There’s a rule in social marketing in general and social media in particular that you shouldn’t be blatantly self-promotional. That is, you shouldn’t “flog” your content or offerings and risk alienating the folks with whom you hope to engage.

Balderdash.

While I agree that you shouldn’t ONLY flog your own content,

I reject the notion that you shouldn’t post and repost the same piece of original content several times, in several places, at several different times of day.

Why?

Because you’ve worked hard on it; because it’s got value; and because an average post on Twitter, for example, lasts only about five-10 minutes. Posting something on Twitter is a bit like a quick burst from a water hose toward an ice cube tray on the other side of the room: precious few droplets will get collected by the intended target.

But that’s just part of the problem. Suppose you tweet out your blog post at 9 a.m. in Boston. Well, guess what? Almost no one on the West Coast will see your tweet, because they’re on the beach doing yoga and waiting for the sunrise. But if you also post the blog link at, say, 1 p.m. EST, that means it’ll be 10 a.m. in California, when Silicon Valley types are just finishing up their triple soy lattes and flip-flopping over to their Macs.

I recently wrote an ebook about social media in the Energy Sector, and let me tell you, the energy execs aren’t necessarily the most socially dialed in. So, in addition to blogging and flogging the post on Facebook, I’m also running LinkedIn and Facebook ads to be sure the right people find my content, which I happen to know is valuable to that group.

A one-time “hail Mary” tweet on Twitter simply won’t cut it. Ditto for a single post on Facebook or LinkedIn. After all, we’re talking about social marketing here.

Let me close by saying that flogging your content should be accompanied by some common sense rules:

  1. Make sure you’re also sharing content that’s interesting and relevant to your audience that has NOTHING TO DO with you or your company. You can’t only share your own posts and hope to build a trusting, engaged fan base.
  2. Spread out the flogging a bit. Don’t do it back-to-back-to-back like this Twitter guy — @noninvasive1 — because that’s just plain annoying.
  3. Do not flog your content if you don’t believe it has value. That’s just digital pollution.
  4. Mix up the language of your posts, so that if folks have already seen it in their respective streams, they’ll at least give you points for being creative.

 

Do you agree or disagree with this concept? What did I get right or wrong?  NOTE: I’m making fun of California because I lived there for 10 years and, by making fun of its people, I won’t miss it quite as much.