(Paloma Gómez/CC BY-SA 2.0)

(Paloma Gómez/CC BY-SA 2.0)

When you’re on social media — not as a car wash business owner, but as just a regular person — what kinds of things are you interested in reading? What types of links are you more likely to click on?

An audience is less likely to consume media that feels like promotional material. The general public doesn’t typically visit a company’s website just to read the press releases. So when they follow that company on Twitter or like it on Facebook, they’re not doing it because they want to see tweets and links to press releases.

Today, Bruce Kasanoff posted a short article on LinkedIn called “The Secret of Success in Social Media.” His takeaway is that self-promotion should be very seldom focused on the “self,” and instead should live by the same mantra as many do in their lives: “Help others first.” He writes:

Go to a company’s web site. Pick one at random. The odds are overwhelming that 95 percent of the content there promotes their own products and services.

Now look at their Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook feeds. You’ll probably see a similar stream of self-promotion. After a short time, such companies train readers to ignore what they say.

It’s also worth noting that Kasanoff has recently written a book. How do we know that? Because he mentions it in italics at the end of his article. If, however, the article had been about his book, it’s unlikely many people would have clicked on it.

We recommend two main types of content for car wash businesses:

  1. The first is content that sounds nothing like promotion at all. Instead, it targets your audience’s core interests, the first of which is their car. If they didn’t take pride in having a clean vehicle, they wouldn’t be following you on social media in the first place.
  2. The second is more like advertising — except it’s really useful. Not just, “We’re open today, so come on down.” But rather, We have a serious deal going on that will save you real money. Everyone likes to save money, but 10 percent off won’t make anybody get out of bed.

What’s your social media strategy? Has it evolved over time?