Now, I will compare the sporting league and the lack of fan strategic content, with the growth of brands I started managing at the fitness company.

Some Background:

At the fitness company, I was given the challenge of managing a little known brand (moving forward calling this “Brand X”) and growing it to compete with the number one brand (moving forward calling this “Brand Y”) — which had over 500K fans at the time.

Brand X had 215K fans when I took it over — pretty large on the grand scheme of things. Through research and experience, I knew growing exponentially year over year after already accumulating more than 100,000 fans is extremely difficult; most brands only grow about 85% year over year after amassing more than 100,000 fans. In order to achieve this challenge, I needed to find a way to grow Brand X organically and quickly, while not forgetting about the fans I was trying to acquire (always remember your audience). I knew that it would take the perfect balance between motivation, fun content, and business to achieve my feat.

Some Social Media Strategy:

After 11 months, Brand X had grown more than 235% and overtook Brand Y as the number one selling brand for the company by 2012. By mid 2013, Brand X had passed Brand Y in terms of fan acquisition on social, and in 2014, amassed over 1M fans, where Brand Y was still sitting around 700K. Why? Content, content, content!

I was giving the fans of Brand X exciting content that made them want to be a part of the social community, made them want to share, hit the like button and comment for this brand they now loved (all the while covertly selling them the product), where as Brand Y was only focused on the product and selling. The two can go hand-in-hand, and have with Brand X, but you have to find the tipping point for your fan base and what will cause them to purchase. Brand Y’s manager did not understand this, and therefore, suffered in both sales and social acquisition.

Key Takeaway:

Content is the key point of social media marketing.

Content can push your brand and your products, but it has to be relatable to your audience. If a fan feels like they’re being “sold”, they will have a negative reaction to any content you produce on the page. If your fan feels like they’re being brought into a conversation, then their reactions turn positive. I’m not saying you should fill your pages with funny memes and viral YouTube videos, but find the medium between your product and that conversation.

There is a way to bridge the gap between the two and sell to your fans, without them knowing they’re being sold to.