The Downside of Social Media

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While social media usage continues to grow here in the U.S. and globally, so do opportunities to reach key audiences on the Web, although this has created an oversaturation of content bombarding folks online as they navigate the super information highway.

Countless efficiency studies have been released on managing content, mirrored by just as many reports on tapping key audiences in a cluttered marketplace.  For instance, standing up in a packed movie theater yelling “Fire!” will certainly grab attention, but it’s probably not the kind of exposure that is sustainable over the long term.

Facebook and Google’s ad strategy of creating more personalized content based on user preferences may be the future of marketing.  The fact remains, however, that people turn off when the proverbial information flow goes on overload.

Walking a delicate balance is the right strategy.  Consider the following tips when engaging online audiences:

— Make your message relevant.  Know your audience’s wants and needs and develop messaging that resonates on a deeper level.  For example, time-strapped moms on the go may be more inclined to buy paper towels from a manufacturer that understands the pressures of getting the kids to school on time.

— Don’t try to speak to the entire world.  While having a video or tweet go viral is rare, most times less is more.  Try having more personalized online conversations and work on building deeper relationships with audiences.

— Start off slow.   Don’t bombard your audience with too many messages at once.  Keep it simple.  Start a conversation and then slowly move into other topic areas with time.

— Add value.   Make sure you provide your audiences with something they can’t get elsewhere.  This is paramount.

— Try the post office.    May sound corny, but a nice follow up letter using snail mail with an actual signed signature goes a long way in today’s fast-paced, digitized world.

And finally, remember the old adage of selling the sizzle, not the steak.   Keep in mind that there are millions of conversation threads each day.  Why should anyone join yours?

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