ACT up for better communication

Two men acting on stage.
There... over there. Better communication!

It stands for Authenticity, Consistency and Transparency. It’s the cornerstone of real, effective online communication.Too many organizations fall into traps on the way to ACTing up:

“We need to sound official.”

Trust me: you don’t need to sound as official as you think you do. There’s a time and place to sound official (when announcing financial results, during crises, etc.) and there’s atime and place for real, authentic communications (100% of the rest of the
time.) Just because you’re an “official” Twitter account, Facebook page or
LinkedIn page doesn’t mean your communications can become formulaic or unresponsive. Your audience doesn’t think of you online as being the
“official source” of information; they think of you as one source of information. No one is waiting anxiously for
you to release official information about your organization. They’re
waiting for you answer their questions and solve their problems. Stop
thinking about what you want your channels to be and start thinking about what
your audience wants them to be: authentic, consistent, transparent sources of

“We need to promote ourselves.”

No you don’t. You need to build a relationship with your audience so they start
to care about you and eventually want to interact with you on the way to
eventually buying something from you. Your audience doesn’t want you to promote yourself,
because online audiences in 2015 can sniff out promotional content
in a heartbeat. They’re tired of being promoted to, because everyone and their
dog is already relentlessly promoting themselves online. That’s why
naked self-promotion never works: no one wants to hear it, but audiences are being
saturated with it nonetheless. You promote yourself online through content
marketing primarily. This means putting up engaging, interesting, timely,
fascinating content that gets interest. You build awareness of your brand from
this interest, which leads people to engage with you, which leads to X% of them
eventually buying something from you. If you lead with promotions, you turn
people off and chop off the marketing funnel before it gets a chance to even
begin to work.

“We need to be on brand.”

In 2015, what you do determines your brand more than what you say. What your
audience says your brand is has more to do with it than almost anything you
could possibly do or say. Brand is a means to an end: it’s designed to allow
you to market and sell more efficiently. It’s not an end in itself. This means
that an inordinate emphasis on brand consistency leads nowhere except to lower impact. Relax your expectations of what a brand is: your logo and
whether it’s deployed exactly how you want has comparatively little to do with
your brand’s reality in the marketplace. What you do as an organization and how
you talk with your audience has a hell of a lot more to do with determining
that reality.

ACT up for better communication online.


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