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Social media is an extremely powerful tool that can enable you to reach millions of potential readers.

Bloggers that harness the power of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus can quickly achieve recognition and impressive readership numbers.

But as powerful as social media is, it isn’t limitless.

Have you ever wondered why so much of Facebook is full of cats and other cute photos? Have you noticed how most “serious” subjects underperform on social media networks?

The simple fact of the matter is that social media is not a “One size fits all” solution to your marketing needs.

Social media does not work for many different types of blogs, dependent on subject matter and writing style.

Take Buzzfeed, for instance.

With more than 5 million Facebook LIKEs and 2.4 million Twitter followers, Buzzfeed is one of the most successful blogs in the world.

Buzzfeed became so popular mostly from posting funny articles and cute pictures of cats. Then, about a year ago, Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Paretti decided he wanted to start creating more serious content about politics and other issues more socially important than cats in hats (MORE social important than cats in hats?! LOL, Paul, you’re dreaming…).

So Buzzfeed started to put out longer articles about more serious subjects. But they soon learned that those political articles received nowhere near as many hits as the cats.

Why wouldn’t people share those political articles?

People don’t share serious articles.

Personality quizzes that don’t make any sense? Sure, they’ll share that. Random cat images? Sure, those will go viral easily. Some rubbish about whether a dress is gold or blue? That’ll blow up Facebook. But a serious article that takes an intellectual look at an important subject? Not likely to go anywhere.

The reason for this is simple: People don’t wear their “serious caps” when they’re on social media.

We, as writers, wish they did. We wish we could put out an intellectually stimulating article about the ethics of capitalism. But such an article is very, very unlikely to receive many shares. Because it’s just too darned serious.

And to be fair, you yourself (and I) probably wouldn’t share those articles either. Because we don’t like to discuss serious subjects with thousands of people (many of whom we don’t know that well).


Paul Harrison is a marketing copywriter in the Toronto / Hamilton area, ready to deliver all your copywriting and marketing needs. Visit the front page for details.