Simplifying your social media posts.

As a species, we tend to constantly seek out methods to simplify our lives. A growing number of people enjoy “life hacking” as a hobby. Why, therefore, do so many marketers make it harder, not easier, for their audiences to interact with their messages?

It might be less complicated than you imagine. It’s the reason why equities with names that are simple to say have a far higher rate of success than those with names that are more difficult to recall. This is why messages in basic fonts like Arial always receive more attention than those written in brush scripts.

Now consider the staggering number of choices that each of us must make every single day simply when using the internet. Google found that users form an opinion of a website’s aesthetics in just 50 milliseconds back in 2012. Half a thousandth of a second. Quicker than you can say “the blink of an eye,” and that’s if they bother to visit the site at all!

But what about the initial steps in capturing their interest? The impacts of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain were highlighted in a 2013 research by Microsoft Corporation, which indicated that people usually lose attention after seven to eight seconds.

Cognitive Fluency Research and Its Implications for Marketing

The ease with which we absorb new knowledge is referred to as “cognitive fluency.” Cognitive fluency is the degree to which a person finds it easy or difficult to do a mental activity, and it influences the choices we make whenever we must evaluate available information. Everything we do, from making major financial decisions to responding to the newest article on our social media feed, is influenced by it.

And if you truly want to show off your brand’s mental acuity, your social media postings are the best place to do so. You are not required to create any plans or construct anything. In order to compress your message and make sure it is ‘cognitively fluent’ enough to attract your audience’s attention in the all-important 7-8 second window, you have a versatile combination of words and graphics at your disposal.

The 5-second rule

Here is a little quiz to see how well you know this material. Imagine you are carrying a text highlighter as you finish your next social media post. Now, with your highlighter in hand, you can zero in on the most crucial points fighting for your readers’ attention.

Your entire post, including its anatomy, should demand attention. Make sure your writing is understandable within seven seconds by sticking to straightforward language.

Use simple, everyday language when use hashtags. The keywords you choose should be easily recognised and naturally fit in with the remainder of the post. Find out what hashtags will resonate most with your audience by using a service like Hashtagify or Audiense.

Although the Facebook post itself was straightforward, Pringles lost points by using a lengthy and convoluted hashtag at the conclusion. This hashtag may have been successful as a hot subject on Twitter, but a cursory search reveals relatively few hits.

Conversely, apparel company Zaful’s usage of the hashtag #ootd (which stands for “outfit of the day”) is a great example of how to keep hashtags succinct while still reaching your intended audience.

And remember that the same criteria of cognitive fluency apply when shortening links, so be sure to feature your brand prominently. Your branded short link might serve as the CTA for your social media post.

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