Quit Yelling At The Kids

Any of us who are parents have felt the need to yell at the kids.  Maybe it’s during the terrible twos when every request is met with “no” or maybe it’s when they want to know “why” to any statement that passes your lips.  It’s hard not to use the words you swore you’d never utter: “because I said so.”  Hopefully, you resist the urge to yell as well, since the tone and volume become way more important than the actual words.

There is a business lesson in there, one that’s supported by some research from the folks at Lithium Technologies.  They asked the Harris Poll people to look into how effective ads were in social media news feeds.  As this report summarized it, the research:

…found that 74 percent of millennials (ages 20 through 39) and Gen-Z respondents (16 through 19) object to being targeted by brands on their social media feeds. Even more ominous for brands: 56 percent of the nearly 2,500 respondents to the study said they have reduced social media use or eliminated it altogether due to ads in their news feeds.

In other words, not only are you turning off your target to your stream by force-feeding them messages but you might just be enticing them to be less visible to you as they migrate to other, less cluttered environments.  We all need to remind ourselves that social media is about connecting with friends.  Shouting at them, especially if that about which you’re shouting is not about them but about your brand, is misguided.  It’s the person you invite into your home for a cocktail party that becomes the unwanted center of attention, singing loudly, dancing around, and otherwise embarrassing themselves.  Party over.

The report has a good reminder: we build trust by talking with, not at, our customers.  So quit yelling at the kids, won’t you?


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Filed under Consulting, digital media

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