Your Audience Has the Attention Span of a Goldfish: Are Your Social Media Postings Interesting Enough to Keep Their Attention?

We are not insulting your friends, family, and clients by comparing them to goldfish. A recent study done by Statistic Brain found that, since the year 2000, the average human’s attention span has dropped four seconds—down from twelve seconds to eight. The average attention span for a goldfish? Nine seconds.

So Goldie, circling in her tank, seemingly mindlessly, can focus for longer than the average modern human. Sad? Yes. Is it an important factor to consider when posting in social media today? Yes!  

How to Make the Most of Those Eight Seconds

With people unwilling—or unable—to spend more than eight seconds concentrating on a single task, your posts better stand out. They must have something unique to offer or something that will stick out and separate your law firm from the fray. After all, you're competing not only with short attention spans, but with other, perhaps more interesting, individuals and businesses.

To attract and keep the attention of your audience, our law firm social media experts suggest that you:

  • Keep it hot. All links you share should be current. An article even six months old is considered stale. Tip: To get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for Google Alerts that fit your practice areas.
  • Make it fun. As an attorney, your reputation is probably anything but fun, and you're not helping matters by using social media just to promote your services. Tip: Find fun links that relate in some way to your practice areas. For a family law attorney, consider linking to a funny blog about parenting. And any attorney could post a relevant cartoon to lighten the mood and improve his or her image.
  • Shorten it up. People don't want to read through even a long paragraph on social media. The shorter and more interesting, the better. Tip: Trim down any long posts by boiling your message down to the shortest, most eye-catching post possible. When in doubt, ask a question. Everybody wants to be heard!
  • Include images and video. Studies have shown that people are much more likely to click on a link with an interesting image or video. Tip: Be sure that every third post or so contains an image or video. This not only captures the attention of your audience, it makes your wall appear more graphic and interesting.   
  • It's not all about you. Nothing will bore your audience more than your same content, voice, and links over and over again. You're not the only one with good ideas or interesting facts, so link out more than you link in to your website. Tip: A good rule of thumb is keeping your ratio of content at 8:2. Eighty percent of your content should be from other people—links to high-authority websites and blogs—and 20 percent should be your own, unique content.  

Do We Still Have Your Attention?

If so, and if you want more social media advice for attorneys, please request our free report, Social Media for Attorneys That Finally Gets You the Cases You Want.

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