5 Ways To Ensure Your Messages Resonate With Your Audience

quote 1 for April 26, 2012 laurie boettcher interviewLyrics are the most important part of a song to me. I can be listening to the most ridiculous music in the world, but as long as I can understand and relate to the lyrics, I’m in. This has always made my voice coaches and piano teachers cringe. It makes sense, though, right? I am a writer, and relate heavily to things that people are able to write so beautifully.

My obsession with lyrics often creates a bit of misunderstanding between me and beaus. In fact, in college I would often get frustrated with my boyfriend because he just did not relate the lyrics like I did. I would want him so badly to understand a song the way I understood it, but he would just shrug and say, ‘I don’t get it’. AHH.

I broke up with my college boyfriend towards the end of college and moved to NYC for a couple of years. Then I moved back to Miami, and ended up reconnecting with him. As we reminisced over our time spent apart, we started to talk about all of the areas the initial broke-up affected in our lives. One of the things he said that caught my attention was, “I now understand the lyrics”.

See, he had never dated anyone seriously before me. He’d never been through heartbreak, despair, confusion in a relationship. While I had a miserable break-up with my first love (aren’t they all?), and a few more after that. He had no context, no personal relationship to the songs that I felt so deeply because he had never been through that pain before. However, when we had our own two year split, it suddenly all made sense to him. He finally understood the lyrics.

One mistake a lot of brands are making is putting out a ton of lyrics, without finding the people who understand the heartbreak, or without providing context around them. They just throw out thousands of messages hoping that one sticks.

Often times in our cubicles, thousands of miles from our consumers, we forget that there are actual human beings on the other end of those messages craving connection and relationships.

Here are five things to double-check to ensure your consumers are actually understanding the lyrics. After all, understanding leads to action which leads to more consumers that are actually buying your product or service.

Research & Listen

Research is such a critical step in social media that often gets skipped over when resources and time gets tight. No matter how big your team, or how much time you have, ALWAYS prioritize research. This will make sure that you are connecting with the right audience, and connecting with them in the right way. Listen to the conversations your consumers are already having online, and think about whether or not your messaging fits into those conversations.

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Hire An Industry Writer

Don’t just hire any writer out there. Find a writer that knows your industry in and out. This will ensure that the copy going out on social media is right on par with how people speak in the industry. If you don’t have the luxury of hiring an industry writer, then make sure your writer spends time immersed in your target audience so they know exactly what the lingo is.

Self-test

Does the messaging make sense to you? Would it stop you in your tracks and make you think about your product/service? Granted, you are most likely not the target audience of your brand, but you are certainly dedicated to it day in and out and if a message doesn’t catch your attention, then it most likely won’t catch anyone’s.

Evolve

This is a tricky one that often goes overlooked. Brands get excited that they found out a perfect strategy to speak to their consumers, and then forget that their consumers are constantly evolving. In order to stay on top of mind and meaningful, you need to change with them. Just because they were interested in something last year, doesn’t mean they are interested in that same thing this year.

Be Bold

Don’t be afraid to test provocative messaging, or to step a bit out of bounds of normal ‘brand talk’. Social media is about having conversations. It’s about connecting with real people on a real level. You can’t expect to do that while writing like you’re writing a brochure or press release.

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Before you send out your next message, think about whether your audience will understand the lyrics. Do you even understand the lyrics?

-  Marji J. Sherman

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