Informing or spamming? Social media is the answer.

by Viviana on December 29, 2010

in Personal

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Email has been convenient for a long time. I cannot imagine my life today without my email accounts. More recently, other services such as Facebook and Myspace have also offered email accounts to their users, once they created an account. So, more email addresses for everyone!

Email is the most polite way to correspond, and in my opinion, it has the 2 great pluses live conversations/chat don’t:

  1. I can read and reread the message, shorten it and make it as clear as possible before sending it;
  2. I can proofread and edit it before sending.

That is the reason why I am still using heavily my viviana@vivamusic.ro or office@wordland.ro email accounts. I like them and I care about them. But, once I grow to like a service, I am subject to disappointment.

I receive at least 500 emails a day. As much as I would like to give equal attention to all messages in my Inbox, it is impossible. This is how I prioritize:

  1. Sender (it is important to have a communication history with the sender. I immediately consider important messages from people I know and work with)
  2. Title (I instantly delete all messages entitled “Joke”, “Funny story” or similar. I am not interested. I have acknowledged that to my friends, and maybe it’s time I reinforced this!)
  3. Tidiness and organization (a clear and catchy sender’s name and message title will always be appreciated. Misspelled titles, no subject lines, plain stupid titles and senders with funny names such as “Loveandawesomeness” will never convince me to open a message).

Issues:

I have experienced a rather awkward situation lately. I receive tons of messages from people I know or don’t know personally (but they seem to know me very well), who don’t realize they are abusing my email accounts. They send unsolicited (read totally uninteresting, boring and sometimes offending) messages too often.

A message a day from one person is spam unless they are family or co-workers. The people who know me personally will understand why I choose to write about this issue on my blog, and not tell these people to stop emailing me. I know they mean well, and they think that their content is vital. What they don’t understand is that the content/info/lame news contained in their sometimes one line messages in totally irrelevant to 99.99% of the recipients, including me. Sharing info can be done today, in the year 2010, in other ways than emailing someone as frequently as you have something to eat.

Solutions I found and recommendations:

It takes work, dedication, planning, enthusiasm, experience, professionalism and at least a few months if not years to build a solid online reputation/authority. Quality authority in social media (I don’t count the spammers, self declared gurus and irrelevant chatterboxes and gossipers) is the ultimate proof that your content IS valuable to other people. Once a few thousands decide to follow you, that is clearly a sign that you have accomplished a lot. And you have done that without imposing anything to anyone! They follow you because they find your content interesting. How does that make you feel? Awesome!

Here are some alternatives to email spamming people:

Twitter: the easiest and most convenient way to convey info to relevant individuals. You can send links, quotes, thoughts, news or even jokes or simple facts of life to everyone who follows you. You can also follow relevant individuals, to you or your business, make comments and interact with them. Nobody will ever accuse you of invading their privacy. On Twitter you have an Unfollow button, that once pressed, prevents you from seeing what a certain person has to say. For good. Not the same with email. You don’t have that option. You can block senders in Outlook, but you still receive messages from them. They go straight to your Spam folder, though.

Facebook: it takes a year to build reputation unless you are a movie star! You really have to select the people you communicate with, especially when you are in a niche business or you have a selective taste in music. The last thing you want is someone to tell you (after you have complimented them on their wisdom) that your music sucks! Facebook is about sharing info in any form possible, at your pace, style and moment. Use it, it is free and it will soon have 1 billion subscribers!

Digg and Stumbleupon are dedicated services to posting links of interest to your followers, or to the entire 13 million user community (for Stumbleupon).

Again, the ultimate test for every person who wants and has something to say is social media! Your website does not attract readers unless you tell the world it exists! But, please, don’t send an email about that! Just follow me on Twitter and send me a link @vivianaball! Thank you!

PS: In case you don’t feel comfortable with a .com profile, at least put a Google Profile together, so people know where to find you. Good luck!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

mangadrive 6 years ago at 3:56 pm

Yes, its a very much an art of balance between informative and annoying. Some don’t fathom this, but some are too passive too.

I find as being a band, its a challenge to stay in people’s face and keeping their attention while not alienating them with too much pressure. It really relies on a steady stream of information. When it boils down to ‘product placement’ you have to be crafty and approach this in moderation. Most importantly though , you need timing and something someone can attach to THAT second! Give them a free track or link something free along with whatever you are selling. It makes people remember and memory is the key.

Viviana 6 years ago at 4:20 pm

Thank you for putting this in a different perspective: the hard life of a band.
I have to say it is very similar when we are trying to sell both tickets to events (concerts, festivals or other gigs we are putting together) and the scene! We, at Viva Music face mentalities, inexperience, rejection, sometimes even worse when trying to promote electro/industrial music in Romania. We do not even have to try to reach anyone. At times, people find the info and make funny comments.
We knew before we started that negative comments also mean attention, and all we need to do is get people to understand that what we like is not IMPOSED on them, but ADVERTISED. We never spam. We never send direct messages about our events or bands unless we know beforehand that the recipients want that. We respect evey person, and once they make absurd comments we just avoid them. They eventually get tired… We don’t!
We keep up the good work and try to inform the interested about our events, other events, electro music, etc. Check out our http://www.darkwave.ro, http://www.vivamusic.ro and http://www.electronik. ro. We are very proud of our work! Thanks again!

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