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So, when can you jump in with “Buy my stuff!”? Vernon says that the general rule of thumb is 90/10: Ninety percent of your content should be sharing other people’s content, and 10 percent should be promotional. While that’s not a hard and fast rule, Vernon says that “people are not going to come around often to check out what you have to say if you’re talking about yourself all the time.” Instead, Vernon recommends sharing content that interests your audience so that when you have something to promote, your audience will be more likely to listen–and they just might even be interested.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram–they’re all free platforms businesses can use to directly engage with their audiences. But the idea that engagement is easy, free, and quick is false, according to Amy Vernon, social marketing consultant and cofounder and CMO of Predictable.ly. “One of the biggest false assumptions about using social media for marketing is that it doesn’t cost money and it’s fast,” says Vernon. “Like all good things, ‘getting the word out’ takes time.” Luckily, she says there are things you can do to help speed up the process.