Getting your marketing messages heard is critical for any creative small business owner. Most creative entrepreneurs are on board with social media and are using many of the modern marketing tools to get their messages out there.
But are you repeating your messages often enough?
Here’s where I see a lot of small business owners falling down. They put out a message about an upcoming event – be it book launch, performance or art opening. And they assume that the message they sent out will be seen by everyone and remembered.
We have the attention and retention of a gnat
I bet you are bombarded every day with emails, texts, tweets, instagram photos, Facebook updates, phone calls etc.
How much of it do you retain?
This is precisely why you need to repeat your messages over and over again until people actually hear them.
You need to know about the Rule of Seven.
The Rule of Seven
The rule of seven is a concept from advertising. It says that a person needs to see (or hear) a message at least seven times before they actually register it. It’s the basis of most advertising. There is a reason why certain toys are advertised over and over again in the months leading up until Christmas: it takes that repetition for that toy to make it onto every child’s Christmas list.
Likewise, you can’t post one status update about your upcoming concert on Facebook and then be disappointed that no one comes. There are very few of your followers who are going to remember all of the relevant details from just one post. As a small business owner, you are going to have to repeat your message several times (a minimum of seven) before it really registers with your audience.
How to do it
There is a good way and a bad way to go about this. The bad way is to post the same message over and over again a couple of times a day for a week.
Yes, your audience will remember it, but not it a positive way.
They will think that you are spamming them and shut your message out.
Instead you want your message to reach them at least seven times, but over a period of time -maybe a few days between each post, or even once a week, depending on how much time you have available.
Vary timing and location of your message
You also want to vary the location of your messages. Many of your network will be following you on multiple social media platforms (your Facebook circle probably overlaps with your Twitter circle, for example), so you can post it one day on Twitter and the next day on Facebook. Creative small business owners should look for many different places to scatter your message.
Vary the form
Also look to vary the form of the message. One time it might be sharing the poster for your event. The next time it might be a video clip from your rehearsals. The third might be a funny story which happened leading up to the event. Look to have seven different messages that reinforce the same event. That’s the way to get your message across without being annoying.
Even networking needs multiple touches
Likewise when it comes to networking, you will often need to encounter someone seven times (at least) before they take notice of who you are. If you are trying to connect with an event organiser you might need multiple contacts across both social media and more traditional mediums (email, mail, phone) before they register who you are and are receptive to your message. Your job is to be persistent without being annoying. If you email someone and don’t hear back from them, then you might try to @message them on Twitter or send them a Facebook message – just keep it polite and don’t do it all on the same day. Sometimes persistence is necessary when it comes to networking; just look to vary it enough that they become interested to know more about you.
Pay attention to how it works
Observe advertising all around you. See how the same message is played out over and over again through different channels and different filters. Take what you can from that to apply to your own marketing strategies and don’t be afraid to get your message out multiple times.