By: Samantha Owens Pyle

One of my favorite things to do on Valentine’s Day weekend is to watch all the different dates that are happening around me. It’s always fun to see how people interact, whether they’ve been married for 50 years or they’re on their first date.

But there are also those “cringeworthy” dates that you can’t help but notice — he ones where you know both people are doing everything they can to get through until the end of the dinner.

What can we learn about attracting customers on social media from an awkward first date?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

Attracting customers on social media is a lot like dating

To attract customers, you can’t only post sales-driven content. Here’s why.

If you’ve ever been on a date where the other person only talks about themselves, you know how obnoxious it can be. The same goes for businesses who only post sales-driven content on Facebook.

Instead, generate leads in two ways: directly and indirectly.

  • Directly: Generate leads by sharing content that links directly back to a landing page with a contact form on your website.
  • Indirectly: Generate leads eventually after sharing friendly, easy-to-consume content not housed behind a form.

If you only published direct sale posts, you’d totally bore your fan base. At least 50 percent of your Facebook content should not be directly sales-driven content.

Building a long-term relationship should be your goal

The key to generating leads on Facebook is to post a variety of content that aligns with goals other than generating leads or driving sales.

Aiming for “fluffier” goals like reach, awareness, buzz, customer satisfaction, and engagement (comments, likes, shares) are just as important as rigid lead generation or sales goals. They’re the stepping-stones to what you really want — stronger relationships that lead to more business.