Perceptions and Pitfall of Social Media Manipulation

For the past 13 weeks, we have been trying to manipulate you.

Now before you get worried or annoyed let me put this into perspective. We aren’t pushing fake news or getting you to believe something that you otherwise might not. Nor are we trying to sell you anything or push any type of social agenda.


What we HAVE been doing is trying to get you to visit and read different types of articles on social media designed to both grab your attention and keep you reading.


So, who are we? And what have we been posting? We are a group of MBA students who are focused on learning about marking on social media platforms. And as far as our posts we have been writing all kinds of content centered around the impacts of social media on marketing and business, in general, trying to gain people attention. Articles like social media reviews and original video content exploring social media were all some of the ways we reached out.


Along the way, we have learned some significant lessons.


First the pitfalls.

One of our most potent lessons was that quality content that grabs people’s attention and keeps it IS HARD TO WRITE!!!


There are millions of topics out there but making an article approachable, interesting and relevant to folks beyond yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds. Chances are others have already put pen to paper covering your topic and the social media world encourages people to surf between items quickly, always looking for that next great topic.


That brings up another pitfall we encountered. People searching social media tend to be fickle! What might interest them one minute is old news two minutes later. Trying to write your content so that it is current while making sure it has longevity is a significant challenge.


How about Perceptions? What did we learn during these experiments?

One key perception we had was that when marketing ideas to the social media world the more you diversify the better.


We stuck to platforms that we were comfortable for the most part. We had group members with followings on Facebook and Instagram that naturally gravitated to those media outlets to drive collaboration. We also had folks that had used LinkedIn and built up networks of contacts over the years.

Had we to do it again we would dig into some of the other vibrant social communities out there. Sites like Reddit, for example, have all kind of more focused forums especially suited to discussions with folks with similar interests.


We also learned a lot by breaking down how different articles worked in terms of statistics like Bounce Rate and Average Time on Page. This shot shows some examples with varying degrees of success in different categories.


So just because you wrote an article with a crazy title that got lots of folks to click on your original post doesn’t mean people are going to slog through your poorly written content. Hopefully, if you’ve reached this point in my article you’ve enjoyed the read!


Overall we have learned that social media is a vibrant and powerful source of sharing information with other people but getting them to read your ideas isn’t as easy as it might seem. While it might seem tempting to just start throwing up posts as a new company we also found that some careful strategizing and planning your approach will go a long way to helping your brand gather support.


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Author: MDVR M.B.A. Consultants

A collection of works published by Maddie Tritico-Wilson, Devin Vinoray, Reeve Wightman and Pascal Klecha