Articles

How Social Media Helps Me Think Like a Client

For the record (in this era of full disclosure), I have participated actively in social media communications for the past three years. I post regularly in both the professional and personal worlds. And allow me to state clearly: Never the twain shall meet.

But in reviewing my postings and reading others’ posts, tweets, updates, musings, and diatribes, I have noticed that my eye is invariably drawn to content that hits my sweet spot: ideas, statistics/data, news, reports, happenings, and revelations that attract me either because of my continuing long-term interests or because of a timely, short-term event.

This makes me wonder, “How do clients read my copy?” Or maybe, “DO clients read my copy?”

If I had to summarize my idea or my firm’s compelling response to an RFP in 140 characters* or less, what would I say? What unique response would make my client say, “I want to read more”?

I am certain that 140 characters would not be enough for a client to make a decision, but people engage and read more based on something that catches their interests or hits their sweet spots. So I have to ask, “What is my client’s sweet spot? What will catch his or her interest above all of the other chatter [proposal responses] out there?“

A good part of what will turn heads is really knowing your client (another blog entirely…). And essential to turning their heads is crafting a well-rounded, lean, and distinctive statement about what you bring to the table at that particular point in time, something that will entice them to read more and stay with them in the retelling of your idea to others.

This “sweet spot” exercise helps me to get down to the minutiae of how to say what I need to say. I need to cut out the unnecessary adjectives and overused “industryspeak” and really give an honest response with a solid hunk of creative input. Clients rely on ideas and creativity, so why not craft your response with a character limit of wisdom, making sure you are stating something new, something workable, and something to make them want to read more.

So as I tweet and post, I give my statement the client once-over, asking “Who cares?” And after proofing again for accuracy, I think for a second about my clients and what they want. Where are their sweet spots? Have I boiled my clever idea down to its most critical component? And then I hit send, tweet, share, post, or print.

And in the back of my mind, I wonder to myself, “Will they ‘Like,’ re-tweet, comment, or reply?” If I phrased it correctly and succinctly, I think they will. And I’m hoping they “Like” it again and again and again.

-Bob Mullen,
Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Jacobs

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*The maximum number of characters allowed in a Twitter "tweet"