Why heart-felt triumphs over paid promotion

heart felt triumphs paid

I recently met with someone who has a really good business, with loads of potential. But he said that he’s struggling, both to get more attention and new visitors, and financially. When we talked a little more I discovered two things: a) he’s paying for advertisements all over social media; and b) he’s paying someone else to do his social media posts for him. Neither the ads nor the posts are really having an impact - he’s not building followers very quickly, not really extending his reach (how many people see his posts) and it’s costing him £££!

Does advertising on social media work?

Advertising on social media can work. It’s not too expensive, and you can track it better than say print advertising. But…

It’s only worth doing when you know you’ve got the messaging right, when you are very clear about the people you want to target, and they’re responding to your social media posts. By that I mean responding to your posts before you advertise. Social media advertising expands on your existing audiences, and can amplify your messages.

But if your ‘normal’ posts aren’t getting much traction, that’s usually a sign that you’re not getting your messaging and posts quite right. So I usually suggest working on that, before you start spending money. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what people respond to, advertising can amplify your reach more effectively.

Should you pay someone to do your social media for you?

Paying someone to do your social media for you can work. But it doesn’t always. It often doesn’t.

Why not?

Because there’s a subtle - and sometimes big - difference between social media posts that feel original, authentic and heart-felt, and those that are scripted or just ‘put out there’ by someone else. I know that on the days when I post something on social media just so I’ve done it, the response is much reduced, compared to the days when I write something I feel more strongly about. People just sense it. It’s the same when someone does your social media for you. They’re just doing it.

Going back to the business owner at the beginning of this story - he’s paying someone else to do his social media because he’s busy. But is there any point if it doesn’t work, and costs him ££? That’s just a waste of money.

He also said that he hasn’t ‘got his head round’ social media. But if he pays someone, will he ever? Will he ever be able to give someone else the right guidance to do it on his behalf? How will he learn what works and what doesn’t?

This might not be what you want to read, but the answer is to make some time to do your own social media (if only for a set period of time), to try to do it every day or at least several times a week. Scrolling social media can be a time-sink, but writing a few posts a week doesn’t really take long - especially if you write from the heart and create posts that are really aimed at the kind of people you meet in your business every day.

I’m not suggesting bearing your soul and telling everyone how you feel, if that’s not something you’re comfortable with. Rather, just writing/showing the parts of your business that you’re proud of, offering the kind of information people regularly ask for, sharing interesting snippets or posts from others. You’ll quickly see what kind of posts get a response, and be able to repeat them more frequently.

No-one can ever know your business better than you. I doubt anyone will ever care more about it than you?

Paying for a service isn’t always more effective than a DIY approach

1 comment


I agree with most of this but what about the fact that social media platforms hide stuff from most potential customers unless you pay to ‘boost’ the post?

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