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Consistent communication is important. So is shaking things up.

November 28, 2016

gift

Photo: Asenat29 (CC)

Consistency can make your brand stand out amidst fierce competition for attention. It matters not if you have limited time and limited budget — we all have those challenges.

But let’s avoid predictability. Let’s avoid dull. Let’s leave room for occasional surprises to delight and awaken fans and customers.

It’s not difficult to shake things up. Usually, the biggest hurdle is our own reticence to actually provoke our audience. We’re afraid of scaring them off.

(If they’re that easily frightened, they were never really ours to begin with, right?)

What are some ways we can surprise our online audience?

  • Talk with people and call them by name. Social media, emphasis on social.
  • Put the spotlight on others, including competing companies.
  • Give them a gift. A real gift, not 10 percent off our stuff.
  • A handwritten note on nice stationery.
  • Use a different format: illustrations, charts, limericks, PDFs, anything that varies from your standard mode.
  • Guest blogger, Snapchatter, Instagrammer. Someone with a distinct personality and voice who gets your audience.
  • Empower colleagues to reach out online. Too often, we leave it to one or two ambassadors, when we have a company full of ambassadors itching to help others.
  • Revisit past interactions. Y’all Connect speaker Ramon De Leon had his Domino’s franchise follow up with one customer annually with free pizzas, after a big screwup with her Super Bowl party order.

Whether you reach out to one or 100, you can make a splash by veering off your beaten path. Note: This isn’t license to become erratic in your online communication and marketing — only an opportunity to bolster your consistent message with a burst of fresh creativity.

First, be consistent. But then, shake things up. Your customers will appreciate you all the more.

More ideas:

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