[ Chapter 1 ] of My Book “Internet Beauty Tribe: How To Build Yours From Scratch”
Chapter 1 : Attention — What Is It & Why You Should Give A Damn
Please note this is an unedited , shorter, less resourced version of the book chapter. In other words, this is me sharing my work — my process as I write it.
I’m mostly looking for feedback. ← ← hint hint.
I believe all collections of blogs one writes should end up in a digestible, easy to read and access book — this is my first attempt at it.
Attention — What Is It & Why You Should Give A Damn
Most of the topics discussed on the Internet that have to do with posting on Social Media revolve around questions, answers and arguments about what to post and where to post.
Having said that, the answers never really touch upon an entirely different and much more vital aspect of Social Media and why it really exists in the first place…
I’d like to shine a little light on attention because without attention a Social Media platform wouldn’t be a distribution channel of information which means nobody would post any content on it because nobody would see it.
In other words, if attention wasn’t a component already in play, all the rest of the stuff we see happening such as the growth of Instagram and Facebook, wouldn’t have happened because the attention wouldn’t have been on those two platforms.
(Yes, Imagine a world without Facebook — our attention would be elsewhere)
But we can identify attention and why it matters to us in the context of our social media business building efforts.
If for no other reason otherthan because internet advertising whether through google, yelp, Facebook or Instagram isn’t going away…
..Eventually it’ll be the ONLY way we market ourselves — digitally through social sharing platforms.
So to explain attention in the context of Social Media, whether it’s attention received in a short period of time, or over an extended period of time , I would say that :
Attention simply refers to the actual number of people who are following along with your online content posts at any given point in time on whatever distribution channels you happen to upload your Social Media posts too.
The way attention is measured within a specific Social Media platform depends entirely on the design of that platform.
The algorithm changes all the time so we should get used to continuous changes on Facebook and Instagram.
I forget where I heard this quote but it said something along the lines of :
“ Change is the only constant “
It’s all we have.
For context, a YouTube star with one million subscribers would assume he or she has the attention of one million people.
You would too — that’s the first way you’d introduce someone cool to your friends who happens to have caught your attention while using your phone — “He has 1 million YouTube followers OH-EM-GEE”
We’ve all done it. It’s okay.
But that’s the “online resume 10 second pitch” summed up — How many followers you have?
“Oh, a million? you must be kind of a big deal”…
Facebook calls it “page likes” but also calls it “shares” but also calls it “boosted post reach”.
Instagram also calls it “likes” but you click a heart instead of a thumbs up.
The truth is numbers are metrics and metrics regardless of what the actual “platform” invents a name for, give you an idea of how much attention you are getting on each platform at any given point in time for any piece of content you post.
I know, I said that already once but I want to make sure you hear me…
The number one mistake people make when they get this so called “attention” is they feel as if they need the same amount of people across all the distribution channels that they operate in .
That would be a huge mistake.
You must treat each platform’s base of attention in which you make posts on as its own stand alone platform — because it is.
People behave differently on different platforms, so your content posts must fit the “voice of that platform.”
We tend to get emotionally involved with our content and strongly believe at times that we should get not only more attention , but the same level of attention across all the platforms.
That’s a recipe for dissapointment.
If attention was the essence of driving as it is the essence of what every Social Media platform is built on, then Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope,Twitter, YouTube would all be different cars .
One would be an SUV , one would be a motorcycle , another would be a Race car or even a tractor — it doesn’t matter…
…The concept of driving by what we popularly call steering doesn’t really change, whether you’re riding on a crotch — rocket or a John Deere.
The point is , each of these social media vehicles has its own pros and cons, features and benefits — all being able to move really fast or really slow over time in the online space it exists.
Some take longer than others but the collective attention of millions of users (or the lack of it ) will not only make (or break) the platform, but also dictates how well it’s doing — in terms of not losing attention over time.
It works much in the same way at a micro level on a account — by — account — basis where instead of how Facebook counts its 500 million users and tells you about it , you count your followers and likes and comments and so on and tell your friends on Friday night about it.
“Attention — getting” on Social Media is a skill worth building because only then, through the process of it, will you realize that each Social Media platform is its own mechanism, leading you to conclude that each platform is a skill in and of itself.
Treat it as such.
Focus YOUR attention primarily on the social media app YOU feel most comfortable on — then accept it.
Let me explain.
I got lucky with Instagram.
I know myself — I wouldn’t have been as active or resourceful or as willing to put it the work if Instagram wasn’t around to build something how I wanted to build it and if I had to solely rely on Facebook.
If you have noticed most of the content that I post revolves around primarily Instagram.
Instagram also happens to be the one platform I enjoy using the most even though others are way more user friendly.
When it comes to the beauty industry , Instagram was a perfect choice for Hairstylist Tribe , because it is a beauty industry friendly platform indeed.
I’ve put equal amounts of effort into Facebook and building an attention base on there, but the capabilities of Instagram for my purposes are far superior to Facebook’s.
I can do things a lot faster on Instagram.
Facebook is a secondary distribution channel for content and I can share to it right from Instagram.
It’s a huge attention base builder over time but the content must be positioned differently and “told” differently.
It must be shared in videos or blog pieces and if you want to reach a much wider audience then you must play Facebook’s pay-to-play game — which I’m currently kneed deep in understanding myself at the moment.
On Facebook we tell stories through sharing, status updates and Facebook LIVE as of late and then we can boost those posts whether they’re content posts or business posts to our audience for pennies!.
This is the fastest way to get attention for any cause you may be interested in.
Once you get attention, keep it.
I would recommend you add layers to your interactions with your audience and one of those layers should be a quick catch — up message saying something along the lines of , “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I also have a Facebook page.”
Better yet, mention at least one other Social Media platform you would like other people to get into contact with you later on.
The only place anybody can click through out of Instagram is to my Medium blog through the link in profile.
I make it my mission to ensure that when someone new joins Hairstylist Tribe , they don’t go too long without getting to know me, what the community stands for and the person behind it.
Think about how YOU would react…
You come across something cool and then you’re wanting to know what it’s all about — you’re hooked.
Whatever it is, it has your attention.
( My guilty pleasure attention span of at least an hour a day is on Walking Dead — don’t judge me.)
When asked “What is Hairstylist Tribe all about?” (a very common question I may add) — I answer that question by offering a link to the educational resource part of Hairstylist Tribe which at this current time is this blog.
The newly joined “followers” now have an opportunity , if interested, to learn further and either be convinced that the blog is worthy of their continue attention OR….
…they leave never to return.
Some of your audience may chose to add you on all those platforms but , the important thing is that you add layers of contact other than “book with me here or “like my page on Facebook”.
Let them know you’re real and you respond back to messages in a fair amount of time.
Attention is tricky…
…The same content that attracted attention your way also implies that you want continued attention.
In order to have continued attention you must be consistent (something that is admittedly very hard).
However, if you play the long term game and remain consistent in your Social Media efforts, you’ll give yourself enough of a chance as time passes to learn and try new things — and 99% of new things out there are free to be learned.
The only problem is you haven’t been exposed to them.
Attention fades when the content you put out is no longer valuable , but it fades even faster when you’re not consistent.