Social Media

I am an interrupter. It’s true…I admit it. As much as I try to stop it, I sometimes can’t help myself.

I remember a staff meeting at my previous job. I admitted to this defect of mine only to be kidded, because as I continued to lament my failings to everyone, I was doing it all while the boss had started talking again.

Oh, the irony of the moment. Don’t these people know that I need several minutes to make an admission like this? Maybe these “other people” are talking while I’m talking… did anybody ever think of that? Please, just let me finish!

So, why do I interrupt? I know why. Ideas and thoughts just fly into my head sometimes. And in the moment of that happening, if someone else is already talking, my internal timer is amped up and I’m thinking, “Hurry up, finish up, stop talking already!” because I’m sure that I’ll forget what I want to say. 

At that moment, I am no longer listening to the person doing the talking. I am only thinking about what I want to say next. Or, I want to get this thought out there before anyone else does.

I don’t like that I’m an interrupter.

Interrupting is impolite. I don’t want to be impolite; I just want to say what I want to say… right away.

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “What makes you think what you have to say is so important, Marjorie?” I don’t know, but usually it IS very important, or profound, or funny, or… something.

Did I mention how much I dislike that I am like this?

I don’t think anybody likes being interrupted. I know I don’t like it. So why would I do that to others then? It’s because I want to be heard. Who doesn’t want to be heard?

In my line of work, we focus on something called “inbound marketing.” It is the opposite of traditional or “outbound marketing” (think magazine ads and TV commercials), and while this traditional method of marketing is fine, outbound marketing tactics all possess the same inherent flaw.

They interrupt.

Outbound marketing efforts push the message in front of us. Companies interrupt our favorite shows, our articles of interest, our YouTube videos, and our scenic drives all in an effort to interrupt us. The communication is one-way, through newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, television, even those annoying robocalls we get at home every night.

I like to call this kind of marketing “interruption” marketing. (And I know a little something about interruption!) The message comes to us when we are busy doing something else. And the message almost never actually matters to us. It’s a shotgun approach that requires marketers to spend vast amounts of money on repetition – because a shotgunned message has to be replayed over and over and over in order to reach the relatively few recipients who might actually be interested in buying whatever product or service being sold.

Me interrupting the middle of a staff meeting is kind of the same thing. But, just as a good commercial targeted to the right audience can be very successful, so can a staff meeting interruption be worthwhile – if, say, the office is on fire.

Inbound marketing is a different approach. With inbound marketing, companies know their audience segments and seek to form relationships with them, typically via social media or paid search.

Have you “liked” your favorite TV show’s Facebook page? Do you “follow” companies or product lines on Twitter? Then you’re an active participant of inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing tactics vary, as companies work to provide value to their audiences via blogs, podcasts, newsletters and social channels, but all inbound marketing shares two key elements:

  1. Inbound marketers focus on specific, highly targeted, like-minded individuals.
  2. Inbound marketing earns peoples’ interest, instead of buying it.

Pay attention to #2… trust, interest, sales are earned, not bought. Marketing isn’t the same as it used to be, and the sooner we grasp that the better. So how do we do that? Your business persona needs to be human, relatable, and willing to cultivate relationships with customers; it needs to be a listener, not an INTERRUPTER! Because in the end, those customers are your new marketing tool. They are the ones who will sell your product for you!

It’s ironic how much the office interrupter prefers inbound marketing. I get it. And I am working on it.

My goal is to become an “inbound conversationalist.” Instead of interrupting, I want to stay quiet until I can politely offer my own two cents.

Then, and only then, I’ll know that once they hear my two cents, they’ll want to hear more!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! To learn more about social media and how to help America’s small towns and businesses, visit Destination Main Street on Facebook, or on Instagram @DestinationMain. If you’d like to follow along in more depth when Marjie is on the road, just go to the Marjorie Henise Facebook page. To get insights into life when I’m not working so much, you can follow me on Instagram, too… @Marjie2!