People tend to ignore selfish social media users. Take the opposite approach: Go out of your way to promote others.

While it's good to share helpful links and resources, avoid writing about and linking exclusively to your own content, says Robert Sofia, co-founder of coaching firm Platinum Advisor Strategies.

Instead, behave the way you would at a social gathering like a cocktail mixer, Sofia says. “Ask people about what they do and compliment them for their insights,” he says. After all, he points out, social media is about building relationships, not broadcasting advertisements.

To make sure you aren’t being too self-promotional, share content following the ‘80/20 rule,’ says Blane Warrene. Eighty percent of your posts should be educating, sharing and illuminating topics that are important (and interesting) to your followers. The other 20% of the content should help ensure that your audience knows and understands your business and its services, accomplishments and more.

“Don’t be a constant commercial that people will eventually tune out,” Warrene says. “Instead, be creative, posting quality content that is not only relevant to your business mission, but also interesting for your target audience.” 

In the end, promoting others will help you, too. “The more you promote others, the more they will be drawn to you, and the more likely they will be to take an interest in what you do,” says Sofia.

Joanna Belbey, social media and compliance specialist for the compliance technology firm Actiance, offers a slight variation on the rule. Be sure to share some content or make some comments that are not business related, she suggests. “Remember, we buy from people, not companies,” Belbey says. “On social media, people want to know who you are as a person too.”

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