I’m a practical joker. I live for scaring people, making peeps laugh, and drawing a “what did she just say?!” out of my online audiences.
But with everything, there’s a time for joking and a time to be taken seriously.
Case in point: A few months ago my boyfriend of three years proposed. I thought he was joking. Seriously.
Until he brought out the REALLY shiny ring, I had no idea he was asking me to marry him.
Wanna know how I finally figured out he was serious?
He didn’t ask, “Will you marry me?”
He said, “Will you be with me forever?”
True story. I’d have to get into WAY too much detail about my personal life to tell you why the forever statement means much more to me than the marriage proposal – but it has something to do with marriages don’t last and forever is, well, FOREVER.
So, when it comes to your own online audiences, are you using words that resonate with them? Or are you blathering on about nothing, allowing them to brush you off and not take you seriously?
Below I have three reasons your online communities may not be taking you seriously.
You’re A Parrot
If everything you post is just parroting something someone else said … what’s the point, exactly?
We had a conversation recently on the B Squared Facebook Page about Instagram and how it’s turned from a real-life picture sharing site into a “let’s use Canva to quote peeps and create memes” sharing site.
Not one person said, “Oh I just LOVE that!” Or, “That’s exactly why I joined Instagram, to see memes and quotes!”
We pretty much all decided that it’s: Ew, icky.
Unfortunately, marketers stole this “strategy” from Facebook. Which really isn’t a strategy at all in my eyes.
It also happens on Twitter. I’ve had tweeps follow me, and as I always do, I give their profile a little gander before following back.
And if this is what I see:
I’m not following you.
I’d rather know what YOU have to say. And I definitely have my eye out to see:
- How many times you tweet a day
- How many conversations you’re having on Twitter
- How many retweets you have a day (retweets are fine, but not if that’s all you’re doing on Twitter)
Sorry, but I just don’t find it useful to follow parrots on Twitter, Facebook, or any social site for that matter!
(And neither do YOUR online audiences)
You’re Too Fluffy
I’m not calling anyone fat here. In all honesty, I’m a little fluffy myself and need to slim down for the wedding!
What I mean by fluffy is that you’re full of crap. Everything you post has no real meaning (read: kitten memes, quotes, and riddles and puzzles aimed at garnering engagement from your audience).
There’s a time and place for quotes, memes, and games if you ask me. And it’s NOT all the time!
Exceptions to the rule:
- You’re an entertainment company
- You’re a greeting card company (think someEcards)
- You’re a puzzle company
- You’re a meme generator company
Other than that, please use memes, quotes, and other games sparingly.
I promise you, they may garner likes and shares — and yes, they can help you “win” at the Facebook game — but the only game I’m interested in winning for my clients involves conversions.
And I’ve never known memes to accomplish those.
You Shout (Louder)
Some of you may realize that the online world is noisy. So you just shout louder.[Buzzer Sounds] Wrong way to go about it, I’m afraid.
How many times have you been in a meaningful conversation that involved shouting? I’m guessing not often.
Are you just posting to post? Or are you posting to entice conversation?
Are you focused on likes, fans, followers and friends? Or are you trying to build trust with your online audiences?
Is your content original and fresh? Or are you just a parrot that’s fluffy?
Think about it. Shouting louder never works.
But if your words are targeted, meaningful, and your own, you’re likely to be heard in the crowd.
What Your Online Audiences Want
That’s up to you to find out.
Research. Ask questions. Conduct surveys. A/B test. Think Conversation.
Find your unique tone and voice and speak to your audiences in a way they will hear it – no matter how noisy it is!
I can almost guarantee that they aren’t interested in parrots, fluffy unicorns, and shouters.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared. In 2017, B Squared Media was named Sprout Social's 'Partner of the Year' and in 2018, Brooke was named a 'Top 25 Brand Builder in New Jersey.' Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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