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3 Reasons Your Online Audiences Don’t Take You Seriously

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:

retweets only

 

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, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Category: Branding, CMGR, Community Managers, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing
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10 Comments. Leave new

  • In order to initially break through the clutter I think it is necessary to shout, provided that you are backing your voice with a fresh and quality perspective, and following up with a invitation for conversation. Completely agree with your first two points!

    Reply
    • Maybe we see “shouting” differently, Cory? I think if/when you have something good to say (a good icebreaker, conversation or content) then you never really have to shout. But that’s just my perspective! I’m glad you connected AND glad this enticed you to comment. See? Now we’re having a conversation (and one on Twitter, too). WOO HOO! 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and weighing in. I hope to “see” you again here soon.

      Reply
  • Haha that is true. I guess I’m confusing shouting with merely speaking. I do think that some degree of noise making is necessary to entice potential audiences to view and engage in content – something to break through and begin any sort of conscious participation.

    Reply
    • Absolutely we must make waves and make noise to be “seen” – I’m just not sure it always involves shouting. I only try to shout during football … or when there’s a shoe sale at Nordy’s (I get pretty excited about shoes). 😉

      Reply
  • Another great post Brooke! I always equate online relationships with offline relationships. If you wouldn’t do it in a face to face encounter, what makes it ok online? When this happens in real life, don’t we try hard to avoid contact with those people? You have to be a “real” person.

    Reply
    • You said it, Josh. Nail, meet head. What amazes me is that people shout and act all silly online when they wouldn’t do it IRL (in real life). Would you run around saying quotes from other people to your friends?? Would you run around showing kitten pictures to people all day (well – I know some peeps who would. LOL!)?? Would you run an ad in the newspaper to announce your family member is deathly ill??

      I’ve seen all those things and more online — from PAGES, not PEOPLE — (I’m sure you have too), and it’s nothing less than baffling. I think people who may have a hard time with social settings or boundaries in real life may not be the best at managing online properties. Thats my non-scientific explanation, anyway. 😉

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by! Can’t wait to see your guest post on Mark’s blog – ping me when it’s live!

      Reply
  • Hi Brooke,

    My first visit here and I really enjoyed the post.

    I certainly agree with you on all three points. I do find, however, that I don’t want to judge people too hard on making a noise. Social media is a tough place to get noticed and so almost everyone who is in this massive attention free-for-all is going to try things that annoy or are counter productive.

    I think that the point you made at the end, doing the work to find out what resonates with your readers is critical. Shouting or a bit of fluff can be forgiven as part of one’s attempt to get going in the social media scene, but I think there has to be a bit of growing up through deliberate attempts to understand your users.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the read, cheers.

    Reply
    • Hi Vernon! Very happy to “see” you here.

      I agree and disagree with you. I don’t think you have to make much “noise” online to get noticed. I think you can start targeted conversations with influencers or like-minded peeps and get plenty of traction. But … that all depends on what “noise” means to you. I don’t think conversations are noisy, and of course you have to share some of your own content in there to be seen as a thought leader (with unique ideas).

      And yes, maybe there’s some noise making that happens when finding out what your readers want. But I think that can happen with conversation as well. It’s a slow process to get people to have conversations with you online, so perhaps noise might become a filler until that happens. But if it’s valuable information that your audience likes, is it noise?

      I suppose noise is like art. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 😉

      Thank you for stopping by and weighing in! Love the conversation and hope to continue it.

      Reply

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