’s used by countless businesses to reach their goals. From increasing loyalty to creating awareness and growing email lists, there’s so many opportunities for growth. It serves two purposes simultaneously: you build up a fan base, and you get to show that you’re actually an expert at what you do. See, your audience will try out the ideas you give. If they do work, you create a community of loyal fans who are always looking forward to your next post. And when you do ask something of them, they will respond with overwhelming positiveness.

It’s a known fact that most leads aren’t always ready to purchase, but who do you think your fans will approach when they need the services that you offer? Whom do you think they will refer to their friends? Think about the organic shares as well… the kind of authority you build. In the process, you also preemptively address a lot of the objections that your customers may have.

This is simply is the best marketing strategy in today’s world. It’s transactional: you give, give, give and give some more, then you ask. Most people do the opposite though — taking before they give — which is why they are also quite frustrated with their results.

If you are strategic and employ a long-term approach in your delivery, you can unlock a world of unexplored opportunity for your business.

How is your business educating the world? Are you giving away your best content? What free information are you giving away without expecting anything back? You’d be surprised how much profit you can realize by giving away valuable information for free.