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Forget the ABCs – mix it up on social media

By March 4, 2013 February 4th, 2019 No Comments

ABC. Always Be Closing. Coined in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, this hard-nosed sales philosophy may have worked a little in 1992, but it doesn’t today – especially with social media and the rise of relationship-first marketing. Here’s why.

Too much of a good thing is too much

Today’s marketing, especially using social media, is about building relationships. It’s not about selling – although that will happen. If your only message is about you or what you’re selling, people tune out and never come back. Think about it. What’s in it for them? What value are you adding by posting daily marketing updates? If the value isn’t there, your audience won’t be either.

Time to mix it up

We like an 80/20 mix of “off-brand” and “on-brand” posting to social media. Here’s what that means.


Off-brand posts are topics of conversation that fit with your company’s core message. They are usually less formal and more engaging. For example, if your company sells auto insurance, an off-brand post may be about whether or not you need to purchase additional insurance when renting a car on vacation. You’re not selling anything. Rather, you’re helping people. That’s important! These off-brand posts should account for 80% of your posts. This is where trust and relationships are built.


On-brand posts are marketing messages. They typically include announcements, sales and promotions, client testimonials, press coverage, etc. Although these updates are an important part of the strategy, we like to see them account for only 20% of your posts.

Why it works

People are savvy. They see through the sales speak. If they want to read about your products and services, they’ll visit your website (make sure it’s good!). When people follow you on social media, they’re looking for information, entertainment and some type of value. So, your approach, personality and style are all important. Before posting anything, ask “what’s in it for THEM?” Give, give, give, before you take.

And, remember to keep it interesting! Don’t be boring. Change it up and get creative. Done correctly, you’ll be educating, supporting and building trust all at the same time.

Then, and only then, you’re ready to close the deal.