How To Get Attention for Your Content On Social Media

By on Jul 6, 2011 in Original Blog


A lot of people say that content is king in social media marketing.  I’ve been guilty of saying this myself.  But the problem is, it’s not true.  

Content (even great content) is a commodity.  Having outstanding content is merely table stakes for success in social media.  What is not a commodity is engagement with key influencers.

Here’s an example.  I took the photo above on Monday night.  It is now Wednesday, and in the last two days over 100 people have commented on this photograph, 86 people have “favorited” it, and it was featured on DCist here.  There are lots of better photographs of the July 4th fireworks in DC, but this one has been seen by more people than many of them, and I am not a professional photographer.  The reason that this photograph has generated more engagement than a lot of the other July 4th fireworks photographs, is that I enjoy connecting with people who care about DC, and I regularly engage with them in lots of different ways, on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.  

To reiterate, you will NOT succeed without high quality content.  If that picture was terrible, it would have generated zero comments and favorites.  Low quality content is probably the most common cause of failure in social media campaigns.  But saying that you need great content for social media is like saying you need copper to make a penny.  True, but not particularly insightful.  

So from now on, when you see an outstanding social media campaign, don’t just analyze the content.  Think about the engaged network that pushed the content to the top.  When you see content that gets thousands of Likes, Tweets, Comments, Shares, Faves, etc., you can bet that the buzz got started with lots of emails, InMails, phone calls, Direct Messages, gchats, and other one on one communications between influencers.  

Will Marlow is a PR specialist, blogger, and photographer who lives in Northern Virginia.  You should follow Will Marlow on Twitter.


  1. What would you recommend for newcomers to the social media/blog world who want to get their content out, but don’t have a lot of time available? I guess what I’d really like to know is what you have found to be the most efficient means to connect with people in the limited time I have available.


    July 7, 2011

  2. That’s a great question Soren, but it really depends first on your goals. When you define/identify your goals, then you can begin to prioritize your activities. Secondly, it depends on your resources, even if you think your resources are limited. You need to do a lot of analysis upfront to figure out where you’ll get the most impact for your time. Most of the time, I encourage people to differentiate themselves in some helpful/telling way that makes their social media presence memorable, but I never recommend tactics or tools prior to defining goals and identity. Thanks for reading the blog, and I hope this answer is helpful. Good luck!

    Will Marlow

    July 7, 2011

  3. Will: Once again, a STELLAR piece, thank you. (I think of you, young man, as my Blogging Professor) One of these days I hope we can meet each other in 3-D!

    Ann Sachs

    July 9, 2011

  4. Thanks so much, Ann. I hope we have an opportunity to meet in 3-D down the road as well, although I have to say, you’re one of a select handful of people who I count as a friend, who I have yet to meet in person. Have a great weekend!

    Will Marlow

    July 9, 2011

  5. Will, Thanks for the article and the great photo. Content may be important, but without a network to share it with, it’s a waste of time. I see a lot of good content being created, but a lot of people don’t step out of their comfort zone and personally share it.Posting something to your twitter stream is not nearly as affective as asking individual people to read and comment on the article.


    July 21, 2011

  6. I sometimes like to think of one-on-one communication as my secret weapon :) Many people are too busy with one-to-many to bother…

    Will Marlow

    July 22, 2011

  7. By the way, thanks for stopping by Doug!

    Will Marlow

    July 22, 2011

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