It’s not just about you in social media

by on December 12, 2010

Small business social media - it's not all about you

If all you talk about is you, is anyone actually listening?

When you’re getting started in social media, it can be tough learning the ropes. Many small businesses fall into the trap of strictly self promoting. Marketing instincts might be telling you that that’s the best use of your time, cause it’s all about pushing your stuff, right?

Well, that’s the way things used to be. The face of marketing is definitely changing, and social media is a huge part of that. It’s no longer only about you. The hard sell is no longer the way to go. And if you’re not ready to accept that, your small business social media efforts will suffer big time.

What’s the right ratio?

As far as I’m aware, there is no set in stone scientific research out there, but I’m going to take my numbers from social media king Michael Steltzer from Social Media Examiner. 10% ish of your stuff should be self-promotion. The rest is about sharing interesting and relevant information.

Where does this apply?

On your blog if your small business has one. Via your email newsletters. On your Facebook page. Twitter for sure…

Well, if I don’t talk about my business, what the heck should I talk about?

This is one of the most common questions I get from my clients. And the answer is actually quite simple. Whatever your target market wants you to talk about as it relates to your small business.

Think about content that is relevant to your business, and is also of use to your customers. There has to be some sort of logical link.

Let’s say that your business is a yoga studio. You can not only talk about what’s going on in the yoga industry in general, but also about health and wellness topics and tips. You know your customers are into that. If you run a clothing store, your customers will be interested in fashion related stuff.

You are currently reading my blog which gives you free information on marketing and other small business goodies. Occasionally, I will tell you about what I do for a living, or recommend that you connect with me somewhere in cyberspace. But what it all boils down to is YOU. I am writing this blog for small business owners who need help with marketing. If my posts every week just talked about how great I was, or I tried to sell you on one of my services with every post, you would unsubscribe in a flash. Because that’s not providing any value to you.

Where to find shareable content?

It’s much easier than you think! Once you get into the groove, you’ll probably find that you have more than enough stuff to share.

Google Alerts

A veritable gold mine. Emails right to your inbox for any online mentions of your selected keywords. Depending on your industry, you can get tons of stuff here. If you haven’t got Google Alerts going yet, here’s how to do it.

Google search

Obviously. But if you just start Googling everytime you need something to share, that’s kind of a waste of time. Instead, Google some relevant topics and choose a handful of sites that share lots of news and information. Bookmark these, and then just zip over to them when you need some content.

Twitter search

Another awesome source of information. And if you use Hootsuite like I do, all you have to do is create search streams for keywords, and you will constantly have at your fingertips the latest tweets around your topic.


This is probably my most important source of content. I’m a bit of a learning junkie, and I keep on top of what’s going on in the marketing world by signing up for relevant blogs. I get the information right to my inbox, and can easily share it around.

Strategic sharing

Sharing content is also a great way to make connections with people online. They can see when you’ve retweeted their blog post. Or shared it on Facebook. And this can help foster a relationship. Get a dialogue going. And they just might return the favour.

Do you have any other social media content sharing sources, tips or experiences? Please share away! Or if you are having trouble finding a relevant topic for your small business, let’s see if I can be of some help.

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