“We need a LinkedIn company page, we need a facebook page, we need an email newsletter, let’s make a LinkedIn Group!”

But what are you going to put there? I’ve seen too many companies set up new social and digital channels then just fill them with sales pitches and internal news.

To truly engage your customers, you need to create useful and compelling content, and it doesn’t need to be all about you.

If you establish a LinkedIn Group just based around your brand, you are going to attract existing customers and people who are already engaged with your brand – not new customers.

If you fill your blog or email newsletter with company news, you will get the attention of a small number of customers and employees who are already very interested in what your company is doing.

But there are much smarter ways to use your digital and social profile to actually attract new customers and followers.

Here are a few tips:

  • Instead of focusing just on your company’s LinkedIn page, create a group on topics of general interest to your market. Share a range of content and invite other industry leaders to do the same.
  • Or instead of creating your own group, get active in existing groups where your customers are members. Offer your expert comments on the issues that come up – this will get you much more attention than just a sales pitch, and importantly, you’ll establish yourself as knowledgeable in your field, and trustworthy.
  • Instead of filling your email newsletter with the latest contracts and staff movements at your company, include useful tips that your customers might want to share with their networks – extending your reach even further.

In short: people don’t want to be sold to, and they’re not as interested in the daily details of your business as you are. Think more about what your customers what to know and less about what you want to tell them.

What other alternative ways are there to use digital and social media without talking about yourself?