Well-crafted social media and marketing messages need courtesy and manners to avoid common decorum errors and the wrath of Nana.
October 30, 2013
Marketing and social media strategist Sheri Fitts is following in her Nana’s footsteps by stressing the value of proper correspondence etiquette and values in today’s competitive retirement plan industry.
“We live in a world of conversational messages and hashtags. A limit of 140 characters creates the demand for shorter bits and bytes,” explains Ms. Fitts. “Even so, there is no substitute for a well-crafted message.”
For Ms. Fitts, and Nana, spelling, punctuation and grammar matter, and saying ‘thank you’ is an important part of any relationship. “A note with a preposition at the end of a sentence was unacceptable 50 years ago and it is still intolerable today,” relates Ms. Fitts.
To avoid the wrath of Nana, Ms. Fitts recommends retirement plan professionals use the following tips:
- Always spell check. If you know you’re a challenged speller, or wonder whether ‘persuasive’ has one ‘s’ or two, get help. “I love my Mozilla Firefox web browser because it points out any misspellings for me — a great little shortcut,” Ms. Fitts notes.
- Proofread your postings before you submit them. Granted, leaving out a word or typing something incorrectly isn’t the end of the world. But to a reader, your postings can demonstrate your brilliance, or reveal your lack of care. Be part of the conversation, or be ignored. Why invest time in social media if you’re going to be ignored?
- Remember that manners matter. If you’re reaching out to connect with someone, include a personal note in your request. The hollow and generic request on LinkedIn is just that, hollow and generic. It doesn’t provide any context, personal or otherwise, about why you’re interested in connecting.
- Your friends are a reflection of you. If you’re ever concerned about a connection request from someone, simply decline. If they don’t know you, they aren’t likely to be offended. If you feel compelled to respond, simply reply (without accepting) and ask them to share a bit more about their request and why they think connecting would be a good idea.
- Say ‘thank you.’ Finally, in keeping with Nana’s rules, always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ When someone sends you a connection request and you accept, quickly send a thank-you note. It helps solidify the relationship. And you can use it as an opportunity to position your business and share a bit about how you help your clients.
Ms. Fitts is the president of ShoeFitts Marketing, a marketing and social media strategy leader that specializes in helping retirement plan advisors, third party administrators, and financial service organizations. She launched ShoeFitts in 2012 after 20-plus years in the 401(k) industry. Both the company and its owner are quickly garnering recognition and praise throughout the retirement plan industry. Ms. Fitts was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Defined Contribution industry by the 401kWire.com annual survey.
Ms. Fitts is also a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.
About ShoeFitts Marketing
ShoeFitts Marketing is a Portland, Oregon-based company specializing in marketing strategy and social media development for the retirement plan industry. The company’s approach is simple: use the right tool for the right job. ShoeFitts knows how to work within the parameters of the regulated environment from decades of experience working in the financial services marketplace. The company has galvanized industry marketing and social media efforts by developing a cache of premium products and customized training sessions, and using progressive strategies to provide fresh opportunities for clients to establish standout roles in their industry.