The making of a profitable social media status update

If you’re using social media to promote your business, the more you can get your followers to interact with you, the better. But do you ever wonder why some social media posts capture a lot of attention while others only attract crickets? This post will show you why.

Presumably, there are only a few reasons why you post status updates online. They are: to promote your business, to entertain or amuse, or to vent while you wait an hour in the doctor’s office.

It’s human nature to want a positive reaction to your online posts; otherwise, why else would you spend time sharing with the world. Like telling a joke, it’s disappointing if no one laughs.


There are a few ways to measure the successes of your status updates. None are scientific, but they provide some feedback. The most obvious is the volume of comments or replies. You may even consider critical comments a success if your intent was to present a controversial idea.

On Twitter, the RT (re-tweet) is a valuable currency and a great indicator of the popularity of your post. The equivalent on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ is the “Like” button, or even better, clicking “Share.”

Finally, if you posted a hyperlink, the ultimate measure of success is a click of your link. Whether you posted something you found interesting, wrote, or are selling, if someone clicks the link, you’ve done something right.

So what works?

1)      Make them laugh

Nothing is better than making people laugh. Life can be hectic and people often visit social media sites for a brief escape, so if you can make people smile, they will love you for it.

2)      Get them thinking

Presenting an interesting idea, or a new way of thinking about an old idea, helps break up the monotony of the day. People enjoy intellectual stimulation in our rather dumb downed world.

3)      Hit their emotions

Nothing elicits more replies on Facebook as something cute does. People always enjoy a photo or video of a child or pet doing something memorable. Anything that gets the “Aww, how cute” reaction, is always a hit because it makes people feel good.

4)      Piss them off

Controversy is a good thing. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it. People like to take sides on a position and appreciate someone who isn’t afraid to say it like they see it. With good writing, you can tactfully take a stand and get them fired up while keeping their feelings aimed at the subject and not at you.

There is no reason to anger people without purpose, but being selective about polarizing subjects can be a good thing. I recently saw a Nathan Gehring write a very thought provoking and popular post about “Taxing the rich.” A lot of people have opinions on this and he got both sides fired up without them being angry at him. Well done.

5)      Let them commiserate

There are some common enemies we all love to hate. You can never go wrong occasionally venting about waiting in excessively long lines at the DMV, paying too much in taxes, or the cable repair man being hours late. Usually people have had similar experiences and take pleasure in commiserating with you.

6)      Educate

People appreciate timely and important information. If you were about to jump in your car and saw a post about traffic gridlock on the highway from an accident, that information would certainly be appreciated.

7)      Ask a question

There is something about human nature that cannot leave a good question unanswered. We all have a lot of opinions, so it’s nice when someone cares enough to ask what we think.

What doesn’t work

1)      So what

Any post that elicits a “so what” response is a waste of everyone’s time. This is the “I’m eating at Taco Bell” type of post. Big deal, why would anyone care? However, positive “so what” posts such as “I am certainly not bored. Way busy! Feel great!” surprisingly can help elevate other’s moods according to research by Johan Bollen from Indiana University Bloomington.

2)      Excessive promotion

Promotion is ok, but non-stop promotion is annoying.

3)      Pessimism

The chronic negative and Debbie Downer posts can really turn people off. People want to feel good, so frequent complaining is the wrong way to brand yourself.

Well, I hope these seven ideas are helpful. Now I hope you will click Share, Re-tweet, and Like on this post to let me know it was helpful to you 🙂




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