What gets social media traction?
Earlier this month, my social media feed started noting that Louisville had topped a hot new list from National Geographic. We are, according to the post, the No. 1 food city in the world!
Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! Woo… wait? What? Seriously?
Louisville does have a super-cool locavore food scene, some really top-notch restaurants that have received international attention, and – credit where it’s due – lots of bourbon on our menus. But still, No. 1 Food City in the world?
The caveats put the list in perspective.
- The big headline was Top Ten Food Cities. The subhead made it clearer that it meant cities that had a particular tie with a signature food. (The Hot Brown in our case.)
- There’s no date on the article and it appears to be old.
- Buffalo, NY finished third. So, this may not be National Geographic’s “A Team” of cities. (No offense to Buffalo.)
Yet, the list was repeatedly being shared on my social media feed.
The cynic might take the wrong lessons from this, assuming that success in social media is all about sensationalism, misinformation and silliness. Perhaps sometimes it is.
But the lesson you should take away is this: Positivity works. People like compliments. They are proud of their home. They’re competitive. They like to share things that make them feel good. And why not? It can be a big old sad world sometimes. Why not enjoy good news now and then?
For those of us trying to get the word out about causes, events or products, the lesson is pretty simple. Focusing on the positive – sharing success stories, points of pride, and overcome obstacles – is a winning social media strategy. And casting your own success in a way that can be reflective on the entire community, lets everyone feel good!
So if you have an employee that did something great – brag on them, and on the local school that educated them. If your staff donated to a community drive, brag on the entire community’s response, using your office an example. And if your town gets named the No. 1 Food City in the world… chime in by praising the restaurant where you like to take clients. Smiles work in the virtual world too!
— Beverly Bartlett
C2 Senior Strategist