Thursday, July 7, 2016

How to score more shares -- text vs. video

     An article in our Perfume Strategies newsletter from June discussed recent evidence that most social network postings that are shared have never been read by the person doing the sharing. In that issue I wrote about how you can take advantage of this quirk.

    If people share a post without reading it clearly it is the immediate impression of the post that has triggered their share. So, if you want your post shared, you have to work on that first impression.

    But some people do read posts. So if your content is your selling story, you don’t want to weaken that story just to get more shares.

Mess with the headline, not the body

    The all important trigger is the headline; if there is only a photo, the photo caption; if there is only a video, the first frame of the video, the one that you see behind the "play" button.

    Very few photos communicate a message (a real message!) fast and clear without the addition of a (text) caption. Video almost never communicates a coherent message with that single, frozen, "waiting for the play button to be pushed" first frame. Text -- a headline -- can capture attention and communicate real meaning in just a few words ... which the eye and brain can process in microseconds.

    That's why headlines have always been so important in communications whether they be news, advertising, so social. In spite of what the promoters of video want you to believe, the written word is still king.

    If you want your post to be shared, a strong headline (text) or a meaningful photo caption (text) is essential. But what do you put into your headline or photo caption? I suggest you work at it this way --

    First, try to condense the essence of your message into five or six words. This also helps you focus on what it is that you want to communicate. Then pull out, in two or three words, the most exciting, sharable point in your message. Now artfully blend these elements in a single headline or photo caption. Step back. Let it cool for an hour or two, then look at your headline again. Did you nail it? If so, go ahead and post. If not, work at it some more. Good communications are worth the extra effort and you will get more shares.

NOTE: Every month I discuss issues and strategies of importance to marketers in our Perfume Strategies newsletter, free to members of our Perfume Makers' Club.

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