HOLD MY HAND & WALK ME TO IT
If you are asking people to do something, you must be clear and specific – when where who how – on the doing of it. Don’t assume that people will understand what you mean if you
don’t spell it out. And some things that we think are no-brainers, really are complicated for some people or they are too lazy/busy to figure it out. Draw them a picture – literally or figuratively.
For example, a recent posting on Facebook said “Come out to our Grand Opening” with the link to their Facebook page. One person typed in “Where is it?” OK, that’s a reasonable question since the address wasn’t posted under the FB page link, BUT if the link was clicked it brought you to the page where the address was clearly stated and visible without additional clicks! So the post-er assumed that people would click the FB page link and see this, but evidently the commenter hadn’t figured that out or needed further clarification.
But really, why was it assumed that the commenter would click? How would she know that the click would bring her the information she asked? She didn’t want to waste her time finding out. She wanted the post-er to tell her at the same time of the request what all the info was.
Never assume anything. Don’t assume that people will click to find out more. Tell them upfront all the details, specific details, so they don’t have to try to figure it out.
Make it easy for them to help you!
I saw this recently with the Mission Small Business event sponsored by Chase and Living Social (businesses who had applied for one of twelve $250K grants had to get 250 votes just to have their application reviewed). Some businesses just put the main link to the contest page with NO business name, no explanation on why they want a vote, and no specific directions on what to do. Had this information been included, I’m sure a lot more votes would have registered.
A recent vote for your favorite local park contest also had this problem. The link was to a Facebook app that came up blank. There were no other directions! Nothing about needing to connect Foursquare first. I clicked everywhere on the app to make this vote work, but no dice. Went to Foursquare, online and phone app. Still not able to connect with any of it. And this was a major Fortune 100 company’s contest. You’d think the app would work, but it didn’t and the local park suffered. Since it was a nonprofit, I attempted this at least 6 times in a multitude of ways over a number of days, but still no luck. Quite unfortunate for the park. It was only because this was a contest for a nonprofit did I make the extra effort in so many attempts. But generally, two is my limit. Lesson: test your partnership apps as if you were a newbie to be sure of how they work.
People, me included, are bombarded with continuous information. We don’t have time to give you more time! Tell us exactly what you want us to do, make it clear and concise, and we’ll do it. But if you make us go through hoops to help you, sorry, not doing it. We will be moving on.
If you want our time, be clear and quick on what you are asking us to do. Otherwise, we are gone before getting involved. Your choice. Help to be helped. Or not.
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Creative Commons Photo Credit: Attribution: I, MARVEL http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CoupleDenmark.JPG