sly : marketing

Know Who You Are Talking To

inside the forest

I am talking to you, and you are standing in front of me. You’re looking straight at me, and my eyes are not moving at all. I’m looking straight at you as well. I know everything about you, because you’re my friend and you’re my colleague. I know exactly what to say in order for you to listen. That’s the perfect situation.

The problem is that many people are talking like they’re inside a forest, they’re not all alone, but they don’t know who are behind the trees.

I am talking to you

You’re just one person. And even if I didn’t know you, I would say that it’s fairly easy to talk to you, because you’re just one person. I just need to understand who you are, and what you want to know. Then, only then, will I tell you what you want to know in a language that suits you.

It’s not that hard.

I am not just talking to you anymore

You brought a friend, and I’m talking to both of you. It’s still fairly easy to talk to you, because you’re only two people. It’s harder than one, but still, it’s fairly easy. I just need to know a little about you, then tell you what you want to hear, and use a language that suits you.

It’s not that hard.

Wow, I am talking to a crowd

Now, it’s getting difficult. You brought a crowd. The more people, the harder it becomes. If I’m at a stage giving a speech at a seminar, I won’t know exactly who everyone in the crowd is. But I probably know a few, and I know the type of people (and their interests). That’s because you hired me, and you told me what they want me to talk about.

What I do is that I focus on the few people I know. I talk to them, and I use the language that suits them. Hopefully I’m right, most of the people in the crowd are like the people I know.

Listen, I am talking to everybody

It used to be fairly easy, know who you’re talking to. But now, at least for many people, it looks as if it’s almost impossible to do the right thing.

To understand what I am trying to say, you need to read one of my favorite quotes on social media:

Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life.

It might be a slight exaggeration, but there are some truth to it.

The problem is that sometimes you feel that you’re talking to a few friends, and what you’re doing is actually talking to hundreds of people you don’t know (that’s especially true when it comes to Facebook). Your so-called friends might all be looking at your message in a different way.

I know for a fact that you have more online friends than offline, and that you have many “friends” who you didn’t know were reading the things you write. We all have.

What do you think will happen if you post a status update on Facebook that you are frustrated at work and that you had a terrible day?

Do you think that your co-workers, your boss, your family, your friends, your classmates, your neighbor, your competitors, will all have the same opinion on the status update?

What if your grandfather died, would you update your status with this information? If you do, what will people think? You don’t know, because you have no idea who you’re talking to.

Your message should always be targeted, no matter if it’s business or pleasure.

There is one solution

I believe that there is only one solution to this dilemma. Always know who you are talking to, that’s the solution. Know your audience, and target them by topic. That’s the easiest part. And that’s how most of us are using Twitter and blogging.

When it comes to Facebook, you have two options. You can either stop publishing status updates, or you can publish generic status updates that won’t be of interest to anybody, or you should start to use a filter. With a filter, your status updates will only be visible to people you think should be able to see them.

In the end, you should be marketing like Dr Phil, he knows exactly who he is talking to. Now, get out of the forest, or at least look behind the trees before you start talking.

You should also read: Facebook Status Updates

Image: Flickr

signature Jens P. Berget

12 responses to “Know Who You Are Talking To”

  1. This was cool Jens. Loved the lead-in paragraphs.

    You’re right, Facebook is an interesting animal. The audience is so crazy diverse that it’s hard to know who we’re talking to. But, at the same time, Facebook allows the audience to filter out what they don’t want, which is why some days my FB posts are very business related (to my blog) whereas other days it’s about life or family or whatever.

    Either way, I very much agree with the concept of talking (or directing our thoughts) to a few. Especially in speaking, presenting, this is huge.

    Thanks for the read Jens.

    • Hi Marcus,

      I hardly know anybody who knows how to filter Facebook status updates (I’m not talking about people in the Internet marketing niche). So, they’re just updating FB with all sorts of irrelevant stuff (at least for me) 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment, much appreciated as always.

    • I love surfing and searching people in facebook. I find it entertaining. I can play games, etc. But sometimes I got lot of bogus friend. Try to hurt me with words. Try to put me down me with there status.

  2. Dino Dogan says:

    This is something Ive been thinking about a lot this week because Im gearing up for a reverse engineering of Deadspace 2…and lemme tell you something..those guys KNOW who their audience is. They have a brilliantly executed ad campaign thats entirely on-code.

    I loved the “Your message should always be targeted, no matter if it’s business or pleasure.” so…SO true.

    • You lost me at Deadspace 2 (I had to google it) 🙂

      It’s been a while since I played any games, but I was amazing at Civilization 1 🙂

      My next blog post will be about how to target your status updates in Facebook. I hope a lot of people will read it.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by Dino, I really appreciate it.

  3. Derek Jansen says:

    Great advice – knowing your audience is critical to any form of marketing success. Addressing each segment of that audience can be challenging, but certainly manageable using a good refined database.

    Keep up the great posts!

    • It’s hard, but it’s important that we understand that we should do our best. It’s one thing using email (like I am using AWeber), but it’s even harder offline (at least it is for me). In fact, I am not using AWeber the right way either (I haven’t added any segments, I just have one big database) 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment Derek, keep them coming…

  4. Jayson Hipolito says:

    Yeah this is really hard but if you can get the style its easy to do it.

  5. Joseph Hipolito says:

    By the way jens, can I ask do you have here for SEo newbies? because I need to learned more of this..

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