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Capturing Attention in Social Media

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the list goes on. An individual has limitless possibilities of interacting with other people through social networking sites (SNSs), which are websites and applications that connect people by allowing individuals to create and share pages and ideas they have made themselves (Pittman, & Reich, 2016). Per Pittman and Reich (2016), individuals from 18–29 years old with the Internet, “87% use Facebook, 53% use Instagram, and 37% use Twitter.” With more than one option and that many users, not only must the platform capture a person’s attention, but so does the content being displayed, especially if an individual or company are trying to sell a product or an idea. To stand out an individual or company must set themselves apart from the “other guys” and make a person want to look at their content. There are many ways to do this. Per Dhir and Torsheim (2016), knowing the age, gender, and cultural background of your audience, and knowing the audience’s reason for being on SNSs is paramount to success. Once a company or individual knows their target audience, the right marketing strategy will garner the most attention of the audience. The right marketing strategy differs from individual to individual and product to product, but per Mendenhall (2016), the following suggestions yield the best results: make sure the website uploads quickly since a human’s attention span is now roughly 8 seconds, make sure there are pictures because it takes the human brain approximately “0.25 seconds to process visual content,” and since approximately 80% of time on social media is done with a mobile device it is wise to make your product more than just mobile friendly to retain the audience’s attention. Gaining the audience’s attention is only half the battle, the other half is keeping their attention.


So, the first hurdle has been cleared and it is on to the next: maintaining the audience’s attention. Per Neely (2016), there is a shift in content marketing for two reasons: first is that inundating the consumer with more content without involving them is not working, second is getting the consumer involved with the content without overloading them with everything on the market. Now, the audience is engaged and not overloaded, but the marketing team is not done yet! As Neely (2016) explains, the marketing team must now keep the audience engaged using simple techniques like:

· breaking up the content with sub-headers, short paragraphs, bullet points, and simplifying sentences to keep lines around 75 characters

· using plain language

· minimal use of bold and italicized print with a font size around 14-point and

· use pictures or images, but do not fill every square inch of space with text and/or images.

After all the work is said and done the individual or company then sends the final product off, praying they gauged the intended market accurately.


Dhir, A., & Torsheim, T. (2016). Age and gender differences in photo tagging gratifications. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 630–638. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.044

Mendenhall, N. (2016, July 10). 4 Ways to Capture and Keep Your Target Audience’s Attention. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/4-ways-capture-and-keep-your-target-audiences-attention

Neely, P. (2016, July 12). How to format your blog posts for better readability and SEO: 11 effective tips to improve engagement. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://blog.scoop.it/2016/07/13/how-to-format-your-blog-posts-for-better-readability-and-seo/

Pittman, M., & Reich, B. (2016). Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 155–167. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.084

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