We have to earn our audience’s attention

Listen Vs. Ignore - Toggle SwitchWe have to earn our audience’s attention.  Let’s see how you’re doing at that.

If you own or run a business, I’d like to you take this little quiz.

  1. Would you ignore your business phone 30% of the time it rings?
  2. If a customer was standing in a crowd of your best customers and complaining loudly, would you ignore them?
  3. If you had the chance to have the attention of your best customers and your best prospects for about 3 minutes uninterrupted, would you talk incessantly about yourself?

I have to believe that all of you passed this quiz by answered “good golly no!” to all three questions. After all you hustle like crazy to capture the attention of your customers and potential customers, right? Only a fool would squander the opportunity once they earned it.

And yet…that is exactly what’s happening online every day.

  • 30% of customer questions and comments on Facebook, Twitter and company blogs go unanswered.
  • 71% of complaints on Twitter are ignored.
  • 89% of corporate blogs only talk about themselves, their products, promotions and awards.

No wonder so many business people say that they can’t measure any ROI on their social media efforts. If anything, their ROI should come up as a negative number!

Too many businesses believe that social media networks are simply places they need to put a placeholder in. Like a flag that says, “Look, we exist here too” and then go to some autopilot shout into the abyss mentality. The core idea behind Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or any of the other networks out there is connection.

Real, human connection.

It’s why people share photos, stories of their day and get fired up about politics, religion and what their kid’s school is up to. And into that very personal and very meaningful conversation – most brands just blunder in and shout that they are having a sale.

Ugh.

Businesses spend thousands (and some millions) of dollars putting on elaborate dog and pony shows, with the hopes of capturing someone’s attention for a millisecond. So the assumption would be that they would actually value the attention, once they’d earned it.

But the truth is, most businesses think of social media as the newest necessary evil. They can’t get out of their own way enough to see the potential in it or that they need to approach it with humanity for it to work.

So what would that humanity look like?

Real interactions: When someone talks to you, it’s polite to reply in a reasonable amount of time. If you can’t monitor and react to a social media stream – don’t be there. Every social media tool out there has a way for you to be notified if you’ve actually started or were mentioned in a conversation.

Conversation, not monologue: No one enjoys being talked at. Your goal should be to spark conversation, not spit out rhetoric. Conversations are started when we care about the other person and ask questions, offer helpful information and listen to what they need from us.

Consistency: Just like all of our other relationships – we grow connections partially because of frequent exposures. You can’t get to know someone very well if you only communicate once or twice a year. It’s better to be fewer places but be in the places you’ve chosen more often. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Having a heart: If you don’t actually care – then don’t be there. If you genuinely care about your customers and what’s going on with them, then show that by asking questions, reaching out and being very human.

You can create an amazing referral source and client base with your online presence or you can alienate those who already have you on their radar screen. All it takes is a little humanity to make it work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    It’s amazing how on one hand were all connected all of the time. Yet on the other hand we’ve never been further apart. Great point Drew that simply showing up is not enough.

  2. says

    Really some awesome insights you have mentioned into this article and that is a good news for me because my competitors are also in them who ignores their customers while I’hv the chance to grab.

  3. says

    Wow, those statistics are surprising! I love the simplicity in your solution – to bring humanity to the forefront, whether it’s in online communication, at an event, or wherever. Sometimes we make things much more difficult than necessary, don’t we? Have heart, focus on relationships, be meaningful – great tips that we all can employ regardless of our marketing budget. Thanks Drew!

  4. says

    Great post Drew. These are the true secrets for success. You gotta be responsive and truly care about your client’s well being. If you put their needs first and work to get them where they need to be there is a high level of satisfaction, appreciation and gratefulness. Using your principles has been the cornerstones of my success and the whole process becomes extremely humbling and satisfying. Thanks for the post.

  5. says

    Wow! Very well said! More businesses should really put effort into delivering information that is based on real human interaction to their clients. Just because social media has made communication a lot easier for everyone, that shouldn’t give businesses a reason to get lazy when it comes to reaching out to their clientele.

  6. says

    Great post! I think “being human” in marketing scares marketers because it requires a certain amount of vulnerability, which we can often mistake as being weak and unprofessional, and no marketer wants to portray that. That was a big obstacle for me to overcome in my marketing and it’s still a demon I face from time to time.

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