Sometimes we come across clients who aren’t conversant with all the marketing tools we use to get the word out there. Which is hopefully why they employ us. It’s our job to help them through the minefield of digital marketing and grow their presence in the virtual and the real world.
In this article, let’s try and de-mystify the three main digital tools we use. Email, Twitter and LinkedIn.
You understand this one, right? You use it every day? But it often surprises us how little people understand about email.
Some think it can be doctored, or it’s easy to ‘spoof’. That’s not actually correct. Emails contain header data which allows you to track exactly where the email came from and who sent it. This data isn’t normally visible but can be accessed easily. It looks like the screenshot here:
All that data tells us exactly who sent the email, and what route it took to get to your desktop.
What’s more, if you have an email sent through a marketing tool like ‘Mailchimp’, you can be sure the sender is tracking that email’s every move. We can tell if you’ve opened the email, whether you’ve clicked on a link, how many times you’ve clicked on the link. etc.
This is what makes email such a powerful tool. Even more powerful are the tools that tell us what makes a successful email and what triggers in our emails get people most interested. For example, an email with a number and fewer than five words in the subject line will be far more popular than a long subject with no numbers. We use numerous tools behind the scenes to test and tweak emails for maximum success.
Most people are now on LinkedIn – around 600,000,000. Generally it’s quite formal, and people only post things a few times. It’s rare to find people posting updates more than once a day.
However, if you post something on LinkedIn, never assume (as many do) that everyone will see that post. They won’t. I have around 2,200 connections on LinkedIn. If I saw everything they posted, I’d never sleep or work (some would argue that’s already the case).
The stats on your posts are helpful. They’ll show how often your post has been displayed on someone’s screen (impressions), and how many people have clicked ‘like’ on the post. We like to experiment with things that do and don’t work. Images of people, for example, get more engagement than other images or text posts.
The most casual of the tools, Twitter can be great. However, my biggest fear with Twitter is that most people in professional services are too conservative about its use.
A client recently complained that we had repeated posts on Twitter. We disagreed. Why?
Every second, there are around 6,000 messages posted on Twitter. That’s 500 million tweets a day. And that’s a lot of noise. To stand a chance of being heard even once, you have to repeat your message.
Interestingly, this equates with political canvassing. Our local councillor once said to me that there’s a rule that every election they have to leaflet each house at least three or four times. The first two leaflets are usually binned immediately. It’ll only be on the third that people realise an election is approaching, and by the fourth, they might notice which candidate is contacting them.
In our experience, far too many professional services people are being far too conservative on Twitter. Don’t worry about being seen as ‘endorsing’ something just because you’ve liked it or re-tweeted it. Don’t worry that people will see your typo and hold it against you (if they do, they really need to get out more!).
Twitter is a very casual environment, and really worth (in our view) being quite relaxed about. Remember in particular, that it’s a cooperative environment. Twitter should be about sharing knowledge, information and views. If done well (think Lady Gaga, not Donald Trump), then it’s a real force for positive impact.
That’s not to say you should be out there posting nonsense 24 hours a day. But it is the case that well-formed messages will only be noticed if sent a few times.
Finally, don’t ever forget about the people who aren’t online. There are many folk who just aren’t online at all. Don’t forget to send them a letter in the midst of all the madness – communication isn’t necessarily all about going digital.