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Mary Biever | One Writing Mother | Tag Archive | texting
Tag Archive - texting

I Invite, 6 Platforms

Imagine you’re inviting people to a big party at your office. How will you reach them? Each communications platform has its own style. Smart business communicators use each correctly.

Text: <3 our kewl partay next week! Be there!!!!!

Email: Our office is holding its annual customer appreciation day next Thursday from 1-5. We hope you will join us.

Blog: Blog on how much customers are valued with a graphic that shows the theme. It might include an Eventbrite for reservations, or it might just be an open invite.

Facebook: 5 days till the customer appreciation party – just bought the decorations. Hope to see you there! (attached to a link on the blog about the party)

LinkedIn: Please join us next week for our annual customer appreciation party. (attached to a link on the blog about the party)

Twitter:  We love our customers! Join us next week! (shortened link to blog attached)

Business professionals need to know the vernacular of each communications platform and use it. When I text, don’t expect me to ever type “kewl” or “partay.” On the other hand, I might reply back with a “k.”

I am over 40. When you send me an email, I expect it to include complete sentences, with appropriate capitalization and punctuation.

When I get an email that is phrased like a text, unless it is from a digital native under the age of 20, I am offended and question the sender’s professionalism. “Kewl Partay!” comes across as effectively as showing up for work, dressed in a bathrobe, going commando, wearing no pants, with varicose veins popping all over the place. As I read such messages I cringe just like I do when someone talks to me who has bad breathe.

Know each platform. You can follow its standards and maintain your own voice. At the same time, remember that the voice we use in the board meeting has a different inflection than the one Ma Kettle used when she clanged her triangle and hollered for her kids to come in for dinner.

And the person who wears a tux and tails to the beach party is going to look like an overstuffed lobster ready to be baked.

When you use the wrong form, people notice your bad form and miss your message.

Shopping in a Mobile Age

Shopping’s changed from when we visited the Main Street stores on Friday night in Small Town America.  My phone is my  new road map for shopping success.

By Christmas this year, half of all Americans will own a SmartPhone or other mobile device. Smart shoppers will leverage their technology, and smart stores will profit. 


  • When car shopping, a teen lags behind her parents in the car lot, texting prices quoted to her parents so they can later compare with online prices and other lots.
  • A mom at a meeting, discussing the need to make costumes for an event, goes to the fabric store online from her Nook Color, finds a pattern that will work, shows it to all in the room and buys it immediately. Does your online store offers pictures and access to make this possible?
  • While shopping at the grocery store, an odd cut of meat is on sale. The shopper hasn’t seen it before and checks her recipe app on her phone to learn more about it. It includes recipes, nutrition info, and shopping lists.
  • The fine print on the back of the package at the store is too small to read, so the shopper starts the magnifying glass app on the phone and reads what it really says.
  • The bar code scanner shows me every comparable price online and in the area. I may still buy from you if you’re local and your price is a bit higher. But you’re going to have to have great customer service and give back to our local community.
  • Shoppers scan a QR code – whether on a sign in a store or the back of a cereal box – looking for more information or coupons. One Boston sushi restaurant prints QR codes in edible squid ink directly on plates so consumers can get dietary information about their dinner.
  • Location-based programs a la Facebook Places and FourSquare can offer me deals or can help me brand myself or promote important events to others.
  • If I get bad service and the store ignores my complaint, my next complaint goes on Facebook and Twitter. I could photo or video my problem and share that as well.

Let’s Make a Deal shows the audience making deals with the emcee. In our increasingly mobile world, it becomes: Let’s Make It Mobile.

How do you use mobile to enhance your shopping experience?

Have Phone, Will Tweet

“Just a minute,” I told a 4-H meeting as I tapped a message on my phone.

“If you would quit texting, we wouldn’t have to wait,” my 16-year-old daughter (who was running the meeting) complained.

“I’m not texting. I’m tweeting.” I explained.

That inspired me to explain what I tap on my phone during the meeting. It’s not just texting. 

My phone is my calendar, pencil, and paper.  I use it to take notes during the meeting.  If it’s during a live presentation, I’ll probably tweet those notes so I can go back to them later.  My attention span is limited, and having to focus on a talk intensely enough to absorb it and re-interpret it into 140 character tweets makes me focus better on the subject at hand.

When my daughter admonished me, I was corresponding with Robby Slaughter, author of a recent book on Failure: The Secret to Success. He gave an example of a failure game to try, which we used as recreation during our meeting.   After we did it, I was tweeting him feedback on how the game went. (It went well.)

Where could I listen to a meeting and correspond in real time with an author of a book whose idea I have just tried in a meeting with 27 students?  Twitter!

If I’m in a meeting and you need pronto information, I’ll use my phone to search for it. If we set a meeting, I’ll enter it into my calendar.  If there is only 1 copy of a handout, I’ll take a photo of it with my phone and let someone else have the paper copy.  I can take photos of the experiment or other pertinent info to either post online, email, or refer to later.

If I can’t find it on google, I’ll probably tweet out to my lifeline of hundreds of followers and ask them if they can help me find the right answer.

If I’m at a meeting and you see me punching quickly into my phone, don’t automatically assume I am zoned out, living more inside the phone than I am in the real world.  It could very well be I’m using that phone as my personal transporter, to pull the rest of the world into our meeting so we can dialogue in new ways, with new people, in ways we never imagined.

Have  phone, will tweet.