Fire! Watch out! He shoots! He scores! – SCN Encourager 4/22/2014

Some messages just grab our attention.

And get us to stop whatever else we’re doing.

Even if it’s only for a few seconds, when someone yells “stop”… we’ll usually only get back on track after taking a measure of caution.

Alerts get our attention.

That’s their purpose.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.13.48 PMOkay.

I can’t say that I’ve ever received this kind of alert.

But I imagine if I was in a lucrative private investment partnership (like most school communicators), I’d definitely jump whenever this sign popped up on my screen.

For the longest time, I’ve thought of certain social media channels like Snapchat (for speedy-kwik self-destructing notes and images) and Vine (for speedy-kwik six second videos) as the exclusive connection tools of teenagers.

To once again repeat a phrase I use about twice a week in the Encourager – I was wrong.

Being wrong so often probably should bug me in some way, but it doesn’t (much). It’s now actually a big part of my personal brand. 

In many articles I’ve read lately, Snapchat and Vine are receiving kudos for their ability to interrupt and and draw attention to their messages.

It seems that people are willing to concentrate on very short message snippets in a way that they would never do with longer emails, videos, or feature stories.

They won’t – or can’t – multi-task when choosing to engage with any short snippet.

When reading messages or viewing videos over 20 seconds long, people will inevitably devote some of their attention to other things as well.

People will only dedicate their sole focus to something that might not be around after two sips of coffee.

I understand how “alerts” disrupt and interrupt, but creating positive messages in brief and tightly confined channels requires a unique approach.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.53.14 PMHere’s a 15 second Instagram video “How to make a Party Preston” from Marks & Spencer.

When I first saw it, I thought it was promoting Easter candy.

Yep, I was wrong again… as Marks & Spencer (M & S) actually sells furniture and other high-end decor for the home.

It provides another good example of what content marketing is all about.

So if you can create a fun message about your school or program, you might have a similar winner on your hands.

Here’s another 15 second Instagram that fans of Oreos are now eagerly sharing.

Marks & Spencer may have fooled me.

But Oreos never will. We have a long history together.

Tom Page, SCN
carTues 042214






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