6 Steps to Painless Social Media Self-Promotion

A common topic for discussion is promotion for small businesses and personal brands. When it comes to social media, the responsibility for promotion falls on the shoulders of the owner (chief cook and bottle washer). Even though my books are published by one of the top 10 publishers in the world, I still need to take responsibility for my own brand.
I’ve personally been promoting my work and books in the real world and online for over 15 years and it’s the most difficult task on my plate. Even on the “About” pages of my websites, I am loathe to blow my own horn. I might consider myself an introvert, or I might just feel the mere act is bragging.

To be fair to those who do it well, it takes nerve to think there are thousands of people waiting around to hang on to your latest words or hot new project. We may have products, businesses or books to promote, but not everyone has a similar promotional style.

Social media is a bit like Dish Network's Auto Hop. A feature which enables viewers to jump past commercials and get back to the show. Especially when your promotional messages become too overwhelming — folks will just tune you out and unfollow.Your job is not to leave people feeling spammed.
  • Build a community of those who take notice of your accomplishments, who are interested in what you’re doing — not what you plan to do.
You are your brand. Your message is your topic.
  1. Promote others: Even if it chokes you a bit to give a hat-tip to the competition, social promotion is symbiotic. Helping others with pure intentions builds your social credibility. 
  2. Stay on topic! If you have a business audience, keep the kitten and puppy pictures to a minimum and save the emoticons for your personal friends.
  3. Curate the best content that ties in with your online community; whether photo or product. 
  4. Tell stories! Storytelling about successes is a favorite read. Do you personally have any? Perhaps stories of those who have benefitted from your work? 
  5. Build trust by not sharing topics out of your wheelhouse just because they are trending. But do sprinkle personal posts, they bring humanity to your brand. 
  6. Lose any feeling of entitlement — no one is required to follow (or listen to) you. You need to romance your customers by engaging in conversations and commenting.
This has worked for me. If you’re into technology, e-commerce or customer service, you can also find me on TwitterFacebook, or my website. I may not always be posting about the same topics, but I try to engage in the topics in which I think my customers are interested.

A similar verion of this article appeared in Owner Magazine