I Heard Everything You Said…But Repeat It All Again Just In Case I Missed It

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Capturing Attention in Social Media

Four seconds doesn’t seem like much but when your attention span is already a mere eight seconds…a 50% increase makes a big difference. That is the disparity between the human attention span today and 16 years ago. Thanks social media! Honestly we can’t blame it all on social media, with the advancements in technology our world is moving faster than ever and we demand everything at our finger tips and by yesterday. However social media has aided in the evolution of our minds being able to “adapt to the information flood from the synergy between news media and social media” (Liao, J. 2016).

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There is a lot of competition when considering gaining the attention of any audience. Currently the internet houses over 1 billion websites. To add some perspective to that thought, “one billion minutes ago was the height of the Roman Empire” (Antosz, D, 2015). The numbers are not in your favor. Thankfully social media collects an audience for you mainly compromised of friends, family, and friends or friends and family. The average Instagram teenager has 150 followers (Statista, 2015). Me personally, I’m excited if I get 20 likes on a picture I posted, for others likes or hearts are like sugar water to a hummingbird. So combine that need with the 8 seconds you have to grab someone’s attention and the other 999,999,999 other distractions on the internet and you can imagine how small that window is to climb through

If you happen to be one of those users who seek out the attention of others, here are a few suggestions to help you in your mission:

· Be visual

Because our attention span is so short, people typically don’t have the time to read so give the what they want…pictures! It helps that the brain can process images “60,000 times faster” (Sheares, A, 2015) so why would anyone use text? Another great tip is to use custom images, not something that your audience can find elsewhere, create demand with exclusivity.

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· Surprise them

Now this is not a suggestion encouraging you to offend folks but when tastefully executed standing out is not a bad thing. “Being a little disruptive helps your brand be memorable” (Antosz, D, 2015). The comfort or discomfort with being outrageous or standing out is what makes some hesitant to push the limits but it has been proven to pay off.

· Keep it simple

Don’t overthink your idea or how it will be perceived. Make it easy for your audience to understand your purpose. The worst thing you can do is confuse your target and make it difficult for them reach the end result. It is also important to remember simple does not mean boring. Do not be boring.

Maintaining Engagement in Social Media

Trying to locate a definition for “social engagement” is pretty difficult and rather unclear. So after many failed attempts at research, I figured I would give it a shot myself.

Engagement in social media is an interaction between a primary source or company and its customer or audience.

That’s the best I got and honestly makes more sense than anything I could find online. Engagement for any company is more important today than ever. This is due to the voice that customers now have with the outlet of social media. Engaging is the easy part, securing engagement is something different. Securing engagement is where all the hard work happens, is where companies/media sources gain retention and yes…it’s easier said than done. A few of useful methods for maintaining engagement:

· Be consistent

You don’t want to post every once in a long while and you also don’t want to flood their timeline or inbox. You have to walk the fine line between meeting their needs, keep them wanting more, and not overdoing it. You also don’t want to be all over the place with your product or content. Find one thing you are good at and stick to it. Your audience wants to know that they are going to be satisfied each and every time. You cannot secure that urge while trying to be good at everything.

· Find your niche

Become the expert, the primary source, if not the first be the best. No better way to secure engagement than being the go to source for your product. Be innovative and find a way to corner your market. Once your customer finds a more reliable source you can kiss your engagement goodbye and good luck getting it back.

· Listen to your audience

You shouldn’t have to guess, a large part of engagement is communication and it works two ways. Social media has created a great amount of confidence in the customer and they are not shy about telling you what they want, how they want it, and when. Listen to them. No need in fighting and making your job any harder.

References

Antosz, D. (2015) 6 Ways to Capture and Keep Your Audience’s Attention Online

Search Engine Journal: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/6-ways-capture-keep-audiences-attention-online/147162/

Accessed on: 10.18.17

Liao, J (2016) Our 8 second attention span and the future of news media

Venture Beat: https://venturebeat.com/2016/12/04/our-8-second-attention-span-and-the-future-of-news-media/

Accessed on: 10.17.17

Sheares, A. (2015) 3 Social Media Tips For Capturing Audience Attention

Cision: https://www.cision.com/us/2015/04/3-social-media-tips-for-capturing-audience-attention/

Accessed on: 10.18.17

Statista (2015) Average number of Instagram followers of teenage users in the United States as of March 2015

Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/419326/us-teen-instagram-followers-number/

Accessed on: 10.18.17

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