Social media: why you should advise, not adVERTise

Have you ever been guilty of confusing social media with free advertising? This guy did…here’s what he posted in the discussion thread of a locality group on one of the very large social media platforms…

Social media: why you should ADVISE, not ADVERTISE

Tips on car maintenance, or very short case studies, work well on social media.

Hi there everybody. I just wanted to quickly advertise my business.
I am a self-employed single parent, and I run a mobile car servicing business.
I can service your vehicle at your home or place of work.
I am a very friendly guy, and very honest about my prices and the work to be undertaken.
I service all makes and models
I am based in (LOCATION WITHHELD)
If you have any questions please do message me and please check out some of my reviews on my website.

Wrong! Social media is social – not Yellow Pages

After the group’s moderator had set the guy straight about not posting blatant advertising in a business/social group, here’s what I suggested he do instead…

Speaking as a content strategist and marketing writer, I think rather than “advertise” your business you would gain a lot more interest in what you do on social media, by sharing tips.

Of course you would include your contact information at the end of each tip that you post. But shoving straight advertising down people’s throats in social media really doesn’t work – it tends to alienate people.

Anyway, these tips could include things like:

  • How to check that your car is in good running order
  • Tips on how to measure tread depth on tyres
  • When to think about adding stuff to you windshield washer reservoir in time for the first frosts
  • How to do very minor DIY things like change a light bulb, check tyre pressures, check oil levels, etc. etc. which is all stuff we should be able to do for ourselves but often don’t remember to do.
  • Particularly now, in the autumn, there are a number of other tips you can share so people’s cars are prepared, serviced and kitted out in time for the winter.

Another idea … someone here on (SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM) a while back – a (BRAND OF CAR) specialist, I think – used to post really interesting examples of jobs he had done for customers.

This included photos of “before and after” examples and details about how he did the job, and how much money he saved the customer who otherwise would have had the work done at a dealership.

Now, that’s not advertising: it’s a case study. And it is powerful testimonial for the fact that his work was good and good value.

An approach like that might be one for you to consider, too.

Easy to do: take your phone and shoot pix of the before and after … especially as you can show your work on customers’ premises which for me and people like me, would be wonderful…

If you build up people’s confidence in your expertise that way I’m sure they will turn to you when they need some proper work done. That’s a much better way for businesses to use and benefit from social media because the whole point about social media is that it is NOT advertising.

It’s about, OK, providing free advice, but as I suggested above doing this helps people to get to know you, what you do, why you’re good at it, and – in time – why they should trust you and hire you.

Anyway good luck with your business which sounds like an excellent idea, and also good luck with being a lone parent. I can sympathise….

htwb-agony-generalAdvertising on social media is a fast way to get kicked out of groups and sometimes banned altogether

The moderator of this particular group is nice enough to explain to people why they mustn’t advertise and will usually give them a second chance to post content that offers readers genuine, no-cost value.

However not all group moderators are that kindly. Be warned!

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