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Do You Know the 4-1-1 Rule for Social Media Marketing?

Updated: Oct 16, 2018

Many small business owners are far too busy building their vision, honing their skills, and improving their products to have time to strategically plan social media posts. Sound familiar? More often than not, posts are made without purpose, rhyme or reason --- perhaps simply to share something cool or interesting, or some new pics, maybe even just to share a proud moment. That is great! But it won't get a you where you want to go.

Like everything in life, the only difference between having a dream and having a goal is having a plan. So what is the best way to plan your outreach? It doesn't have to be complicated but it does have to be thoughtful.

Professional social media marketers know that there are many philosophies about how, what, when to post. However, the most important thing to remember is your audience. To be effective, you must think about what THEY (your audience/customers/followers) want to hear from you ---not just what you want tell them. You are the expert in this situation and people want to have confidence in that fact. You can not just self-promote with every post and expect people to love you. You must be a resource! People get turned off easily by being "sold-to" constantly. So don't sell to them constantly!

That is why I like the concept of the 4-1-1 Rule. It basically outlines that for every self-serving and self-promoting sales post you make, you need to also make at least one post that demonstrates how you are an expert in what you do, and then four posts where you share other content. Show your audience that they can trust you, because you are an expert, have connections, are current in your field, and easily share cool and exciting relevant information. Be like a good friend and don't talk about yourself constantly, but show you know your stuff!

What would this look like?

Post 1- Show something about your business/product. What is fun/cool/new? What are you excited about?

Post 2- Share a story from an influencer you like to follow that is germane to your product and relevant to your audience. What is something fun/cool/new that someone else is doing that gets you excited?

Post 3- Share something humorous or funny that is relevant to your product, something that makes your company/you seem relatable and current.

Post 4 - Share a relevant topic that is related to your business but not exactly about your company. Do you run a fitness company? If so, share a recipe you love or a motivational quote. Do you run a design firm? If so, perhaps talk about new trends in fabrics or wallpapers. Related, but not directly about your brand.

Post 5- Finally time to post about YOUR business again. Make that sale! Share a promotion! Announce a new product! This is where you close the deal and have a call to action for reader to become a customer.

Post 6- Show something different about your business/product. What are you working on? Highlight a customer, spotlight a product, share a testimonial. This is where you get to show you are an expert at what you do!

See, it is that easy! You built the trust, you talked a bit about your business, you showed how you are relevant and know what you are talking about, that you are up on the latest trends and topics in your industry, and then you pitch your product. Voila! Rinse and repeat.

Of course, how often you post, when you post, and on which social media channels is a topic for another post, but this should help get your started!

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback!


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