The Art of Tasteful Self-Promotion



It’s a fine line between promoting a business, good, service, or brand tastefully, and obnoxiously shoving unwanted and unnecessary information into the faces of your audience. We’ve all seen those companies posting incessant and stagnant facts about their business or blatantly bragging about their strengths. Most people trying to promote their business are truly passionate about what they do (or passionate about increasing sales and revenue) and can miss the idea that not every person in the world is quite as excited as they are.

So, how do you find the artistic balance in self-promotion, in digital and social media marketing?

Kleon’s book introduces the concept of avoiding becoming “human spam”: sharing information that is either irrelevant or uninteresting to your audience, and a repetitive list of reasons why to support/purchase the good or service that you’re offering.

“Before you have something to shill, you need to build up a network of goodwill,” Kleon says. “That way, when you’re sending out a tweet about your latest radio appearance, your followers will think ‘When he’s not on a book tour, he’s giving me all these interesting things so I’ll understand if it has to be self-promotional when he has a big product out.’” This applies for both individual personalities and companies–a little goodwill goes a long way.

FastCompany advises to avoid “desperation and egocentrism as if it were the plague.” Generosity is key for tasteful self-promotion. Yes, you’re the expert at what you do–but aren’t there little ways you can teach your followers to grow and enrich their lives? Whether that’s finding interesting and relevant news tidbits in places they may not have known about, or sharing helpful interviews with other experts in the field, people enjoy feeling as if they’re learning and growing from what you are sharing. And keep in mind, this is a service in and of itself. There’s no need for desperation: if your content is high-quality and genuine, the followers will come.

And finally, ensure that anyone allowed to write or touch content posted on your social media, blog, and website representing your brand has a thorough understanding of your language and voice. Customers practically run away screaming from anything showing stock information or a lack of personality, and your emails will head straight to the trash can. Brand standards must be carried through on all levels. Otherwise, self-promotion turns into a bragging monotony or relentless barrage of information you may be proud of, but doesn’t impact your customer in any way.

Social media is one of the best tools for self-promotion and sharing information, but posting too many times a day or becoming “human spam” is a quick way to decrease participation and engaged customer bases. Your goal is to stay comfortably in that inbox or homepage, and trust us: you’ll reap the benefits.

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by THX0477

About the author: Maggie Happe

Maggie Happe is a recent graduate of Creighton University and a contributor to Social Media Contractors.

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