Ping Me, Ping Me: Social Media Good, Bad, and Ugly

Blog posting, email, LinkedIn. So much social media, so little time. I think we have to ignore some of it, some of the time, but on the other hand, what works? How does anybody get any email message read?

1. The Good

I don’t know why this one appealed to me as it did. The book is called “Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz,” by David Seaman. I never would have noticed it, except for the emails.

  • The first email in the series started with the words “press release” and I ignored it completely. I would never have known it was there if I hadn’t done a keyword search, looking for the second. I sent back an email template response, thanks but no thanks. I totally forgot about it in a flash.
  •  The second email annoyed me just a bit, but I noticed it. The subject line was “New Marketing Book Cures ‘All Problems’ with Businesses Affected by the Economy.” “All problems” was in quotes. I say annoyed me because what a stupid claim, a book cures all problems with businesses affected by the economy. But still, annoyed or not, I answered it. “Wow, what a claim,” I said. The answer to my email was a question: did I want a copy? Sure.
  • The third email came today: the subject line was “as the economy falters, fame becomes a valuable commodity.” There again, it gets my attention. 

I have the book now, I haven’t read it yet, but it looks pretty good. It seems real, like David knows what he’s talking about. For example, create real outrage, be controversial.  And here I am posting about it. See: email works.

But give me an angle. Make it interesting. For another example, take the email from a new company helping small business owners get out of auto leases (leasetrader.com). It didn’t end up as a post, but I remembered it today — two months later — because it came with an angle:

I think the story here is that there are thousands of small business owners that are in need of finding ways to either cut costs significantly, or identify ways of being smarter and more efficient. There are some hidden gems out there to help these business owners. Transportation is a big expense for a small business owner. Getting stuck with a lease after downsizing can be a death sentence on the balance sheet of any small business owner – especially when we’re talking about several company leases. So utilizing a lease transfer service to either get rid of a lease, or take over a lease, can be much more cost-effective.

2. The Bad

Sometimes I’m flooded with press releases about boring self-serving stuff that I don’t want to write about and you don’t want to read about: a new printer, a new website copycat, somebody’s temporary price reduction on accounting software.

I hate it when the emails keep coming on the same thing, as if I’m going to read it and like it the third or fourth time I get it.

Or how about the phone calls from would-be vendors you’ve never met and don’t want to meet, who act like its okay because they are “following up” on their letter of last week or the email from yesterday.

3. The Ugly

Ah yes, that too. It’s amazing what people take their time to do.

Here’s a comment I found posted below an article titled Writing an Executive Summary. This is quoted exactly as it was posted, including misspellings and capitalization errors:

If you need soemone to create a great summary memo or I call it presentation.contact me. many done in the past. Graphic work incorporated. Reasonnable fees. Memo summary: 10 pages maximum. SLide show presentation available as well. In English, Spanish or French. Translations available as well.

Just what you need — to hire someone who can’t spell someone to do your summary memo: someone who calls it a presentation, and spells reasonable wrong.

Sigh… just a bit of free advice, but if you’re trolling for business as a writer or editor, try to have the spelling and grammar correct.

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