Social Media Attention: how to honestly attract viewers


My CEO has tasked me to drive our company’s social media visibility, saying my job and many of my coworkers’ jobs depend on it. Every day he shows me media accounts showing how other companies are making it big by using dramatic social media posts that drive up sales overnight.

When I show him the posts I have lined up, he shakes his head and says, “You need to go bigger, better. None of these are grabbers. Go sensational.”

He’s right, my posts are plain vanilla. I try to think of everything I can, but there are only so many ways to say, “We’re cheap but good,” “We’re good but low-priced,” or “Try us and if you don’t like our product, we’ll give you your money back,” except we don’t refund shipping and that costs as much as most of our products.

I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to get fired. Help!


What if you tried real—genuine customers with authentic stories about what they liked about your product—and those posts worked? I’ve noticed that while my posts about leadership, HR, COVID and professional development pull readership, so do posts showing my dog racing in circles around me as my cat licked my nose when I tried a resting yoga pose.


Since your CEO hands you articles showing how the sensational works, hand him this article, because sensational often backfires. A twitter friend sent me an online dating ad that went viral, featuring Satan courting Ms. 2020,

The ad made me laugh. When Ms. 2020 asked Satan, “Where are you from” he answered, “hell.” Taylor Swift’s love song played in the background as Satin said, “I just don’t want this year to end” and “Make 2020 your year.” Except, what message did the ad send? Try our match made in hell dating service and meet the devil?

It’s tempting to race to the bottom. Win, and you have to stay there. Worse, if you jockey for position with a great headline your products fails to live up to.

While some companies and posters do anything to gain social media attention, the best posts offer something relevant, of value, that offers a benefit or creates a feel good moment or presents a unique advantage.

Milk duds was almost in the tank as a candy when its makers created a commercial showing one small boy sitting in a moving theatre wolfing down a candy bar in two bites, then enviously watching his friend sitting next to him eat dud after dud for the entire two minute commercial.

Avis powered up their success against giant Hertz with “we’re number two, we try harder.” You never lose with an ad that tells customers you care about them.

© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, and “Solutions”, (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Send your questions to her at, visit her @ or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

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