What not to say to your boss about marketing on the social Web

Posted: October 5, 2010 in marketing, sales, social media
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes, what you don’t say speaks volumes.   Today, with so much new jargon cluttering a function already bloated with techno-speak, it’s time to call a spade a spade.  Or, a call a “landing page” a “lead-generation” page, as the case may be.  With apologies to the sharp blades at HubSpot, here are few tips for turning terms that are turn-offs into euphemisms to make the people in the C-suite more comfortable with your pitches:

1.  Never say blog.  Say publishing platform, as in a platform for publishing content.  “Blog” is a turn-off term for more senior executives than you may think.  To them, “bloggers” connote trouble, disruption, antagonism.  “Publishing platform” is neutral, manageable, even positive.  And perfectly descriptive of what blogging is all about.
2. Never say RSS.  Say syndication and subscription technology. RSS stands for really simple syndication, the term created by developers and picked up by everybody in the ecosystem. RSS drives the syndication and subscription of much of the content on the Web today.  Describe it as such and it will be immediately understood.

3. Never say social media, or social-media marketing.  Say real-time media and real-time marketing.  Author David Meerman Scott:  “In many companies, the term ‘social media’ has a negative connotation, so I use ‘real-time media’ instead, and management pays attention.” Follow suit.

4. Never say search engine optimization (SEO).  Say higher unpaid search- engine traffic.  “SEO” is not common lingo in boardrooms.  So if, instead, you say “increase unpaid search-engine traffic” you go to the heart of the matter of what you’re pushing for. Beats hell out of “SEO” everytime.

5. Never say social network.  Say online communities.

The Social Network today, after all, is a damn movie. And one you can be sure people of a certain age will never pay money to see, or be see seeing it.  Ditto most CEOs.  “Online communities” or even “online groups” speaks to marketing opportunities. Music to the ears of the C-Suite. When you have their ears, be speaking their language.
6. Never say pay-per-click, say click-based search-engine advertising.   Many of us are confused about the difference between paid and organic search-engine marketing thanks to SEO and PPC.  Clear up the confusion.  Use clear, and more direct, terminology.

7. Finally, as noted at the start, avoid landing page.  Call it what it actually is: a  lead generation page. A “landing” is not a benefit. A lead is.  Mention that magic word in any meeting where a sales executive and/or people are within earshot, and you will enjoy  instant attention.


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