3 Ways to Dominate Any Newsfeed
And the Common Thread That Holds Them All Together
As writers and creators, and even as individuals, we live and work in an attention economy.
The easiest place to see this is on social media. But lest you think that’s where it all started, it isn’t. We want people to notice us at work, at church, and at our social gatherings. What we do on social media is a reflection of what we do in the “real” world of bricks, mortar, and face to face contact.
We complicate things by wanting customized attention that suits our needs.
With that in mind, let’s focus on getting attention online.
I’m about to share three powerful strategies to make your posts pop in any newsfeed you participate in. Feel free to customize these to fit your unique personality and personal brand.
The unusual is always a hook for roving eyes.
We cringe when we see a multi-car accident on the highway. The mass of mangled metal and flashing lights can make your chest hurt, your stomach tie up in knots, and cause you to temporarily lose track of whatever you were thinking.
Shock doesn’t have to come from things that drastic.
Suppose you see a giant spider web in the corner of your carport. Or maybe you walk through a big one and get it wrapped up in your perfectly styled hair. If the spider is big and looks poisonous, your fight or flight impulse might get activated.
So you stop and take a picture.
You ask your friends, “Do you know what kind of spider this is?”
Inside you’re thinking:
- Is it poisonous?
- Will it have a thousand children that will infest my home?
- Will I ever get this silky, sticky web off me or will I have to go inside and take another shower?
Shock comes when you show us something we don’t expect to see in our newsfeed. But don’t overdo it. You’ll have to keep raising the bar and that can make you tired — or excited.
Make Us Laugh.
When you’ve had a stressful day at work or at home, you just want to escape and forget it all.
Laughter is the best medicine any doctor could prescribe.
What makes something funny?
It pokes fun at life.
It takes something we obsess over like dieting and connects it with something ridiculous — like the sign above. Does diet mean “Did I eat that?” Of course it does. But when we diet, we often think about what we’re not eating instead.
Zig Ziglar told a funny story of his trip to the doctor after he decided to lose about 50 pounds. The doctor did all sorts of tests. Afterward, he handed him a sheet of paper and told him, “Zig, I’ve got good news for you. You can eat anything you want. Now here is a list of the foods that you’re going to want.”
Humor is funny because there is a mixture of truth and absurdity in it. When we get a chance to see how silly of what we do really is, we laugh.
And then we change.
Tug at Our Heartstrings.
This week I saw a video of a dad whose son was born without eyes and the ability to walk.
Did he let that stop him from living a full life with his son?
At first, he discovered the boy was a musical genius. When they sat together at the piano, it soon becomes clear that the boy could remember any note and its location after playing it a couple times.
When he got older, his dad wanted him to be in the marching band.
Whoa. How was he able to pull that off?
He worked the graveyard shift at UPS so he could:
- Attend his son’s practice every weekday.
- Roll his son’s wheelchair during every game.
- Learn all the moves the rest of the band was making so he wouldn’t distract the audience during the performance.
Now that is dedication above and beyond what most people would do, right?
After you watch a moving story, I’ll bet you can see some opportunities that seemed like barriers before. You’ll aim higher because you believe you can. You’ll find a higher purpose for living your life day after mundane day. And even the simple things can become the greatest gifts.
That’s why we cheer when your kids graduate from school, get married, or overcome some hard-fought challenge.
Play on our sympathies and we’ll read every word of your story.
The Thread That Holds This All Together
By now, you’ve probably guessed it.
We’re emotional beings first.
Emotions are what move us to do anything. Here are a few:
- Scroll down the newsfeed a little longer to find something that thrills us and chases away boredom.
- Eavesdrop on our friends’ highlight reels and see how we measure up. If not, we get jealous and vow to change.
- Look for the secret we’ve been missing that will change everything and make our wildest dreams come true.
Feel guilty yet?
And what’s worse? Emotional appeals are so powerful that what you’re sharing doesn’t even have to be true to spread like wildfire.
Fiction writers, does that make you want to get up and dance?
Why Should I Do This?
You read this because you want more attention, right?
What’s the win for you?
If you’re being social, your objective is to gather friends you can chat, share pictures, and hang out with online.
If you’re building an audience for your work, you’re making connections that change people.
Newsmakers shock us so we rethink our position on an issue.
Comedians make us laugh so we can see how silly our behavior is and do better.
And people who tug at our heartstrings want us to see hope in the midst of the mundane, the dark, and the painful.
You can’t have 10,000 close friends. You won’t have dinner with a fan in every town you visit. You want followers who will buy into your message, buy your products, and spread the word. If you can’t have all that, you’d be happy if they just see the light you’ve seen and live differently tomorrow.
Now Go Dominate Your Newsfeed
Got a story about how one of your posts went viral?
Do you remember an event that changed your life forever?
Can you tell us a joke that will not only make us laugh but make us think, too?
Share them here.
Don’t have a story yet? Do something different this week you can tell us about soon.
Now go be the change you’d like to see us make.