Which one of the 1000 messages that reached you today changed your life?
Driving into Chicago to give a presentation last week, I was met with bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour and a half. Driving down the Eisenhower Expressway, I started to take in the landscape with each tap of the brakes. Have you ever noticed and counted each billboard on the road? I stopped counting at 150 (and there were many more along the way that I missed). At an average of $200 per day, most of us only notice $30,000 of advertising, and that did not include the radio ads we were listening to in a two and a half hour commute to make $500 (more or less).
If you go out and sell, present or network, do you dread opening up email when you come back to the office? It is no stretch that I will have to weed through 100 emails. Then you can have close to 100 other Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ messages, posts, comments, likes, +1's and so on. We try to unsubscribe from lists, and try to weed out the chaff from the wheat. I have been told to get an assistant to help me clear out the interruption from the important, but sometimes that can easily be lost in translation… What is an interruption, and What is IS IMPORTANT!
Flip The Coin
Now it's your turn. You are trying to get people to pay attention to you, your products and service and your messages. It can often feel easier than it looks since people like and comment on your Facebook posts or endorse you for LinkedIn things like ‘Basket Weaving' and ‘Cat Herding', and so on. No matter how important you may be (or maybe feel you may be) to your audience, you are still just another part of that noise. So how do you make sure you are heard above the noise? You have to pick a lane…
Branding vs Banding
Branding is getting you, your business, your products and service and or brand in front of people. Banding is creating a crowd that wants to share, comment or like your messages. Branding comes in short spurts that creates awareness. Banding creates long and interactive conversations. You have to create a blend of both to balance out what people see and react to… otherwise, you may just become more of the 1000 message noise everyone sees every day!
- Branding – Reaction – Posts that are branding are based on creating a reaction. That reaction is is hopefully creating a transaction of some kind of contact (not that there is anything wrong with that, especially if you want to sell something.)
- Banding – Interaction – Posts that are banding are meant to bring people together around a common theme. The purpose is to extend conversation through, likes, comments and shares. The key thing here is to embrace community.
- Branding – I, I'm, Me – Branding tends to be self focused. You are intrinsically telling the story about your company, products or service and your brands. You are trying to create focus and awareness and to tend to focus on self.
- Banding – You, We, Us – Banding is about creating a crowd or a tribe who revolves around a concept. It is much harder to create this kind of wave, but once it happens, it can grow into a tsunami (although you might find that harder to measure.)
- Branding – Care About Me – The message is much more focused on you and your brand. There is a time and a place for this, but you have to have a calculated reason why. Primarily because it's time, and you have a reason to drive people to buy or review.
- Banding – Share About Us – These messages tend to be more ethereal and esoteric. They focus more on concepts than contracts. People tend to share things that they are emotionally tied to rather than brands that they believe in.
There is a mix of branding and banding that works for every business. No blog post can give you that formula. Just like my wife makes chili, it's a little of this, and a little more of that. You have to blend to taste and more importantly, to the tastes of your audience.
One of my favorite lines from the movie “This is Spinal Tap” is, “It's a fine line between clever and stupid.”, and that is none more true in the world of social media. You have to push the envelope but not too far, and your audience will let you know both. I do a nightly “Caption Contest” on Facebook, and sometimes I have to push the envelope to even get people to comment. The winner is who gets the most likes on their comments and the win the adoration of the commenters (that's it). Every once in a while my wife Kim says “Take that down”… it's nice to have a conscious, but I have to stretch the envelope to see what creates interaction vs reaction.
What do you do to create reactions, interactions, and promote your brand, or band together with others?