By Edwin Baloloy, Prudential California Realty
Ever feel like Facebook is hiding your posts? Does it feel like it’s getting tough for even your best friends and family members to reply to text blasts and messages? Have you recently tried to organize a party using evite or other mass email program and had very little response?
If you’re like most, it’s very easy to take it personal and think you’re being ignored.
The truth is, you ARE being ignored — but don’t blame them. Let’s face it: we are encountering more solicitations through various means on a daily basis. According to several articles online, the “debatable” number is around 5,000 advertising messages per day. Banner ads, commercials, park benches, Facebook ads, SPAM emails, etc. The number is so high, our brains are always working overtime to sort through the clutter and find what’s relevant to our mood at the moment.
Even if the ad contained something I needed, it was automatically closed based on habits.
How do you reach your audience?
These days, unless your goal is simply brand reinforcement, a direct response message won’t be read unless it’s personalized or niche-based. In other words, it looks like the message is for them only or has a very specific audience targeted.
Here are a few tips:
1. Go “Old School.” Hand-write your messages. In a world of so much automation and cookie-cutter superficialness, people like things that were created just for them. Even if your handwriting is messy, it tells someone you took the time to pick up a good old fashioned pen and paper and thought about them.
If you’re sending an envelope or by mail, handwriting the address will increase the chances of the envelope being opened by the recipient. If sending a postcard, handwriting the call to action will have people hold on to the card a few seconds longer. Who knows — they may actually read it. Anything is better than some slick, glossy non-personalized card going directly into the trash.
2. Don’t “blast” Facebook messages, text messages, or tag multiple names in status updates. This might work one time to get someone’s attention, but it’s downright annoying after that. Even worse, all recipients on the blast get notified when another person replies. While people can “leave the conversation” on Facebook, most can’t (or don’t know how) to leave the conversation on a text blast.
3. Instead of #2, write individual messages addressing the recipient by name. Of course, this takes much more time, but there are shortcuts around this such as cut & paste. Even without the shortcuts, having a much higher response rate will be worth it.
4. “Pay to play.” Having a post go “viral,” or getting noticed by thousands from comments, shares, and likes can be very difficult. It’s no secret that Facebook has diminished a user’s reach to their friends and subscribers of their Facebook pages significantly. Don’t spend a bunch of money until you find what works for your audience. In the end, you’ll have to become a master of lead conversion. (A topic for another blog.) Don’t get excited over “likes” or post engagements. All that matters is if your phone rings or if someone filled out their contact form on your website.
5. Use images in your posts. Since most people are visual, a good, relevant image will gain more attention over text.
6. Use spacing in your posts and image descriptions. Yes — the text is important. While most people will claim they’re “too busy” to read messages, the truth is they’ll always have time to read what they think is relevant to them. First, you have to get their attention. For now, Facebook still allows blank lines between sentences. This make the post easy on the eyes. Take advantage of this while it lasts.
7. Keep posts short. Most people have the online habit of skipping over any big block of text. If you write a huge paragraph with no spacing, it will appear too daunting. If you feel your message needs to be long, make sure the main message or link is within the first 4 lines of the post. Otherwise, it might be hidden after the “read more” link.
8. If using evite, follow-up with a personal phone call. Although my personal experience with evite is that 2-3x the amount of people who clicked “going” will show up. However, your event is too important to assume the recipients have seen or considered the invitation. Make sure you CALL them. Yes — with your voice. Not text, not email, etc.
Share your tips at our mixer on Wednesday, May 21st!