Virtually around-the-clock, anyone with an agile typing finger is disseminating messages throughout Cyberspace. Some of the information is cast by professionals in their fields, but the vast majority of social media messaging is unfounded opinion, compulsive verbalizing and idle chit-chat, gratuitously shouted into the digital airwaves.
Nonstop messaging can come across as tedious, monotone jibber-jabber that ultimately misses its mark. It’s what you say, with the right timing, that gets your point across. Repetitive blasts of a quality message certainly cements the brand in the mind of potential customers. But, how much is too much? Oftentimes, too many doses of even a quality message become dull and deafening. Think of how you look forward to receiving the monthly subscription of your favorite magazine. If the magazine suddenly came out hourly, would your interest stay as peaked?
A barrage of hollow words, blasted out at light speed, doesn’t necessarily get you noticed or woo patrons. At some point, people will become tone-deaf, and possibly even alienated. Bombardment is a sure way to land your brand in the social media doghouse.
Before your trigger finger fires off tweets, Facebook status reports or blog posts, devise an intelligent talking strategy. It takes more than a 140-character pick-up line or online post to charm customers. Professionally written social messages educate, inform and stick to a clear agenda. If there’s no one within your organization who can devise strategic social media messages, hire a “ghost writer” to compose your social sentiments.
"Social Media is all about building Know, Like and Trust. The way to build Know, Like and Trust with your target market is through content. Your words are your brand. When someone reads your words, what is their image of your brand? People are building an online relationship with you based upon the content you produce. Know what you're talking about, and know how much to say and how often. Be likable. Consumer trust will follow."
In the vast realms of the Cybersphere, the new communications frontier, populations of “loose cannons” have run amuck with “freedom of free speech.” Caustic and cowardly tweets, blogs and posts torpedo across the web, delivering scorching opinions of businesses and individuals that quite likely would never be wielded face-to-face. Even the most spineless scribe feels confident blurting out harmful viewpoints when he’s casting dispersions from a basement office, shielded behind a computer monitor.
I subscribe to the grandmother’s mantra: if it’s not good, don’t say it -- or write it.
Whether you’re making business or personal remarks, when it comes to your online presence, remember that any ruthless statement posted to a public web site can be cached in search engines FOR YEARS TO COME, for anyone to stumble upon when querying your name. Imagine losing an account or a job because you’ve fired off a negative or controversial opinion that conflicts with that of the very organization you’re trying to impress. Countless employees have been fired from jobs due to careless venting on social media web sites.
Even if your words bear merit, truth is, it may not be lucrative for the world to know that you abhor the president; sunbathe at nude beaches on company business trips; protest against corporate greed; or once moonlighted as Marilyn Monroe on Bourbon Street.
The tables are turned even more when your poison pen pours ink directed at others. Whether your statements are true or not, you’ll soar further in the business world if your online viewpoints are pleasant, positive and positioned to achieve your ultimate goal.
In the most extreme cases, the wrong statement about the wrong person in the chambers of Cyberspace can lead to libel, lawsuits or loss of business.
"The twitterverse and blogosphere is a wild and largely self-policing frontier. But “free speech” has limits. Trashing a business, competitor, or individual can actually tarnish your own brand, reputation, and land you in court. The price of a defamation suit is far from free. So tread with care. Sprinkling “in my opinion” and “allegedly” in statements helps, but it isn’t a cure-all. Writing positive messages that focus on what you bring to the table is safer legally, not to mention less risky to your reputation."
Language, tone, strategy, imagery — all of these are vital to your ability to woo your customer and establish your brand. From the moment someone sees your brand in an ad, a magazine or a newspaper, or stumbles upon you on the Web, they concoct a “perception” based on your visual presence alone.
I remain amazed at the sea of online marketers and business folks who display grainy, lackluster, uninspiring and simply “run-of-the-mill” photos throughout their websites and social media outlets. The Internet is cluttered with “lifeless” imagery, clip art and commonplace stock photographs that speak in monotone. A boring photo communicates no message. Distinguished “photographic branding” broadcasts volumes.
In the branding or rebranding of a business, look at your photos as an extension of your verbal message. Whether you are a large corporation or a one-person operation, your photographic imagery leaves a lasting impression on everyone who views it. Let’s face it; a cheesy headshot of you grinning into the camera couldn't motivate a Walmart full of shoppers to sign up for a free photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.
When choreographing your “photographic brand,” you should take a methodical approach. Before hiring a publicist, social media strategist, brand expert, or web designer, always closely scrutinize their web site and online presence. If their photos appear to be random, low quality, or dreadfully drab generic images purchased from a stock photo house, how much thought will they put into your online identity? The only way to obtain unique, distinguished, personalized brand identity photos that you won’t see all over cyberspace is to book a series of commercial photo shoots. Developing a marketable business identity starts with a photographic concept that’s tailored to your brand personality, product or service.
"My experience as a creative director for mega-giants includes overseeing creative teams to ensure that written copy and visual design are cohesive and effective in telling a client's story. Where many companies often fall short is their ability to express themselves visually. To capture curiosity and hold attention, you need to develop clear and charismatic visual and verbal branding as irresistible as The Write Publicist's anonymous red man. Start by studying advertisements of successful competitor’s — and aim higher by creating a distinctively different visual impression."