Most social media strategies fail because they chase attention instead of earning it.
A desperate desire to be “seen” drives most social campaigns. It’s then reinforced by misleading success metrics that better reflect the social platforms’ goals than your own.
The result is an onslaught of status updates, videos, images, email blasts, and other activities designed to capture the attention of anybody and everybody possible, with little regard for the impact it generates.
All attention is not created equal. And the time you spend chasing it can be better spent in other ways.
Because getting somebody to pay attention to you doesn’t necessarily do you any good.
Attention only matters if it leads to something — if it helps you accomplish a goal.
Most people cast too wide a net when they chase attention.
They’re so hungry for attention that they overlook whether that attention will help them achieve anything tangible.
This isn’t to say there isn’t value in social media attention — obviously, as a digital marketing consultant I believe there’s huge value to be had there.
But the value of social media is only unlocked through earned attention.
You chase attention when you ask an audience to do things for you.
You earn it when you provide value and solve problems for your audience.
You chase attention when you interrupt an audience with content they didn’t ask for that is unlikely to interest them.
You earn it by being remarkable (as Seth Godin often references).
You chase attention when you expect an audience to care more about you than you do about them.
You earn it when you speak to your audience’s needs, thoughts, fears, hopes, and experiences.
It’s not easy to earn the attention of one person, let alone many. It’s certainly more difficult than it is to chase attention.
But it’s also more valuable.
Because the only attention that matters is that which is earned.