Unless you're living under a rock or maybe not in America, you're probably overly aware of the fact that tomorrow is election day. It's a big national election, and it's very contentious.
Elections have consequences, no matter what side you belong to. In America, we have two sides, Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal. It doesn't matter which way you lean, All of us are definitely going to lean a particular way. You may even have friends who are running for office? I do.
As I said, all elections have consequences, and your content has consequences in elections as well. What do I mean by that? Social media is an election of sorts. I want to show you how to win the election on social media with your content.
One of the things that we're all up against on social media is voter suppression. What I mean by that is the social media platforms use algorithms to choose (and limit) who sees what. The main goal of social media platforms is to make money. It's not to show your content. It's for them to keep people on there as long as they possibly can, to create revenue. In the case of Facebook, it's about getting people to see and act on ads. In the case of LinkedIn, it may be to get people to look at ads or to apply for jobs. Either way, their goal is to keep your attention focused on their platform. What they love is your content and people vote on your content with their likes, comments, and shares.
Getting Out The Vote
I talked about this in my first book, It's Not About You, It's About Bacon. I broke it down into three things. A like is worth one point, a comment is worth five points, a share is worth 25 points.
The thought behind that points-systems is that a like is pretty easy to get. People can just click the like button. It's like a poll in our regular elections. With a comment, it takes some action. People actually have to think and type something out. That's why it's worth five points. And that, in the case of our election, is more like a vote. And then the final one, a share is worth 25 points because when they share your content, they're taking your content and showing it to their own audience, amplifying the amount of people that see it. That's like the electoral college. As you vote in each state, each state will assign people to an electoral college, and they will eventually pick the President. It's the only race that does that. But by people voting on it with shares, that means more people see it and it has bigger impact.
The key thing that you have to do to get people's attention is challenge their perceptions. People get emotional with things that challenge their beliefs. And when you do, logic and facts can become fuzzy. People can become really good at avoiding information for three main reasons. It makes them feel bad, it obligates them to do something, something they may or may not want to do, or it threatens their identity of values in their worldview. There's something in the world of psychology called cognitive dissonance. This occurs when a person holds contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. It typically is experienced as a psychological stress.
Now, in order for us to overcome that, we have to get people engaged with our content. They may or may not believe what you're trying to say, or they may not believe exactly the same way you try to say it. But you want them to connect enough that engage with it.
I want to do is give you some tools to help you get people to vote on your content.
Start With A Question
First and foremost, you should start with a question. That question should be something that helps the person to self-identify with your message, especially if the answer aligns with their beliefs. But it doesn't always have to end in a ‘Yes' answer.
‘Yes' answers are definitely the end goal with leading questions used in the sales process. You always want to end with a yes. In the case of marketing, it could be a yes but, or yes and, or yes maybe. What you are really trying to accomplish is that you want to help them align with your message by asking them a question and getting them to read more.
Questions are a great tool to get people's attention and induce them to engage with your content (and hopefully dig deeper).
Find The Emotion
The second thing about that question is you need to find the emotion within that question that aligns with their belief.
Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you've said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Research has shown that people engage and consume information that affirms their identities, aligns with their deeply held values and worldview, and avoids or rejects information that challenges or threatens those.
On the other hand, if you're overly aligned with what they believe, they may just brush by it. There has to be a balance. You've got to find the emotion that triggers them to want to read more or to click through to your blog post or your podcast or whatever it is you're trying to get them to consume.
Use Mental Images
The last piece you can effectively use is mental images. This builds upon the question and emotion.
Did you know that a third of our brains are dedicated to vision? What you want to do is try to create a picture in the mind of your audience of that concept and what it looks like. It could be through a story, or it could be through a metaphor or an example, but it should create a mental picture that builds on that original question.
You also want to do that with visuals. You want to find a visual that amplifies the question or at least gets people to stop and read it. People tend to view the image first, then read the question, and then connect the dots emotionally between both of them.
The three things that we've talked about all work as a system. You want to start with the question that has emotional content, that people can visualize in their head, and affirm their world belief, but also challenge them to some degree. Because if it's too simple, people will simply say, “Yep, that's right,” and move on to the next thing. Try to find a way to balance all those things together.
If we look at social media as an election, what you're doing is trying to get people to stop, to pay attention, and to vote on your material. You may not always win everybody's vote, but hopefully, you're going to win their hearts through the way that you present the content and try to change their beliefs when they finish reading it.
With this upcoming election, no matter how you vote, I can guarantee that about 50% of the people are not going to be happy with you, but I'm hoping your favorite candidate wins, and your content wins on social media.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about getting people to vote on your content through likes, comments, and shares. Are these tips making your business better? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/