Silence Truly is Golden

silence is goldne quote brian solisWe’re bombarded from every angle all day, every day, with marketing messages. Every surface (in real life and digitally) is being cluttered with ads. And we hear it over loudspeakers, while watching videos, TV, movies, etc.  I noticed this quite jarringly the other day when I was filling up my car with gas.

The moment I lifted the pump from the holster, the news came on a video screen in the pump housing (and people who know me know I do not watch the news). So as the gas flowed into my car, I tried my best to look away and think of other things. When the pump clicked off, I was startled back into reality. I removed the nozzle from my car, turned around and noted the $51.07 purchase on the digital readout, and then heard these words coming out of the video monitor: “California has a xx% chance* of an earthquake magnitude 8.0 or above in the next 3 years”.*

And I thought to myself, “I did not ask to know that!” I actually felt slightly invaded and mildly irritated at Shell Oil. Aren’t I paying enough for gas that I don’t have to be additionally marketed to while waiting for the pump to do its thing? The pump is already covered in marketing paraphernalia, and the speakers overhead talk about going inside to buy yourself a snack. So, yes, let’s add another layer by adding video.

And you may be thinking, “Monique… you are a marketer. Aren’t you part of the problem?” And yes, while all of us here at Cosmetic Social Media do marketing for a living, we are acutely aware of people’s space. This is especially important in the world of social media. Social is NOT the place to be overly salesy. People are on Facebook and other social platforms to connect with friends, family, acquaintances old and new, organizations, their favorite teams, and yes, brands. They want to have fun, learn a bit, do some research, listen to some cool music, watch a funny video… but they are not there to be bombarded by marketing pitches.

So, make sure you think about things from their perspective the next time you think about posting a “call to action” sales pitch about the latest special you’re offering. Sure, sometimes that’s fine. But think about it: wouldn’t you rather be a positive part of their day by sharing a funny picture that makes them giggle and want to share it with their friends? Your brand name goes right along with that giggle and share, but in a positive way, versus a way that makes them hide your post, unlike your page, or even never buy gas again at your gas station (I’m talkin’ to you, Shell Oil).

For a great #NewYorkTimes article on this topic, and what caused me to create this blog post, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/the-cost-of-paying-attention.html 

*I actually missed what they said the percentage of this überquake is and I don’t want to know. But if you do, I am sure you can Google it. 😉

~ Monique

Follow on Twitter @moniqueramsey and @cosmeticsocial