When you communicate with your audience it is critical to check first what is the RELEVANT channel of communication they are using and deliver your message there. The days where we send email campaigns to all of our contacts in our database and expect everyone to get it are over. Posting something on Facebook will also be privy to only a small percentage of users.
The younger generation in particular has different channels they use today like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and if we want to get to them, we really ought to serve them through the channels they are listening on. The same goes for our customers – are they more of a text, email, phone call kind of a person?
But it is not enough to just open an Instagram account, a TikTok account or have a Snapchat user. You will need to also learn the “language” that is used within these channels so your customers will understand you. Twitter was the pioneer in creating their own language through their own channel by dictating to us the amount of characters we can use through that channel of communication. So, we all learned hashtags, new acronyms etc. Each channel has its own unique set of rules, communication codes, and if you want to be relevant in that channel you better learn the language.
It’s as if everyone is waiting in a conference room and you are home talking to yourself. No one will hear you. If you want them to hear you, to listen to what you have to say, you will need to go to the office, get in that conference room where everyone is and make sure they listen and understand. It’s as if you will speak English to a Spanish only speaking person and expect them to follow through. You will have to either learn Spanish or make sure they speak English right? It’s no different when it comes to today’s channels of communication. You will need to learn or hire people who already know, how to communicate through these methods. Understand where your audience communicates, where do they listen, learn their language and you will have no surprises.
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
Here is a short personal story that will give you a good picture of what I am talking about.....
The setting was perfect. All the guests were there. Balloons, amazing cake (even a gluten free one), decorations, food, drinks….the works. We have been waiting for her to show up so we can surprise her for her 20th birthday. Waiting and waiting and waiting. Two and a half hours later she shows up. We pulled ourselves back together (about an hour after the planned time for her to show up we realized she is not coming anytime soon so we decided to taste some of the drinks)….SURPRISE!!!!
What a night! She was thrilled, thankful, appreciative and emotional. Everyone was super happy.
As she was getting ready to leave and while we were hugging our goodbyes, I asked her how come she was 2.5 hours late. She responded that she arrived exactly at the time we agreed (“you know how punctual I am”). I responded that I asked her to arrive two and a half hours earlier and she says: ”Dad, what are you talking about? When did you ask me to come earlier?” So I say: “I sent you an email a couple of days ago”.
“Dad, last time I checked my email was about 2 weeks ago!