Breaking through the noise

All marketers and PR professionals are currently contemplating the same question: “How do we break through the noise?” As humans, we can only take in so much, and the rise of the Internet and smartphones have simply increased distractions. Currently, I’m sitting here on my computer with my Tweetdeck flashing notifications every few seconds, texting on my phone, and watching CNN. Can anyone relate? I bet you can.

In other words, it takes a lot to get through. It’s why content marketing and creativity is more important than ever. If you’re not offering valuable content or creative, targeted messages, you don’t stand a chance. (Super bowl commercials, take note.)

Lately, I’ve seen three great examples of individuals successfully breaking through the noise to promote themselves or their message. Take a look:

1. Personalized DM invite to a Twitter chat

Dave Ellis, part of the Youtern and #InternPro chat team, sent me this direct message to personally invite me to their Twitter chat, held each Monday at 9:00 p.m. In fact, someone from the Youtern team sends me a DM each week inviting me to the chat and letting me know what the topic is.
Why it works: You see thousands of tweets and even get a good number of @mentions on a daily basis. But, you don’t always receive DMs, which means when you do, you pay attention.
Marketing 101: Find something that’s a bit unexpected. It will usually require a bit more time and effort, but that can be the difference between getting someone’s attention or not.

2. LinkedIn message to promote your message

Like the personalized DM, this LinkedIn inbox message got my attention. Although this small business owner is essentially promoting his own business, he took the time to send me a LinkedIn message after I connected with him on the network, inviting me to follow his business on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And, I did!
Why it works: Like the Twitter DM, this LinkedIn message is a bit more personalized than just broadcasting his social media networks in a status update. After we made our initial contact on the network, he proceeded to engage me by personally inviting me to connect with his businesses.
Marketing 101: Always continue the conversation. Don’t stop at clicking “follow” or “like” or “connect.” Always look for ways to connect with individuals. Personalization still matters.

3. Helpful tweet

Yes, so content is king, but you don’t always have to generate the content. Take a lesson from Likeable CEO Dave Kerpen. The bestselling author and social media guru has a lot of influence in the Twitterworld, with almost 16,000 followers. This morning, he asked followers what he could retweet to his network to help them. In the next few minutes, he retweeted a variety of material from information about a tennis tournament to a new Linsanity post.
Why it works: Oftentimes, Twitter becomes a very self-promotional platform, as bloggers, content curators, and anyone with a conscious thought broadcasts themselves to the world. Here, Dave does exactly the opposite to harness his influence to promote other people’s content, blogs, and thoughts.
Marketing 101: It’s not always about what you can get, but what you can give. Ask how you can use social media to help your followers, not market to them.

Have you seen any examples of great ways to break through the noise?


About Abby Ecker

PR pro and healthy living blogger in the First State
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3 Responses to Breaking through the noise

  1. Phil says:

    Abby, good post here, though I’d like to expand on a few thoughts. 1 & 2 hit on the use of direct messages. I get dozens of direct messages each month and I see little value in 99% of them. When using direct messages, I’d urge relevance, timeliness, and personalization.

    In your examples, #1 hits it. It’s relevant, timely, and personal. And, as a result, I’m sure you joined the joined the chat. #2 – not so much. So, the test… is the message relevant? Not really. Timely? Well he did mention 2012, but no, the message is not timely. How about personal? Another no – just like the other 99% of messages in my inbox.

    I see messages like this all the time. Organizations looking for leverage social media must grow their audience organically by delivering value, not with unsolicited pleas for attention.

  2. Hi Abby,
    I’m happy you like our DMs.
    I agree with you that it does take a bit more time and effort to send personalized correspondence. As such, this method doesn’t work for everyone. But I feel it’s important to add personal touches in order to build and maintain the company’s community. Afterall, what is the company without a community?

  3. Pingback: If content is king, you better get creative… | PR and Political Communication Commentary

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