A picture is worth a 1,000 words. To prove it, I posted this picture in Facebook and started a caption contest (no prize) with these rules… “Caption Contest – 2 Rules – NOTHING Religious/Political, or Sexually Gross : )”. OK, I only got 764 words in reply but they are still coming in. I had 8 people “Like” it and 45 comments to date.
There are 1,000 concepts, approaches, procedures, methodologies, processes, philosophies, ways, or techniques to create a conversation with your audience. (Yes… I used a thesaurus)!
Being in the Social Media World, I get 2-3 invites a week to attend webinars that promise to “Get More Likes”, How to Engage Fans” and “You can make Millions on Facebook”. I do make time to attend some of them.
The reality is… that the average small business has about 150 likes. Chances are, you know those people personally. Getting to know your audience, what they like, and what makes them tick, makes it easier to communicate “WITH THEM… NOT AT THEM”. This is what makes social media “SOCIAL”. I have local clients with over 1000 Fans or Likes and quite a few others that have over 500. In talking with each of them, they attribute sharing a passion with their fans and being accessible to their needs, wants and comments.
The ones that struggle are still treating social media as a broadcast advertising medium. They may think that they are communicating, but they are so rooted in self promotion, that when they do offer a useful tip or tidbit, it slips through the cracks or falls on deafened ears.
Great business people continue to learn and grow. They also have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They seek out advice or training to improve those strengths, and they find good people to fill those voids. My strengths are understanding on-line marketing techniques, website usability, and measuring effectiveness. I do understand programming, design, and content development, but those are not particular strengths. When given the option (time and budget), I rely on experts. I have a stable of programers (who themselves specialize in things like custom php, Drupal, or WordPress). I work with designers (print projects are a big need for me). I have a stable of photographers and videographers. And two of my favorite content developers are Shirley Mott of the theWrite-Word.com, and Matt Brennan of matthewlbrennan.com.
People tend to focus more on the design and less on the content. Pictures are worth 1000 words, but 10 perfectly crafted words can be just as powerful and successful in communicating with potential clients! What you say, and how you say it, is ultimately important to your brand as your logo. Just to show you how… I was once told that “You would be more credible if I learned how to spell”? I thanked the person for the feedback, and asked for some examples of what I did wrong? The two things that bothered them was that I spell Dude – “Dewd”, and that I said “Fore Hour Nature Meetings” (which is code for I am going golfing). That is part of my personal brand, but it just rubbed them the wrong way!
Deep Thoughts by Matt Brennan…
I've asked Matt to share his insight and tips on creating great content…
Three Tips For Engaging Content
Breathtaking design is important when it comes to Internet marketing, but it only takes you halfway home. From that point, you still need strong content that provokes your audience to engage. It’s how to get your business noticed in the Internet age. Here are three suggestions to help you convert eyeballs into customers.
- Write with personality. Chances are you have a decent amount of competition. They sell what you sell. What makes your business different? Why should someone hire you instead of the next guy?
- Grammar and spelling count. It’s common sense. It only takes a few minutes. But nothing makes someone click away faster than a misspelled word, or the wrong usage of their, there, or they’re. Learn them. Know them. Use them.
- Educate instead of sell. People are interested in what you do. Why not tell them why your product or service is crucial, instead of how great your business is? You don’t have to be a constant salesman. This is especially true with blogging and social media.
Not everyone is a writer, and business owners have so much else on their plate. If it doesn’t make sense for you to be undertaking this part of your business, hiring a writer to produce your content is convenient and affordable.
Thanks Matt. To his points, if you are going to write content yourself, use personality and double and triple check the basics (I usually have my wife proof read my blog posts). Finally… people are most likely to communicate, the way they like to be communicated to! Make sure you are communicating in a way your customers will appreciate, engage, and look forward to again and again!
We appreciate your thoughts and comments!