Do your social media posts seem a bit boring? Are you looking for inspiration to liven them up a bit? Do you need some inspiration on how to grab attention on social media?

Do you want to inject some creativity into your posts so more people like, share, read and comment on them?

The first thing you should do before posting is ask yourself “would I like, share or comment on this post”? You want to be creating engaging, shareable and visual content. Social media posts that lack creativity are like a meal that hasn’t been seasoned properly – a bit bland and boring.

Our attention spans are shorter than those of goldfish - so your social media must stand out! Click To Tweet

As we now have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish, the challenge is to grab your audience’s attention. And quickly. Three ways you can do this are to:

  1. tell a story
  2. use visuals
  3. use video.

Bonus points if you can make the reader feel something – happy, sad, empathy – as this means they are more likely to share your post.

3 ways to grab attention using social media

Tell stories

Storytelling can make you look smart, funny, insightful and knowledgeable. Use stories to support your brand. Share stories about yourself, your customers, your staff, your products. Of course, if you’re sharing a story that’s not yours, make sure you get permission first.

A few of my favourite corporate storytellers are Qantas (who else cries whenever they hear I Still Call Australia Home?), Apple (of course!), Air BnB – check out their page dedicated to stories. Small brands that are killing it with storytelling include Black Milk Clothing and Quirky Cooking.

A couple of great resources for budding storytellers are Gabrielle Dolan’s books and Valerie Khoo’s book Power Stories.

Use pictures

A picture can tell a thousand stories – and your pictures can include photos, infographics, drawings, cartoons or any other type of visual image. If you can use your own photos, you will get bonus points for originality! I find I’m now taking 3-4 versions of many photos so I can leave space for a text overlay. Tell me I’m not the only person who does that!

Posts that use images receive more likes and shares than posts without – 40x more. And the content is a lot more likely to be recalled later – which isn’t surprising given 65% of the population are visual learners. In fact, most people are likely to remember only 10% of what they have read three days after reading it. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

How can you better use images in your posts? One of my favourite examples is my friend – and MC, speaker and facilitator – Sally Foley-Lewis. She had a series of photos taken, and she cleverly uses them to position herself by overlaying quotes, article topics and event information.

Sally Foley-Lewis

A selection of Sally Foley-Lewis’s Instagram images

If you don’t want to do what Sally has done, there are a lot of image libraries to source your images, including Shutterstock, istockphoto and Unsplash. The New York Public Library* last year released a huge digital image collection for use royalty-free.

You can also use sites like Canva and Easil to resize, design and add text overlays. Canva and Easil also have large image libraries, and a free as well as a paid option.

*Tourist tip – the New York Public Library was one of my favourite places to visit on my last trip to NYC. They have fantastic free tours, AND you can see the stuffed toys that inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Use video – and live video

Video is another great way to get your message across. Especially to the vast majority who would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it – and people are 85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it.

Research shows that half of the YouTube subscribers between the ages of 18 and 34 would drop whatever they are doing to watch a new video by their favourite channel. Think about THAT if your target market is in that demographic.

And then there is live video – which you can now do via Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – AND from your desktop with Facebook (finally!). Video Marketing Expert Joel Comm says “Live video is the most significant leap in social media since the creation of the iPhone”. And I have to say, I agree.

If you’re wondering how to get more reach on Facebook without paying for ads, then you definitely need to be using Facebook Live. Facebook favours posts using Facebook Live (and to a lesser extent pre-recorded video), and pushes them to the top of the feed. It’s a great way to get more eyeballs, and the more authentic you are, the better.

How are you going to grab attention using social media?

Disclaimer: Nothing here is sponsored, paid or gifted, although I do have free access to Shutterstock as part of my member benefits from the Professional Speakers Association.  

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