Person logging into Facebook.

Shoppers who follow brands and businesses on social media expect to see the occasional product promotion or a post advertising an in-store sale, but most people turn to their social channels to connect, and too much direct selling on your Facebook page or Twitter feed can turn shoppers off.

If you want to turn prospects into customers via social media, you can do it without overwhelming your followers with content that advertises your dealership or the products you sell. The key is to “sell without selling” by balancing subtle, sales-focused content with posts meant to educate or entertain your audience.

The 4-1-1 rule is a great guideline to help you achieve a well-balanced mix of content on your social pages.This rule says that for every six posts you create on your social media channels, four posts should entertain or educate, one post should be a “soft sell” and one post should be a “hard sell.” Let’s take a closer look at how you might use the 4-1-1 rule.

Icons_SpeechBubble.png Four Entertaining/Educational Posts

Entertaining or educational posts are easy to craft if you curate your social media. Keep an eye on what other industry experts are posting and share their posts. You can also find and share content from other websites, like relevant YouTube videos or articles from your favorite consumer magazine.

Some successful examples of entertaining or educational post include a video of a stunt artist performing tricks on a dirt bike, an article about the best fall motorcycle rides or tips on ATV maintenance. These types of posts add value for your audience by serving them content that meets their interests. They add value for you by keeping your audience engaged, ensuring that the sales-focused content you post is seen by more people.

Icons_Entertainment.png  One Soft Sell Post

Soft sell posts help form a connection between your brand and your customers. In these posts, you plant the seeds that shoppers should buy from you. Since you’re not applying pressure for an immediate sale, soft-selling posts are often seen favorably by shoppers. A soft sell post on your social media might look like this:

 “We’re having an open house on May 22! Come visit us for a chance to win some exciting prizes!”

Even though this post doesn’t directly encourage shoppers to make a purchase, the simple act of getting them to think about your store will help keep your dealership top-of-mind when they are ready to buy.

Icons_Hardsellt.png  One Hard Sell Post

Hard sell posts focus should convince a customer to make a purchase in the near future. These posts often include detailed product information and usually create a sense of urgency. A hard-sell post on your social media might look like this:

“Don’t miss out on your chance to own a new Polaris Sportsman 570! We only have two left on our lot! Check out our website to learn more about these great ATVs, then call us to schedule your test drive today.”

The post focuses on the limited availability to create a sense of urgency within the shopper and links to more information about the product to help them make a decision. By sparingly posting content that focuses on hard selling and balancing it with content focused on soft selling and educational or entertaining content, you can drive sales from your social media pages without driving away followers.

Want more tips for leveraging your social media to get shoppers buying from you? Register for our next HelpForce Live! webinar, “Social Media That Sells.”