Give to Receive: The Nine to One Ratio

If you want something, you must give first.

In business, we are all pressured to deliver. The boss wants more customers, more revenue, and more engagement on social media. Sell harder was the mantra. But to getting that kind of engagement over social media is exactly the wrong way to do so.

Counter intuitive

Engaging people over social media is counter intuitive. Instead of talking about your business, you need to talk about them.

When you approach your social media sites, create content that is relevant to them. Sometimes that may not even be directly related to your business and bring you a sale. A laugh or a head tilt to the side is worth more than just a visit to your site.

Create content that they will remember, that will make them laugh, make them ponder, and get them to read.

Most of the time your posts will have nothing to do with actually selling or bringing anyone in.

Nine to One

After creating content for your site to share with others, the next part is to visit others. Reading and commenting on other people’s posts will create a customer to Business or B2B relationship. But be careful not to force your hard sell or content on their page just yet. Take time to build a relationship with them and talk about their interests. Soon, they will do you the same favor.

The rule of thumb in this regard is to comment and engage others 9 times before you promote your own content. This type of engagement will bring you followers and won’t flood them with promotions or hard sales for your own company.

In Conclusion

It does seem strange, as a business looking to increase your market, to just talk with others and barely mention yourself. Resisting the urge to share everything about your company all the time is difficult, especially for an up and coming business. But, when you give to others and engage other about who they are, they will soon return the favor.

About Paul Gillin

Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker, online marketing consultant and social media coach with Profitecture. Since 2005, he has helped business-to-business marketers at companies of all sizes and in many industries use social media and quality content to reach and engage with customers. He is also a prolific writer who has published more than 200 articles on the subject of new media. His books include: "The New Influencers" (2007), "Secrets of Social Media Marketing" (2008), "The Joy of Geocaching" (2010) and "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" (2011) and "Attack of the Customers" (2013). He has written the monthly New Channels column for BtoB magazine since 2006. Paul is a veteran technology journalist with more than 25 years of editorial leadership experience. His website is and he blogs at and Newspaper Death Watch.