Thoughtful Interruption

Just imagine you’re at your desk. I walk up to you, slap you on the back, ask you to read something and stick a piece of paper in your face. What are you thinking? It’s probably, “This better be good…” That scenario is what you’re doing every time you send something to your social media network. Whether it’s personal, professional or client-related, it interrupts your followers. They have to stop what they’re doing and read the words, visit the link, act on the call to action. They are giving you their time, which is a pretty slim commodity these days.

Often, marketers post things to their networks that ask someone to do something. Engage with me! Sign-up for me! Comment on me! It’s not hard to annoy people if you’re not considerate of their time and attention. Why do you think we all dislike telemarketing so much (LET ME EAT IN PEACE)? James Shelley puts it wonderfully, “As the sum total of digital content breaches the levees our attention, the act of subscribing to your feed is a sacred act of trust.” Users are trusting us to not drive them batty with 15.58 million tweets a day. Keep your content relevant. Keep it succinct. A perfect what-not-to-do example: The Auto-Direct-Message.

I come into work and fire up my Twitter client. Awaiting me is 11 direct messages from the night before. Each one says some form of: “Thanks for following! I’m really glad we’re bff’s now, literally. If you wanna be super-bff’s for extra forever, friend me on Facebook!” I don’t even let it annoy me anymore. I simply laugh and hit Mark All As Read. Just because your users haven’t unfollowed/unliked/unsubscribed doesn’t mean they’re still listening. Before every post make sure that it really is worth interrupting the people that will see it. If it is then your user will want to interact with you.

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