This recent post on the Marketing Land site about personalizing social media elements is worth a read and it got me thinking more broadly about personalization.
First, the article. In a nutshell, enough with the canned responses and auto-generated messages! Personally, I just shake my head when someone tries to connect with me by sending the totally impersonal, “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network” message that LinkedIn auto-generates. I can’t decide whether it’s worse when an old colleague / college friends does it – do you want to give me at least a tiny clue as to why we might want to reconnect after all these years? – or when someone I’ve just met or been introduced to does it. (You can’t take two seconds to reference where we met or who introduced us?)
That’s just bad social skills. Or laziness. (Yes, I know how busy you are …) And there are examples everywhere from Twitter to blog posts.
More in the realm of bad content marketing, though, are things like sharing links without adding anything to them. No note, no commentary, no perspective or framing. Really? What makes you think I’m going to click a link blindly? Especially if you’ve used a link shortening service and I can’t even guess what it might be about from the URL itself.
More importantly, you’ve given up a great opportunity to add value. If someone you respect suggests a link, you are more likely to read it. Especially if they take the time to explain what the link is about so you can decide whether it’s relevant to you.
If you don’t know a person well enough to fully trust their judgement yet, the perspective they provide in their introduction to the link is a great way for them to establish that trust. When it’s your turn to do the same, don’t waste the opportunity.
There’s a difference between talking to a room full of people and talking to a room full of people who are paying attention to you. Adding your personal take to an interesting news item makes it more likely that you can grab and hold your audience’s attention. As I said, don’t waste the opportunity.
In an upcoming post I’ll talk about a different kind of personalization: matching message to your audience based on their interactions with you.