3..2..1..Boring, Bye! Capturing Attention in 15 Seconds or Less
Everyone today seems to be constantly busy. Particularly equestrians, who have to juggle everything that comes with a life with horses: work-filled weekdays, evenings at the barn and early morning horse show weekends. This lack of free time means that what we choose to put our energy in, even if it’s simply by “liking” a photo, must be worthwhile. But what does this mean for brands on social media?
To put it simply, you need to be able to capture viewers attention quickly- and keep it. I can’t even count how many different Twitter and Instagram feeds I scroll through every day, and the ratio of feeds that I “get” instantly to those that simply just do not have a strong voice is quite large. It takes an Instagram user who has captivating, and engaging content with a strong, unique voice to keep my attention. If there’s not a strong sense of who “you” are, I- and most other users- are more likely to move on and forget we even looked at your page.
A new viewer should be able to get a good sense of who you are in a very short period of time. I like to call it my “15 Second Test”, since this is usually how long it takes to scroll through someone’s social media feed. If the content is not compelling, chances are you won’t get a new follower. If you think about it, we mainly look at social media between activities, or on a break from something else. This amount of time is usually not very long, so you should be using this to your advantage in order to make a strong impact on new viewers in this short time span! Luckily, there are some ways to increase your brand’s online presence.
Clear, Concise, Cohesive Content
Being able to maintain a cohesive, and uniform look to your social media feeds is something I see a lot of users, and businesses struggling with, especially on Instagram. All the content you post needs to “fit” together, and look good as one big collection. Now, this doesn’t mean everything you post has to be identical, but rather complement each other and fit within an overarching identity. As you develop a certain style for your images, videos, and text you post on Instagram, Twitter or any other platform, these visuals become synonymous with you!
Thomas Berolzheimer, creator of one of my favorite blogs, Blogging Behind the Scenes, puts it perfectly in his article Instagram Profile Branding, when he touches on not simply “posting for the hell of it”, but rather making a conscious decision to post content that accurately represents your brand. It’s simple, if it won’t go towards your overall brand identity, don’t post it.
Creating a color scheme with your images is also a great way to maintain a cohesive look. This could mean using only filters with cool, or warm tones, or even making all your photos particularly colorful and vibrant. Regardless of what you choose, it needs to be an accurate representation of yourself. Remaining who you are at all times is the best way to keep a uniform look on your social media channels.
Find Your Unique Voice
It’s not all about visuals. The text is also incredibly important. Creating a voice on social media that is appropriate for your targeted audience, yet still yourself is esssential in establishing your brand’s sense of identity. Everyone has their own style of writing, even if it is limited to 140 characters, and you need to use your voice to your advantage!
In terms of time constraints, posts and captions that clear and straight to the point are the most effective. Write things you think people will want to read and enjoy, while developing your own voice. Be excited, write a statement, ask questions, tell people about new products or ideas- all these make your presence online interesting. If you are engaging in your posts, people will respond and want to hear more.