Promotional vs. Engaging Content

One of your colleagues recently asked:

“When it comes to social media content, how do I balance between engaging my audience and promoting my services?”

To promote, or not to promote: that is the question!  

It’s a conundrum that many accountants and business owners face.

Here’s the problem:

  • If your account is a promotional machine, you’ll deter followers.
  • If you never promote your services, your followers may not know what you offer, why they should work with you, or the signs that they need your services 

It’s crucial to strike a balance between promotional vs engaging content, but how

I’m going to share my top four tips, but first, let’s talk about four really important things that are essential before you consider promotional content:

1. Update Your Profile

Before you worry about your content, make sure that your profile tells your followers:

  • What you do
  • Who you help
  • The outcome of your service

If you create content to promote your services, interested individuals will likely visit your profile first. Therefore, your profile should clearly communicate what you offer and the results you achieve.

2. Build Relationships

Promotional content is important, but it’s also important to remember that social media isn’t just an advertising platform; it’s a place to build and nurture relationships. 

Not being social is one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to build a social media presence.

Don’t make this mistake! 

  • Engage with others
  • Start conversations in the DM
  • Comment on people’s posts 

In other words, be a part of the conversation.

3. Be Authentic

Think about the people you follow on social media. Why do you follow them? There’s a good chance that they’re engaging with others, sharing stories, asking questions, and seeking feedback from their followers. 

They’re being authentic. People gravitate to that and value authenticity.

In fact, 88% of consumers say authenticity is a key factor in deciding which businesses they support.

Why is it so important to be authentic? Because it helps you build stronger connections and trust, which can help you grow your client base.

4. Overpromotion Can Lead to Unfollows

If you’re constantly promoting your services, you risk alienating your followers. Think about some of your favorite social profiles. What if, suddenly, they only posted about their business or services? 

Would you continue to follow them? 

Sure, you want to know about what they offer. But what other value do they provide if they only promote their business?

That’s why it’s so important to find that balance between engaging and promotional content.

How do you create that balance?

Create the Perfect Balance Using 4 Proven Tips

Nailing the four elements mentioned above is crucial before even considering the creation of promotional content.

Once you’ve addressed the above, let’s discuss how to strike a balance between promotional and non-promotional content.

While there is no exact science to this, the following four strategies will guide you on the right path.

1. Start Following the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is based on:

  • 80% of outcomes come from
  • 20% of causes

But I like to change this up a bit. What I do is spend at least 80% of the time posting nonpromotional content and 20% posting promotional content.

Why?

First, it helps build trust. Second, social media is all about creating connections, and if you only promote on your socials, you’ll never create those strong connections.

You can even go weeks without posting a single promotional post and then create multiple promotional posts that go together well all in a row. As long as you follow the 80/20 rule over the long term, you’ll be sure to have a good balance. 

And remember, authenticity is key when writing any social media posts.

One note I want to add here is that when I say promotional, this includes actions that are outside of just asking someone to sign up for a call. I consider posts asking people to sign up for a newsletter, webinar, etc., as promotional posts. 

2. Showcase Your Results

No one follows your account because they want to see blatant advertisements. Instead, you need to learn how to weave a narrative around your service. How? Perhaps you can:

  • Showcase a success story from a client
  • Share a personal story that relates to the services 

Adding testimonials or success stories will help you build trust and credibility with your audience.

Even just a short story can go a long way. 

Let me provide you with an example of how Ryann Dowdy did this in her post below. She shared that she has a fear of being average and not living up to her potential – then she went on to share her offering. 

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3. Host Webinars, Q&A Sessions, and Roundtables

Free sessions can also be promoted when you showcase the results you’ve helped others achieve. 

For example, perhaps you’ve saved a client $92,000 on their taxes. You can showcase this as a success story and then ask people to sign up for your webinar where you cover:

  • Relevant tips
  • How you achieved these results
  • Etc.

Don’t want to do a webinar? 

No worries!

What about holding a weekly Q&A roundtable to position yourself as an expert? You can invite people to join, ask questions, and have a casual conversation. 

We have clients that do this, and it accomplishes a number of things: 

  • They invite prospects and get to show their value to them
  • They invite clients, which gives them another touch point with their clients
  • They use the event to create content (note: you will want to let people know beforehand if you’re recording the session).

Webinar or roundtable, these sessions will help position you as an expert in your field while showcasing the services that you offer. 

Just remember that you want to hit on the pain points of your ideal client, such as tips on freeing up cash flow, tax planning, or growing their business. 

4. Create Posts for the Time of the Year

Finally, one last thing that I believe is so important yet overlooked too often is that you need to consider the time of year that you post content. For tax pros and accountants, you don’t want to start posting about tax filings in June.

Why?

No one wants to think about taxes during summer. Be mindful of the posts that you create. Perhaps June is a better month to post about tax planning because – trust me – your clients always want to find ways to save money.

If you ever doubt the post you’re creating, remember that people will engage with service providers they trust.

But how is trust gained on social media? You need to create value-rich content and genuine engagement.

And, that’s a wrap on this Dear Katie question.

__

Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a question? 

Submit it here

Until next time, cheers to your success!

Katie

LeadersOnline NoMotto

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