Hank Jordan's Blog
Writing / Publishing / Business Consulting

Careful What You Say

August 30th, 2010 by Hank

Fifteen years from now, we may find it incredible to think that a business could thrive without leveraging the power of social networks. We know that most businesses today cannot succeed without email, but lookout — the social media craze is mushrooming, with mixed results. Millions of people now are using Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Blogs and other “social media” to get their thoughts and messages across to a broad audience.

Everyone figures out that there are no barriers of entry, and social media promotion quickly turns into a massive spam machine. There are so many social messages going out daily through various media, that folks are beginning to feel overwhelmed, and they are tuning out and opting out.

This is a sigalert to business managers. They want to get their message out — not get tuned out.

What can we do about this dilemma?

Well, the best answer is: Be careful what you say and how you say it!  Readers often don’t get the message you think they are getting. In their minds, they read what they want to hear, not necessarily what you said. People may take a quick look at whatever message you are trying to get them to read and immediately abandon it, and you, forever. On the other hand, they may be interested, or even intrigued by the subject they perceive in your message.  Notice that word perceive.

Newsletters, for example, offer an opportunity to build a sender-reader relationship with customers, friends, and prospective customers. And we all know that you need to build relationships in order to build readership and to turn prospective customers into customers. Good newsletters are very powerful, whether printed and mailed, or e-mailed.

Sending out ads via email is quite different from sending out newsletters. Unfortunately many business owners/managers fail to realize this. They sign up for an email newsletter campaign, write or supervise the production of one or two ads to send out, and then give up, disappointed that the email newsletter campaign is “not working”. Of course its not working. Nobody wants to be sold anything.

A good newsletter, or a good tweet, or a good Facebook entry, or a good blog entry is quite simply one that provides information of interest to the reader. The most successful newsletters convey lots of information of interest and soft pedal the sales pitch. A good target is a 60/40 mixture or better. The more genuine information vs. advertising, the better the email newsletter campaign performs. Interestingly enough, the information portion need not relate to the advertising message in any way whatsoever. Humor is consistently the best-read section.

Posted in Business Books & Writing

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