Image of people holding hands, talking, and thinking

You Can Lead a Horse to Water – But You Can’t Make Him Tweet

Image of people holding hands, talking, and thinkingRecently, I was asked by someone why their content wasn’t going viral.  What was their Social Media Manager doing wrong, with the content given, and how could it be fixed so that all their (companies) content was Re-Tweeted, and Shared.

While there is no real answer to this question, you must stop looking at your Social Media Manager as the fault to this problem – especially if you do not allow them to control what content is shared through social platforms. What you do need to do is look at your demographic, what your business hopes to gain from the social experiences, and above all – your content.

Social Media and Internet Analyst Brad Hines says: “Going viral is like a calculus function mixed with the element of randomness. You need a very specific combo of things, and then luck thrown in. I say calculus, because sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t.”  – Social Media Today, November 2012

It’s not you it’s me

I’ve seen it time and time again – People who write content, whether it be a blog, or information that is to be posted on Facebook or Twitter, and it’s not engaging.  It’s long winded, highly technical, and written in essay form.  Sure people troll online to become more informed, but they don’t want information  they have little interest in crammed down their throat.  Most people, if they don’t like what you have to say – or how you say it, won’t continue to read.

I have a saying:

“Just because you think its great content, or well written – doesn’t mean everyone else does”

Sadly, this is so true…You could sit back from your computer staring at the most beautiful opus you have ever written, only to find out later through analytics that you had bounces and zero interest in the “magnificent” words you just threw out into the ether – don’t pull your hair trying to figure out why people didn’t truly dig your “fun” technical blog on insert topic here. Just look at ways to share that content in a way more people can relate to.

Are You Relatable?

One thing I loved about my last job was how we tackled Social Media.  The topic was Breast Cancer—and it can be one of technical and scientific terminology, or information that has already been over shared on the WWW. However, maximizing on our target demographic, we created compelling content that was easy to read, relatable, and often went viral.  We took a serious issue and were able to educate thousands of people on information that had always been at their finger-tips – and we did this through stories, pictures, and lighter language.   We made our content about them, and always asked questions.

So how do we get them to share and Tweet?

As I mentioned in an earlier blog: There is no specific algorithm, or calculation to create social content that has the certainty of going viral, but you can create compelling relatable posts that spark interests, and shares by:

  • Talking about them – your key demographic in a way they can relate and understand.
  • Share stories – Human interest always gets more interest than that of a technical nature
  • Post real photos – while this can be tough at times – try to use real pictures (says the girl who’s using a Canstock image in this post).
  • Limit your characters. I learned last year at Social Media Camp to keep your Tweets to at least 120 characters, so people can actually a) Re-Tweet and b) Comment on your content.
  • Take technical info, and alter it in a way that doesn’t take away from the message but lets people understand what you’re saying in as little words as possible.
  • Give your content – whether it be for a blog, or a daily Tweet the K.I.S.S. treatment. Keep it simple and easy to read.
  • Ask questions – this welcomes comments from your followers and shows you want to hear from them.

Again, while there is no simple answer to what gets content shared and followed, utilizing some of the steps above can help your social media and blogging content.

What do you do to create compelling content online?



Michelle Murray

Event Coordinator & Fund Development Officer– SHARE Family & Community Services

Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Michelle has spent the last 13 years living in Banff and British Columbia. She has always had a desire to market, promote, and share through music, community, and social awareness.

Michelle spends her days working for SHARE Family & Community Services, a non- profit, independent, and community based organization providing leadership and programs in response to the social needs of the residents of the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra), New Westminster and adjacent communities.

Michelle starting blogging back in the “MySpace” days, and she always shot from the hip and wrote from the heart. She thinks of herself as extremely funny, but only her dad and best friend laugh at her jokes. foodie and home cook; Michelle auditioned for MasterChef Canada this summer, and while her dish got rave reviews, she did not make it onto the show. While bummed at not being able to participate in any Mystery Box Challenges on the show, Michelle continues to shop farmers markets and make all her food from scratch.

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