Attention: This Is About Attention.

Capturing Attention On Social Media

Capturing Attention on social media might be defined as getting someone to read one’s post.  Seeing a post doesn’t necessarily qualify as paying attention to it.  Lin, Hsieh, and Wu defined attention to social media, as uninterrupted eye movement.  In fact, digital eye trackers can track the length of fixation, how many times the eye is engaged on the page, and where the eye was looking on the page.

Attention is important for posts from business accounts because, once attention is achieved, the process of making a sale has begun (2016).  With over two trillion users scrolling through their feeds, the customers are there (Lahuerta-Otero, and Cordero-Gutiérrez, 2016).  It’s all about being visible, capturing their attention, and securing engagement.

One of the challenges faced by those attempting to gain attention is the attention span of users, which was found by Microsoft to be approximately eight seconds (McSpadden, n.d.).

Another challenge is choosing the right images, since the image type affects the kind of visual fixation, learning, and user understanding (Lin, Hsieh, and Wu, 2016).

According to (Lin et. al), one strategy for gaining viewer attention is a graphical user interface, or GUI.  This involves an icon, on the screen that a user can click on, to receive the information that is linked to the icon.  These are typically used on handheld devices, such as a smartphone.  In addition to gaining the user’s attention, these icons can also aid in the reduction of operational errors and make gaining access to the information easier and quicker for the user (2016).

Another strategy is using influencers, or people who are looked to as an authority on your message to create e-WOM, or word of mouth (Lahuerta-Otero and Cordero-Gutiérrez, 2016).  Locating these people can be challenging because some people might follow and be followed by someone who has influence.  This is not a clear indicator that the person is an influencer, though.  The problem this poses is that, if they can’t gain the attention of your audience, involving them in your message might be unnecessary.  To be a true influencer, the person must follow and be followed by a lot of people.  This is because following more people makes one visible to more people.  The closer a group of people (community) is, the more motivated they will be to share content (Lahuerta-Otero and Cordero-Gutiérrez, 2016).

Thirdly, evoking emotion in one’s audience is an effective way to gain attention, on social media.  According to (Lahuerta-Otero and Cordero-Gutiérrez), social influence is magnified by showing emotion in one’s tweets.  This hypothesis was studied, using a sentiment index ranking, with negative thoughts ranking -1 and positive thoughts ranking +1.  By classifying each emotional word in each Tweet which included a given keyword with a corresponding ranking and totaling the rankings, the user’s sentiment score was obtained.  Interestingly, the absolute value determined the popularity of the influencer, not the positivity or negativity of the score (Lahuerta-Otero and Cordero-Gutiérrez, 2016).

Maintaining Engagement On Social Media

Engagement happens, by various methods, according to which brand of social media is being used.  On Twitter, for example, this might mean favoriting, retweeting, or citing the tweet (Lahuerta-Otero, and Cordero-Gutiérrez, 2016).  Additionally, one may consider the attention captured if the user opts to prescribe to an email list.  According to forbes.com, engagement is more important than the number of followers one has because, without it, the followers are valueless.  Considering that many business owners consider building a following at the top of their list of goals, clearly engagement is invaluable (Escobedo, 2017).

According to socialmediaweek.org, joining groups that are relevant to your product or service is one way to build a following, which is especially important, if you don’t already have a following.  This gives you the chance to make your presence known and build a relationship with your customer.  You can also create your own groups with relevance to your expertise (Rose, 2017).

Another way to maintain engagement is to cite great sources.  Socialmediaweek.org suggests that if someone else can answer your follower’s questions better than you, you should quote them.  This shows your potential customers you care and are not just in it for the sale (Rose, 2017).

Additionally, share the love.  Another great tip is to repost comments made by customers with great feedback about your product or service.  This works in a couple of ways:  The customer who posted the comment originally might reshare your post, showing their followers that they were mentioned by you.  This gets your name out to their followers and, if you’re still building a following, this will show off your greatness to potential customers (Rose, 2017).

References

Escobedo, J. (2017, June 13). How To Sell The Importance Of Engagement Over Fan Growth On Social Media. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/joeescobedo/2017/06/12/social-media-engagement/#2c01df682193.

Rose, K. (2017, October 27). 10 Tips For Increasing Your Social Media Engagement. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2017/10/10-tips-increasing-social-media-engagement/.

Lahuerta-Otero, E., & Cordero-Gutiérrez, R. (2016). Looking for the perfect tweet. the use of data mining techniques to find influencers on twitter doi:https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1016/j.chb.2016.07.035

Lin, H., Hsieh, Y., & Wu, F. (2016). A study on the relationships between different presentation modes of graphical icons and users’ attention doi:https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.008

McSpadden, K. (n.d.). Science: You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from https://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/. Photo by malcolm garret on Pexels.com