Achieving Cut-Through in Your Social Media Communications

sarah fenwick
Sarah Fenwick

Social media statistics are daunting and incredibly tempting – all at the same time. Facebook has over 1.5 billion users, Twitter has over 550 million users, and Google+ is used by 359 million people. As of 2014, these channels became increasingly commercial. Facebook introduced new rules for post exposure, limiting it considerably unless posts are paid for or ‘boosted’, and Twitter raised the profile of their sponsored services.

Sending promotional messages on these social media is a delicate balancing act because it’s all about peoples’ relationship with the brand or individual who wants the exposure. Blatant advertising messages are not social-media friendly – you’d hardly walk up to someone at a social event in their living room and blurt out “20% Off On Your Next Purchase of My Stuff!” would you? You’d either get ignored or kicked out, neither result is desirable. Instead, the messaging needs to emphasise the relationship-building aspect of asking for business, in other words, emphasising the benefits you can offer and solving someone’s problem.

This is the way to cut through the mass advertising messages that are a daily part of someone’s social media life. Social media channels are particularly good for this approach because there is so much information about a user’s tastes and interests, so writing and creating the right message becomes easier – simply think about what they like. Are they music lovers and are you a musician? Perfect, communicate your passion effectively, and your audience will respond.

Cutting through all the online social media noise is rather like being at a loud cocktail party; everyone’s chattering away, following their own agendas, networking like mad, and yet it is the person who is late to the party and makes a dramatic entrance who gets the attention. How does this work? Quite frankly, it’s about being different and about having something to say about yourself that stays in peoples’ minds. All the positive social skills are required here – a flair for drama, charm, timing, attraction, a sense of humour, tact, strong relationships, diplomacy, friendship, discretion, authenticity, showing support – these traits bring value to a social media campaign.

Whatever you do, don’t become part of the background white noise, make a difference with your campaigns by cutting through clearly with your messages.

Sarah Fenwick is a marketing communications consultant, jazz singer and journalist, not necessarily in that order. For inquiries, email her: or connect with her on Linkedin.