There's nothing wrong with self-promotion. Self-promotion helps you get your voice out there, let's people know you're proud of the work you've done, and shows customers that you believe in the product or service your unabashedly promoting.
However, there is a thing known as too much self promotion: a.k.a rampant self indulgence. You never want to cross the line from happily sharing what you've accomplished, to egotistically bragging about yourself.
If you've got something good to share, then usually your work will speak for itself. But there's no harm in self-promoting your work to get in front of the most eyes and ears possible!
But how do you balance the line between self promotion and self indulgence?
Honesty in marketing is one of the biggest issues that consumers are concerned about in the industry. People can smell a dishonest company from a mile away, and when they can tell you're being dishonest, I guarantee you they will call you out on it. Whether that's through a scathing review of your company, or blocking you from their email list, social media timeline, etc., you have to remember that consumers expect your company to be relatable and to be honest with them.
When you’re promoting yourself through things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, or even the good old fashioned advertisement, you've got to make a conscious decision to be honest about your company, and the product you are promoting. It’s okay to be proud of your company, and make references to why people should be looking to you over your competition, but that shouldn't be your only goal. As I mentioned before, a good product speaks for itself. Put the product out there, tell people what the benefits of choosing your company are, and then let the product's reputations do the work for you.
Have you ever praised another company and had that company speak well of you in return? It's a mutually beneficial strategy that not only makes you seem like you care about something other than yourself, but also helps to get your name out there to interested consumers through another channel. You'll find that when you start sharing the work of other businesses (not your competitors, mind you) you'll earn the loyalty of more interested customers who see that you don't just care about patting yourself on the back. The Terrible Minds blog recommends a ratio of about 25% self promotion, 75% sharing posts from others, including interesting blog articles. This is a pretty solid ratio, that keeps you from oversharing your own work.
There's nothing worse than a steady stream of spam posts. Whether they're coming from someone who's just a little bit trigger happy with the Hootsuite Schedule Post button, or a bot that you've setup to automate your social media posts and emails, spamming is just as bad as its culinary namesake (sorry, Spam lovers).
As I mentioned with the ratio of self-promotions to non-self-promotions, you also need to consider how many times you're sending out promotions a day. Because a 25% ratio of self-promotions when you're sending out hundreds of posts and emails a day is still way more promos than anyone's comfortable with doing. If you're a smaller business, limit yourself to a max of four posts a day (that's one self-promo post a day, for those doing the math). If you're a larger company, more posts can sometimes be better, but never more than 10 social media posts a day and one email.
Following these guidelines, it's easy to see why self-promotion isn't always a bad thing. In fact, it's a tool that, when properly wielded, can positively increase the perception of your company, and get you even more customers! Remember to never cross the line between self-promotion and self-indulgence, but be proud of what you have to share!
Contributor Caleb Hennington is a 24-year-old writer, who manages the Atwill Media and FGmarket blogs. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
When not writing, Caleb enjoys camping, running, collecting comic books, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.