With a changing Facebook algorithm and a continuous battle for attention on social networks, I’m often asked “how can we shape attitudes on social media.” More recently, at the European Digital Advocacy Summit I had to present my thoughts on the topic.

Let’s try not to make this the usual useless social media presentation where some highly paid communication consultants say buzzwords like “engagement”, “strategic” and “motivation”, gets an applause and then audience goes home and their like “what happened?” I already see too many in my business. Let’s keep our eyes on this very topic.

Shaping: to give a particular shape or form to, determine the nature of, have a great influence on, make (something) fit the form of something else.

Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about something

There’s a number of ways to do that depending on who you’re talking to more than which format or channels or register:

  • One person separately. Typical of lobbying and public affairs. My advice is “forget about your goal” and focus on “yourself.” If you are in Public Affairs, firstly focus on the way people think about you. You are an ambassador of whatever your company or organization is trying to sell, represents and stands for. If they like you they will listen even if they disagree or dislike your cause. Show them you’re up to the task and use social media as a hook for human interactions. You might not still shape their attitude towards your business’ cause, but at least that door was open. If they don’t like as an ambassador, that chance is already closed from the start. Take the case with celebrity as “digital ambassadors” (or even just ambassadors per se): If people like the celebrity, they will like the cause.
  • A segment of society; The reptilian brain, controls the body’s vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance. Our reptilian brainincludes the main structures found in a reptile’s brain: the brainstem and the cerebellum. This vital body part is hard wired to inputs of food (the need of assuming calories to provide energy for our body), sex (sexual impulse of attraction and primary nature of procreation) and danger (alert, perception of imminent threat). Hardly, I believe you can use food and sex in public affairs, politics and the likes. But what about fear?  Watch this video and see what I’m talking about.

ADDENDUM: Think of the long shot. There isn’t that one thing, tool, trick that is gonna make your campaign work and whoever tells you otherwise is lying to you. Lack of patience is your and your company’s worst enemy when it comes to shaping attitudes.

How have you shaped someone or some community’s attitude? Let me know in the comments section

 

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Categories: Misc

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