Capturing People’s Internet Attention2
Start Out Like Gandhi
July 6th, 2015
Welcome back for Part 2!
We will continue discussing topics 4-8; on how to build a social following, by getting people to pay attention.
Establishing Your Credibility
Understanding Your Audience
Getting The Message Out
Be A Kind And Gentle Teacher
Timing Is Everything
Repeating Your Message Without Being Redundant
Messages To Avoid Sending
Hiring A Helper
Pay Attention To Comments
Be A Kind And Gentle Teacher, especially when you are starting out.
As you gain more of a following, you will earn the luxury of being sarcastic or more dogmatic over time.
To do this, however, it is imperative that you have allowed your audience enough time to become marinated in your perspective.
Once you have enough individuals returning to your hubs, it is then possible to spice things up a bit, without risking people pushing away from your virtual table.
Timing Is Everything– There in a saying in real estate, that the most important aspect is location. This likely helps explain the fact that the average monthly rent in New York is $3400.
In communication and attention, there are three factors that are extremely important: message, medium, and timing.
There are so many things going on in the world at any given time. While this is not news to you, what may be, is the fact that the internet, unlike any other tool in humanity, can bring the ENTIRE world directly to us, on personal computers and SmartPhones.
Because of this deluge of data, it is important that your project has the abilities of Spider Man; able to leap through thick band widths, within a web of whirling information. This hero needs to not only be able to target the right electrical avatars, but also hit it with ideas sticky enough, they stay attached to the psyche, long enough to matter.
To use timing to your benefit, it is very important to be patient. Especially, if you have prepared something that you are proud of. When we feel we have created a golden egg, it can seem almost impossible, to just sit on it.
We are often so proud of ourselves, and our completed project, that we occasionally vomit it out there, at a bad or disadvantageous time. I speak with credibility, from narcissistic first-hand experience.
I released a very lengthy post, about a population struggling with a rare type of Dysphoria, to lukewarm reviews, at best. When I re-released it a few months later, broken into 3 pieces, it did exponentially better.
The only major difference, besides breaking it into smaller pieces, was the TIMING of when I released it again.
The piece was about Gender Dypshoria, and the re-release strategically coincided with Caitlyn Jenner making herself official.
At that time, 10% of all internet traffic was related to Caitlyn, and I rode the media-train of her gown, helping my own general cause.
You are likely to get much more attention and momentum, with more handholds on others mind’s; if you think about the best time to release your new project, to capture people’s attention.
Repeating Your Message Without Being Redundant. Repeating ideas over and over again; is very important, as this helps with the benevolent brainwashing.
This technique has been employed, by the Military, Scientology, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; to shape how people think, which things they focus on, and choices they make in everyday life.
To ensure that my articles do not seem repetitive, I disguise core messages with humor, metaphor, links, pictures. It is again important to balance the sprinkling of central themes as thoroughly as possible, while still maintaining nuances of other flavors.
You may notice that in Part 1, paragraphs 2, 3, and 5, all essentially stated the same message.
You may also notice, in Part 1; that I relieved the tension of repeating the message, ‘Repeating Your Message…’, by adding ‘Lol’, thus using humor in a distracting way, in order to repeat something twice. Lol is an awesome device.
Messages To Avoid Sending– It is important to always be evolving in your field. This has the benefit of refining and improving your message over time, and gathering new listeners.
There are many individuals, on every social media platform, who post the same style of message, housed in inspirational, or Hallmark card types of ways, for example.
While these are often clever, informative, and sometimes deep; over time, if that is all one is posting, without demonstrating an understanding or mastery of concepts presented, eventually your audience will tune out.
These types of posts, should also be considered in the context of the redundant posting section of my article. They are the Juicy Fruit of the internet; memes that burst with flavor on the first turns through the brain’s wheel.
But they soon lose all appeal; sticking to the sides of your Newsfeed, gumming up the works, and become mildly annoying.
Never post anything on social media that may be interpreted as racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or oppressive to others.
Do not use positions of power to exploit humans, or animals.
Plants are okay, in Colorado.
If you truly feel strongly about your thoughts; or wonder if they are kosher, ask someone outside of your social circle.
It is even better to take the time to do some research. This may entail learning about a person that you may potentially be targeting, helping you to see if your idea makes sense.
Or just ask your wife, like you should have, when you set up your Twitter account. Please don’t be a weiner.
If you still don’t believe me, contact your former High School Guidance Counselor or University Career Planner, and ask if the internet is the best place for something you may be ashamed of, particularly if your children were to read it.
The internet is not the best place to ‘test’ new or controversial ideas, it can be like sending a canary up a mine shaft, into outer space. Things can get messy.
If you are pretty sure your idea is challenging, but still on this side of public opinion, please ensure you have really done your homework, and conferred with many other people offline, beforehand.
Hiring A Helper. Most of us are not paid to develop our ideas, even if they are an extension of our work, education, or skills. It can become harder and harder to balance work, and family, with growing popularity on the web.
More attention can also create unreasonable expectations towards ourselves, as we feel increasing pressure to continue to steer the attention we have hijacked.
If your spouse or children have mentioned to you, on more than 3 occasions, that you are spending more time with your virtual family of ideas, instead of your own, it may be time to consider getting some professional help. No, I don’t mean my kind.
If you find yourself saying, ‘I will be up in 5 minutes’, for longer than an hour, you may have a problem.
It’s like hitting the SNOOZE BUTTON on your family, and it may be a red flag.
If there is a real possibility of earning some income, or at least, your message has outgrown your individual medium, I would recommend at least looking into consulting with an expert.
If your messages are awesome, but prose sometimes lacks punch, or seems disorganized; talking with an Editor may be helpful.
There are companies that will also manage your website(s), providing regular updates, perhaps even helping to generate content.
If many of these tips seem difficult, or not within your specific skill set, then you could consider a consultation with a Social Media Expert.
Not everyone likes reinventing the wheel, even if they are the re-inventor.
There are many specialists available that fully understand the internet’s power to permeate a message throughout the population.
To find one, I would recommend:
(That sounds like an easy answer, and it is, but by now, Google’s Search Engine has enough credibility with me, that I can end my message on a lazy note!)
I hope you enjoyed my summary so far, of the ways to capture people’s attention, and I hope you stay tuned for Part 3, ‘Building Your Web’.
Please, shift attention away from me for now, but I hope to see you again soon! 🙂
Simon Trepel, MD
Note– to read the original article, please see:
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. He was not referring to coffee that tastes like an Italian person.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at