If you’ve ever sat staring at your screen, logged in to a social media platform, and tried to find a new way to share the same thing to your followers, you’re in luck! This list may help inspire you to view your social posts differently and give you fresh ideas for connecting with your clients.

The hard sell post

This is usually the easiest type of social post to craft. It’s a straight-forward promotion of your product or service, often used to share word of a sale. The call to action is explicit: buy now! Examples of the hard sell social post include:

  • Door-crasher deals
  • Holiday sales
  • BOGO offers

Because it’s easy, it’s often over-used, and that’s important to keep in mind because it can turn your customers off! Remember that your followers have invited you into their feeds because they are interested in you; pushing them too hard to buy can cause them to mute or unfollow you. Hard sell posts should comprise a small percentage of your overall social content.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t still promoting your products or services, just that you’re going to go about it differently.

The soft sell post

The soft sell is a bit more complex and requires more effort to create, but it can be a great way to demonstrate the value of your product. Where a hard sell focuses on you selling, the soft sell demonstrates how someone’s life is improved by using your product or service. The focus shifts from selling to consuming. Examples of the soft sell post include:

  • First-person customer testimonials
  • Case studies of your product’s usefulness to customers
  • Third-person customer stories

By shifting the post’s focus to tell someone else’s story, with your product or service as the key to happiness, your sales pitch is much more subtle but the message is clear: potential customers can see the implied improvement in their own lives if they buy. Depending on the platform, the happy customer whose story you tell can be tagged in the post, encouraging them to share and thus promote your services to a completely new audience. Score!

The value-add post

This is another subtle sales technique on social: adding value to your followers lives by giving them something. What you’re giving in this case is your expertise, and it helps to demonstrate your authority and talent as a business.

Value-add post examples include:

  • Secrets, tips and techniques
  • Demonstrations of expertise (e.g. a video of you decorating a cookie)
  • Relevant news, with your expert commentary explaining why it’s important

Say you own a photography studio. You have plenty of experience in finding the right shot – capturing a moment perfectly. Sharing those tips and techniques with your audience doesn’t cost you anything and may inspire them to trust you with capturing their perfect shot. Your tips may improve their selfie game but won’t prevent customers from hiring you. It allows you to sell your experience and talent without ever mentioning price, product or service.

The behind the scenes post

Behind the scenes posts are an excellent way to invite your followers into your business and meet the people who work there. It helps you put a face on your brand – your team are real people, working hard, doing things they love, and making customers happy. More importantly, behind the scenes posts tend to feel real, not staged like more formal posts. Examples of this kind of post include:

  • “Take your kid to work” day
  • Team building activities like volunteering
  • Outtakes of formal videos

Use this type of post to demonstrate the good that your team does. Be silly, be authentic, be human! Social audiences enjoy following brands that don’t take themselves too seriously. These posts are about connecting with an audience, and selling the culture of your organization, rather than its products or services.

Behind the scenes examples:

The fun and inspirational post

For some organizations, this is the easiest type of post to create (for others, it’s the most difficult!). Fun posts are the least sales-y of everything you post, and yet are the ones that often resonate the most with your followers. Like the behind the scenes posts, this is about humanizing your brand, demonstrating that you’re made up of real people who laugh and have a good time. Inspirational posts, on the other hand, are more serious, but still align with your brand and culture. Examples of these kinds of posts include:

  • Celebrations of relevant silly days (like National Doughnut Day, if you’re a bakery)
  • Quotations about business or life that align with your brand
  • Lighthearted questions, comments or observations about the news of the day

Fun & inspirational examples:

While humanizing your brand, you want to be careful not to court controversy. Steer clear of making comments about politics, religion, and similar topics. If you’re being ironic, you may need to add a #irony hashtag (not everyone gets irony – or humour for that matter!). Whether you weigh in on the colour of a dress or cheer on the local team, these kinds of posts draw engagement! And engaged followers are more likely to see your more overt sales posts and convert.

Have you tried these kinds of posts? What resonates best with your audience? If you’ve been hitting the sell-sell-sell button too frequently on social, give these ideas a try to diversify your posts and see what your audience responds to. If you’ve been overwhelmed with social, give us call and we can help you create a custom social media marketing strategy!

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Gary Pitcher

Web Developer

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When you put Adrian behind a keyboard, magic happens. On stage, that means he’s making music. At work, he’s bringing website designs to life. Adrian is probably the quietest member of the Unrivald Digital team, but when he speaks, we all listen because we know he’s got something important to say.

Shaheen Bhimani


Shaheen is the guy you want in your corner when you’ve got a complex problem to solve in the next 15 minutes. He’s part MacGyver, part Tony Stark and part while still being the nicest guy in the room, hands down. His soft-spoken, down-to-earth vibe and ability to deliver makes him a client favourite.

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Whether leading a meeting, riding his motorcycle, or running in the Banff Jasper Relay (for which he was Race Director for many years), Blair connects with the world around him. He inspires his team to work hard while never forgetting the value of the relationships he builds with clients.