Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Want 5 Top Pro Social Media Tips? Steal this Headline


Did you see what I did there? I front-loaded the headline with tried and true triggers to make even the most skeptical reader to click and open. Like you just did. Marketers have known for years that people respond to sentiments that imply easy, free, expert or quantitative points. But social media is upping the ante. We live in a 140 character world that will keep getting shortened until mind reading is a downloadable smart phone app. The bad news is that my Magic 8-Ball says "Chances are good" that several people who will repost this very article will do so without ever reading it.

And therein lies one of the most prevalent problems that social media for business is facing today.
There is such a frenzy by businesses to share post, re-post, tweet and retweet that few stop to read what they share or know why they're sharing it. Often it's rehashed info we just read --and those are the good posts. More often articles are a few paragraphs seasoned with keywords to improve someone's SEO (search engine optimization.)  And then there's the "joiners" who have never asked why and are adding to post proliferation for the sake of doing it. If it were paper, Green Peace would be knocking down their doors. (OK it's Green Peace, so perhaps knocking politely asking us to stop.)

To quote a conversation I overhead the other day at social media central (aka Starbucks): "I'd like to reach a point, at some point." Unintentional yet brilliant advice actually. As a world, we no longer write to inform; we write to get noticed and that my concerned friends is a very dangerous concept. Am I calling for a referendum on rampant post sharing? Yes, but it's too late for that. So I will settle for reposting or sharing with a purpose. Nothing wrong with an enticing headline as a little playful manipulation is fine. It's when you don't deliver on those teases that readers get angered. But keep doing that and something far worse will occur, they'll start to ignore you.
So when creating social media content, it's important to remember to deliver what you're subject line promised — even if you didn't create the content yourself. Ask yourself what you can add to it and how you can shed light upon a subject that may have never occurred to the author. Agree or disagree. Praise or chastise. Share with a purpose.

Finally, kudos to those of you who made it to end of this article--because you're customers will. All they ask of you is that you think and read before you share and add your take on things. After all, it's why they follow you. If you add the hash tag #sharewithpurpose when you share this article, it will let everyone know you did.

Article first published as 5 Free, Fast Pro Social Media Tips? Steal this Headline on Technorati.

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