MCD Partners

Memphis Daily News
Getting Social: What Method is Best for You?
June 1, 2015
By Dr. Mary C. McDonald

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question. Or is it to blog, text or Skype? When it comes to communication and social media, these are some of the questions that come to mind as you determine the best method of communication to get the message out about your business, product, service or institution.

And if that was not difficult enough, just when you learn the latest communication platform, another one comes along. What does all this have to do with marketing, and how can it drive people to your door?

George Bernard Shaw once said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. We think we’re communicating, but does anyone hear or understand what we say? The key is not shouting or adding more methods of communications. Instead, strategically use smarter communication tactics.

The challenge in marketing today is that we want to add more “stuff” to communications operations to make sure we have reached the preferred style of everyone. However, your potential market may not be everyone. So, instead of trying to keep current on multiple platforms, choose only those that an analysis of your business tells you will have the greatest potential of reaching your market. Keep in mind the cost. While some platforms may be free, there are often hidden costs in time and money associated with the ongoing maintenance to keep the platform current.

There are also generational differences in preferred styles of social media and communications.

“Write me” is the request of the traditionalists, those born from 1900 to 1945. For the boomers, it’s “call me.” Generation X, 1965 to 1976, prefer email. Generation Y, 1977 to 1999, use texting. The millennials use what is “in” right now, or a few minutes from now.

And, if that were not confusing enough, there is still about one-third of the population without reliable broadband connectivity. For the foreseeable future, it’s all under construction.

The goal, however, remains constant: making the human connection.

There are many methods for getting your message out. Regardless of what you choose, there a few common strategies that will ensure success.

First, understand that people don’t read every word, they scan. They are just looking for something that stands out, grabs their attention. If you give people too much information to plough through, they won’t. An optimal number is three. Just highlight your three main points by using visual hierarchy, in words or pictures. You can add text beneath each point, but your goal is for them to remember the heart of your message.

What about your website? Is it suffering from clutter? Clutter is about the past and detracts from what you want to say. When you add something, remove outdated items.

Finally, where there is no quiet, there can be no noise. Nonstop over-communication may actually be a reason to tune you out. Have a rhythm that attracts attention and people will listen. It’s all about relationships.

Contact Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a national education consultant, at 574-2956 or visit
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