I read some user feedback the other day.
Some users thought forums where place for geeks, pointless and time wasters… even though they may never have used a forum themselves. Equally Wiki was seen as something techy and geeky… again not necessarily based on any experience.
But they did recognise the words so it’s very much a case of a little knowledge can be more dangerous than no knowledge.
I concluded an interesting point revolving around social media; New words scare people.
This made me look back and review how my approach to selling social media has changed and yes, I do tend to avoid any social media related words these days.
Why? Because clients are ordinary people. Many of them have just recently gotten used to the fact they have a website or an e-newsletter. Many of them pride themselves with having finally learned to use the content management system, and so they should be! It is not their full-time job to work with the Internet on a daily basis like it is for web professionals.
My philosophy has essentially become: Names aren’t important so stick with words people know, preferably from the real word to take it away from that scary thing called the Internet.
So I was thinking back on what words I’ve used recently to describe social media and here are some I could remember using:
- Twitter, RSS = News stream like the scrolling banners use on TV news or Latest News or Alerts similar to your e-newsletter
- Facebook or LinkedIn groups = personal/ professional interest groups (some times a client will recognise this as a forum which is great as it gives some psychic credit to the client)
- Wiki = Library or Collection or Resource centre
- Blog = Diary or Newspaper
- Commenting = Open letter to the editor/author
- Sharing = Word of mouth
This approach does not assume clients are stupid and most of them will have heard the correct terms, but to many it is all new and, more importantly, untried stuff and when push comes to shove clients will invest their money in things they know work, especially in the current economic climate. Giving them a reference point to something they know helps them visualise the potential and see beyond the words.