The Death of the Commercial

social media strategy
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Twenty years ago, advertising was a lot more straightforward than it is today. It might not have been any easier, but it was definitely predictable.

At the time, the best way to get your message out was via television, radio, or print marketing campaigns.

Customers who turned on the TV or opened up a magazine expected to be met with all kinds of brand messaging.

But these days, social media platforms have arisen. Since Facebook alone has 2 billion users, it’s easy to see why marketers rushed to these sites in an effort to get their message out to a potentially massive audience.

These social networks, however, turned out to be different than any other platform marketers have ever approached. Customers join social media because they want to connect with family, friends, and things that they’re interested in.

Because of this, users on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like responded much differently to overtly promotional content.

They simply started to ignore it.

In 2009, Facebook responded to user sentiment and created their infamous algorithm. This algorithm (or at least the version of it we see today) exists to block anything but amazing content from the Facebook News Feed.

In fact, Facebook goes as far as to say that overtly promotional content is frowned upon by the algorithm that governs the “top content” for user feeds.

But if the commercial is dead (at least on social media) then how are marketers supposed to get their message out?

Conversing for Fun and Profit: The Entrance of Inbound Marketing

Conversation - A Social Media Marketing Strategy
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Research has consistently shown that users head to social media to be entertained, informed, and inspired. If your content isn’t fulfilling the needs or desires that your customers have, then it’s nothing more than a commercial.

This, of course, is essentially the definition of the phrase that we use to describe as the solution to the “no commercials” dilemma: inbound marketing.

Unlike traditional marketing efforts, inbound marketing views marketing as a two-way street. By providing value to your customers, you earn the right to maybe, just maybe, get something valuable back. Over time, simply giving away more and more value can help you to:

  • Capture Contact Information
  • Generate New Leads
  • Win Over Customers
  • & More

What Do Social Media Users Want?

Social Media Marketing Strategy - Inbound Style
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Sometimes, marketing is overly complicated. A sound social media strategy is simple to execute on.

It’s just about giving people what they want.

What do they want? Well, they want to fulfill the unconscious desire that they had when they opened up their social network of choice.

Try to figure out why you opened up Facebook last time you were on it. What were you expecting? What about Instagram? Pinterest? Snapchat?

Maybe you were bored and looking to kill a few minutes. Maybe something newsworthy happened and you want to know what others think of it.

The truth is that you have a specific motivation for every time that you open up a social media site. Uncovering what that motivation is will help you to determine what kind of content you need to be putting in front of your customers.

The posts that go viral are those that offer the most value to the people that see it.


If you’re genuinely working to provide value to your customers and social media followers, you can be almost certain that you’ll succeed eventually. Social media content should always be about providing value first. Sales goals should always come second.

For seasoned sales teams, that might not come naturally, but adapting is well worth the effort.

This strategy is the only one that offers the potential to have success on social media. Any other kind of content is unlikely to be seen by a sizeable audience, and it’s even less likely to produce sales results.

If you want to win on social media, just remember – commercials are out, and conversations are in.