A good social media strategy is equal parts marketing, communications, and public relations.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring how to balance those three things in both Social Media Minute, and my weekly blog. Today, let’s focus on marketing!

Marketing is the aspect of social media that organizations usually prioritize, often at the expense of the other two. The non-communications personnel in business often wish to see a social media strategy that is primarily product-driven or event-driven, and nothing else. For most smaller organizations, this can become a burden on social media managers, who often have to defend posting anything other than “come to our event/buy our product, it’s awesome” posts.

This is NOT the correct way to market on social media. If your accounts only feature a direct appeal to your followers to buy your products or come to your event, then you are not effectively leveraging this medium’s potential.

You can still market, even directly! You just can’t do it all the time, and you need to do so strategically. Promote your events on social media indirectly, by sharing behind the scenes coverage, offer special promotions and special insights into your event for your followers, host a “q and a” with a prominent person in your company, and use video! You can do the same for a product or a service you are offering. Showcase testimonials and reviews, create fun sharable graphics, and interact with other, larger accounts to spread the word.

Just try not to overdo it! Mix marketing posts with seemingly benign posts that don’t directly or indirectly sell anything to your followers. Give followers reason to visit your account (account utility) so that when they do, they encounter a product or event you are trying to share with them.