Words Are Actually Too Hard! Can You Picture This?

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You have a different way of learning than I do. There are a lot of terms like “Cognitive Styles” and “Learning Strategies” that describe this, but it’s really pretty basic. Still, there are some commonalities across the various Styles. Read a piece of information and 3 days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Simply add a picture and you’ll remember 65%! I also benefit from the inclusion of samples, stories and examples or templates that help me to fill in the mental construct. You probably have other things that help you, too.

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Conversation, Controversy, and What’s Really Important

Controversy legend

Nothing gets your hackles up more than spotting a post that you passionately disagree with. You smack the REPLY link and start banging away on your keyboard….you’ll set ’em straight!

Aren’t social media grand?

Well, while controversy does ignite content, and can fascinate and engage people in a way few other approaches can, it is not a sustainable strategy for your business. Passion is one thing, screaming online is another.

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Don’t just write. Ignite.

English: Buttons with just three holes. Italia...

You work like a crazy person, obsessing about the appropriate, attractive graphic, the relevance and utility, even entertainment value, of the content, the “grab” of the headline, inclusion of targeted hashtags….everything. Now, ready to post….how do you light a fire underneath it?

You’ve heard a lot from me about Content Shock…now I’m going to move onto what Mark Schaefer (whom I quote in the title of this post…) calls Content Ignition. Over the next few posts you’re going to find out about some very specific actions you can take. Not every one is right for each post, but there are enough options to cover most every scenario you run into. Overall, you need to do whatever you can to make it easy for others to share what you publish.

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How To Be More Contagious

Consuming and sharing content normally creates an emotional benefit, not a financial one. Hence the obstacle: companies try to use content to create financial benefits for themselves instead of emotional benefits for their readers. This completely overturns the traditional business view of what content should accomplish.

Studies show we’re hard-wired to talk about ourselves. Around 50% of what people talk about on social is ‘me‘ focused, and it’s not just vanity (although there are an ENORMOUS number of selfies and/or pictures of the food in front of you out there, but I digress…). Harvard neuroscientists Jason Mitchell and Diana Tamir discovered that disclosing information about ourselves is intrinsically rewarding. They found that sharing personal opinions activates the same brain circuits that respond to rewards like food and money. So how do you climb aboard those conversations?

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Fascinating Sharing Secrets You Need to Know

Although the actual act of sharing online is simple, the affect on your relationship-building efforts is huge. The act of sharing content actually helps others process your information better. Because of the implied commitment, those who share pay closer attention to what they are sharing. Another New York Times study on sharing found that:

  • 73% of participants say they process information “more deeply, thoroughly, and thoughtfully” when they share it.
  • 85% say reading content that others share helps them understand and process information and events.
  • 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about, potentially changing opinions or encouraging action.
So by creating ideal conditions for content-sharing, you build power for your brand AND create new value by helping your audience understand you and become authentic evangelists for your products and ideas.  Obviously, getting to this cannot be reduced to SEO techniques or “buy-ten-thousand-Tweets” schemes to drive traffic. Mark Schaefer says, “Shareability requires connection of some kind; your content must fill a need or perhaps even reflect on a trusted relationship.

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