It’s difficult to walk the fine line between advertising and social media. On one hand, you want your business pages to be fresh and fun, but on the other hand you still want them to reflect your business and, ultimately, bring customers to your doors.

With the right approach, you can use your social media channels to help bolster your bottom line. Here are a few tips:

There are conversations about businesses taking place all the time on social media. Chances are, someone is talking about yours, too. Brand listening is a new buzzword that describes the art of gaining insight from observing, analyzing and taking part in conversations about your business, industry, and competitors.

There are plenty of sites that help you do that. is one.Talkwalker is another. Both feature social media analytics and a reporting platform that taps into the conversations across millions of websites, social networks, print outlets, and media broadcasts. Do a simple search on either site and see what comes up about your business. You may even find some negative reviews to respond to—or positive ones to thank customers for.

Get your customers to share
You can talk about yourself all day, but that won’t get you very far. Just like in real life, people who talk about themselves too often find themselves alone—or just boring people. Success on social media depends more on how much your customers talk about you than how much you talk about yourself.  About a third of all Facebook users have made a purchase after sharing, liking, or commenting on products. Those kinds of word-of-mouth advertisements attract new customers, too.

Encourage your customers to talk about their experiences. Offer them a discount if the “check in” to your location. Give them a coupon if they write a review. Enter them into a contest if they’re willing to take a selfie with a staff member or product.

Make your social channels an extension of your business.
With the implementation of buy buttons and online stores, social-driven retail sales are growing at a faster rate than all other online channels. Buy buttons let users make secure purchases from within social networks. Facebook, for example, introduced a buy button feature in 2014 and recently expanded it for their messenger app. You can also create a Facebook store where you can host special events, display merchandise and further communicate with customers.

Make it seasonal
Everyone likes a seasonal sale, right? If you run an autoshop, you probably already have a number of seasonal deals that you rely on. It’s the same with social media businesses. Ecommerce operates on  the same seasonal calendar. The difficulty can be in creating seasonal content that isn’t overtly promotional—in other words, it’s tough to offer seasonal content without falling into the trap of talking about yourself too often. Social content-creation platforms like PromoRepublic take a lot of the guesswork out of it. The site has a library of thousands of seasonal templates and other concepts that can help you create an event around virtually any holiday or time of year.

Make it pretty
PabloTestAs always, visual content is the key to attracting new customers because striking visual content is the best way to rise above the social static permeating most peoples’ news feeds. Stay away from standard stock images—most people can tell they’re not genuine—and try to use graphics that you can truly make your own. Buffer’s Pablo site lets you do that. The images start out generic, but the free site includes many different ways to filter the images, add text, color the text and more. It’s almost like having your own graphic designer on staff. Sometimes, a striking image with a short sentence is all you need to grab someone’s attention.


Those are a few of our tips. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!