Warning: They Will Ignore You If You Stalk Them
If you’ve ever found yourself drumming up courage to walk down a beach in Mexico, praying you will fly below the radar of the dog-and-pony-street-vendor show, then maybe you can understand how consumers are starting to feel on Facebook.
Simply hoping for some face time with friends, to share a few photos or just laugh at a video or two, they show up by the droves, only to be disgusted and frustrated by the onslaught of offers being posted onto their profiles and slipped into their news feed.
With promises announcing pills for the best sex of their lives to taking 20 years off their faces, why wouldn’t they run screaming from you? Or worse – ignore you!
What Opportunities Are You Missing?
Contrast the beach-filled, vendor-selling smorgasbord with you as the main course, to an experience in an upscale boutique. Imagine shopping in sweat pants as you are pushing a set of grubby fingered twins in a bus sized stroller what kind of attention would you expect to get? Not the good kind. Yet, theoretically, you would be a great client – in a hurry, no time to try things on and just trying to get it done quickly as you are blatantly ignored, at best.
Meanwhile your black American Express card, buried under a bag full of diapers and dirty toys, begging to be used, is screaming “Big mistake, big mistake – huge”, Julia Roberts style.
Are social media networks any different?
The consumer is feeling the crushing burden of information overload tying to casually socialize in thriving “guru” infested waters. Flashing banner ads of good steals and incredible steals are constantly in your face, offering all the cool free stuff you can grab, for just an email address, like or a tweet!
Stop the madness already! Being an online desperado filled with false bravado is a losing proposition for anyone and needs to stop for everyone’s sanity.
Yet trying to become an untouchable – a social media snob who is one of the highly sought after experts who seem to have it all figured out, sitting like kings on a throne, deciding who is worthy of their attention and who should eat cake – seems pretty lonely too. Who wants to sit around hashing out the same tired ideas, just talking to each other as consumers sit around thinking “what about me”?
“A State of Overwhelmnation”
The stream is overflowing. With so much information, it hardly seems plausible that anyone could pay attention to a molecule of your message, let alone act on it.
The problem is, too many brands, individual or otherwise, leap into the fray without a clear plan to guide them. This contributes to the tangle of information, leaving the masses to pick and choose their content as they surf through endless seas of information.
For consumers, this can be incredibly chaotic and overwhelming: Who to trust? Who to believe?
Getting readers to stop and pay attention, means you must always send a signal, and never just chatter mindlessly trying to see what sticks, effectively making you the noise.
How to be the Signal Instead of the Noise
1. Have a hook that delivers the basics of your message in the time it takes to scan a single line of text.
There is just too much content to choose from. If it isn’t obvious that your message will be useful, readers will quickly jump to the next thing in their queue.
2. Think elegant jeweler rather than rummage sale.
Although rummage sales are fun to sift through when searching for hidden gems, most of us need to be in the mood and have the time to spare. In contrast, high-end jewelers will often spotlight one spectacular piece in a window display. This first catches, then holds your attention, while giving a taste of what one might expect inside.
People can become paralyzed by too many choices. Give your audience one message at a time, and never feel like you have to cram everything in at once. More doesn’t necessarily mean more value.
3. Use narrative to make an impact.
Tell a story that illustrates your points and draws your reader closer to you through the use of human emotion. It’s always easier to relate to a reader with a story than it would be with the ever popular bullet points post.
When your readers connect emotionally to your story, they connect with YOU.
4. Solve problems.
For every piece of information you publish, ask yourself, “Will this help to solve a problem for somebody?” Being consistently helpful is a great way to surface from the echos into a voice people will want to hear.
5. Build your network.
This can help immeasurably when establishing your authority and spreading your message. Of course, you must return the favor, but there is an amazing exponential effect to an expanding network. It can be quite a turbo boost if you search geographically for influencers close to you.
I have found meeting people offline really solidifies the relationship.
6. Make it easy for people to share your message with retweet and Facebook share buttons available.
But don’t go overboard with too many choices. Again, simplicity is key. Focusing on the social networks you participate in will help you be able to leverage the juice you get from your shared content.
7. Find the platform that’s best for you.
You want to be where people are interested in what you have to say, and will benefit from what you have to offer. A small, highly targeted audience is worth more than a million random followers.
Also if you find yourself spending all day with other marketers, writers, bloggers, and social media types, rather than going to where your audience is, then you are probably “singing to the choir”..
8. Don’t forget to listen.
Social media is a two-way street. You aren’t online to broadcast, you’re there to communicate. You can learn a lot about your market’s wants and needs by taking time to monitor social media so you can find out what people are looking for, what questions they have, and what problems they need to solve.
Understanding their pain points is key when trying to get them to believe in the promised land of your solution.
It’s important that your social media strategy not only gets your message heard, but also gets people to take action. Take time to be thoughtful about how you will use it instead of sending blasts of noise that will only be ignored.
What ways to do you stand out from the online crowd? Share your tips in the comments below.