As Twitter comes under scrutiny for its position and action, or lack thereof, on Twitter ‘hate crimes’ (trolling and nasty, racist or aggressive Tweets to either celebrities or ordinary people), I am wondering – are we talking too much?
Social media has been heralded as the greatest evolution in communication. We now have instantaneous access to people and their views on anything from revolutionary action in the Arab Spring to whether the latest deodorant is really doing its stuff. And of course, it is great to observe instantaneous thoughts and actions. However, human communication has taken thousands and thousands of years to evolve and generally, we have learnt to be careful about what we say out aloud.
Great communication is natural, but considered. Generally, we don’t tend to tell people that we dislike how they look, what we really think of their partners or whether we like the coffee they drink. We try not to bore them with how our kids are doing at school, the details of the recent flu or the latest shenanigans in the office. (Not if we want to talk to them again, at any rate). So it follows, that companies and organisations should keep communications natural, flowing, relevant and above all, interesting.
I have seen so many businesses and organisations keen to have a social media presence. They start Tweeting or Facebook messaging, without thinking what their core messages should be. Poor performers don’t tend to think about engaging their target audience or about starting conversations with relevant and interesting people in a meaningful way. So many messages are boring, lack charm, are way off brand message and are far too sales orientated.
Understanding how audiences think and how they relate to brands in a modern age is really important, as is a natural chatty style and relevant content. The latter tends to be what people want to hear, which unfortunately, isn’t always the same as what many companies tend to say!
Having witnessed so many poor social media performers, there are certainly a number of masters out there. They are inspirational and manage to capture and retain our attention over a prolonged period of time. So, just before you hit the send button next time you’re chatting to your target audience, think twice, who do you want to talk to and how do you want to converse. Make sure that your social media presence is really a two way thing.