What It Takes To Produce Holy Smokes! - Social Media Explorer
What It Takes To Produce Holy Smokes!
What It Takes To Produce Holy Smokes!
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Think of the stories, videos or posts you’ve shared or commented on in the last 24 hours. You can even scroll back through your Facebook activity feed to see which ones caught your eye. (Find it by going to http://www.facebook.com/username/allactivity where “username” is your username.)

Now do a quick gut-check analysis of the topics, headlines or reasons you clicked, shared or commented. What do they all have in common?

Unless you’ve got the personality of plywood, the common thread was that each triggered an emotional response. Consider this from my weekend:

  • I liked a photo of a co-worker dancing with his daughter at a Father-Daughter dance
  • I uploaded a photo of a friend’s daughter’s dance team captured from ESPN’s broadcast
  • I liked a photo of a bottle of bourbon reviewed by a fellow aficionado
  • I commented on a story of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death
  • I liked a status update of a high school friend congratulating another high school friend for his basketball team’s victory on Saturday
  • I watched a video of bad translations for NFL sideline videos
  • I liked a status update of a friend complaining of the high estrogen levels in his household (he has three daughters)
  • I clicked on an Upworthy headline about an ad the NFL would never allow on the Super Bowl (Below … worth a watch.)
  • I commented on a status update from my friend who is awaiting a liver transplant
  • I liked a photo of two friends announcing with pink balloons they were pregnant with a girl
Holy Smokes! content elicits an emotional response so profound you have to do something besides consume it

All of those actions elected a response from me because they triggered an emotion. When my friends share their family news, I’m proud or happy for them. When someone reviews a bourbon, I’m interested and inquisitive. When someone jokes about having too many women around, I can relate (raised by a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother much of my childhood).

But that’s limited to Facebook where my intent and purpose is to engage with friends. On Twitter, my purpose for being is to find and share good content, mostly focused on the world of marketing and communications. So I do things like:

  • Share links to blog posts about public relations
  • Retweet links to blog posts about marketing
  • Comment or respond to people debating issues around PR or marketing
  • Tell jokes

While more closely defined around a profession, I’m still responding and reacting and sharing content that elicits and emotional response. It might be that emotion is just curiosity or intrigue. But it may also be that it is outrage or elation. Either way, the content is strong enough to push me to share it with others.

This is what Holy Smokes! Content is. It is content that elicits an emotional response in an audience so profound they have to do something else besides consume it.

  • Holy Smokes! That’s interesting!
  • Holy Smokes! That’s funny!
  • Holy Smokes! That’s true!
  • Holy Smokes! That’s sad!
  • Holy Smokes! I have to share this with others!

If you are a marketer of any sort these days, producing that response from your content is your job.

Now get to work.

And here’s the video tied to the Upworthy video I clicked on. It’s well worth the watch.

Visit the site to learn more at www.changethemascot.org.

About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • Alinn Louv

    Hi Jason – this article was great, but it left me with a few questions. Do you have any suggestions for developing content that elicits these emotions? Of course, as marketers we want to create content that is strong and compelling, but sometimes what we think is incredibly interesting could fall flat, how should we test to make sure that the content we create is actually Holy Smokes? Thanks! Alinn

    • Great question Alinn. You used a great word there … “Test.” You can test that content on your fellow employees, friends and family. Or, you can get sophisticated and test it in the wild … post something. If you don’t get good pick up in the first hour, take it down, retool it, post it again. This is a great presentation from Upworthy that talks about how they share, what goes viral and the like:

      http://www.slideshare.net/Upworthy/how-to-make-that-one-thing-go-viral-just-kidding

      Enjoy!

      • Alinn Louv

        This is great, thanks!

  • I like it! Holy Smokes! Content is content that elicits an emotional response in an audience so profound they have to do something else besides consume it.

    • Thanks for continuing to chime in Patrick. Appreciate your visits.