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Attention is the Currency of Social Media

Does posting on Facebook have an impact? Will regular Instagram posts drive traffic or cause action? Can crafting a blog post about your event or product really make a difference? What is the ROI (return on investment) of all that energy and time? These are all great questions and are ones that every business owner should be asking. As the owner of 3 local businesses, I think about these things all the time. What I want to introduce you to is a different term. While paying attention to ROI is important, you will also want to think about ROA.

Return on Attention

Attention is the currency of social media. Marketers always go where the eyeballs are. Why do you think Super Bowl commercials command such a high rate? The commercials have become and event in and of themselves. With 111 million people watching (most likely more due to viewing parties and such) an ad during the big game can generate a lot of attention for a brand.

How does this relate to social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc? Proper and effective use of these tools allow me to build a connection with my exact and desired audience. I can nurture my tribe (followers) and be in front of them at any given moment. This generates attention and that attention generates revenue from clicks to a website or visits to a store. This also makes me more efficient and effective with  my advertising dollars. Instead of spending thousands of dollars in print, radio or TV advertising to reach a small percentage of people who are my audience, I can spend $5 to $10 to reach people who have already indicated they like my product or service.

Let me give you a few examples from my world.

We have a  great beer program at Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards. We get limited and select product on tap and in package all the time. Our audience has come to know this. When we post the picture of a the newest Fremont Brewing barrel aged series on Instagram the phone starts ringing and people come in to buy the product. Often times this type of product sells out in hours. The ROA of that Instagram post can sometimes be hundreds of dollars.


At Nectar Catering and Events we host hundreds of on site and off site events each year. When we post pictures of our event space in action we are not SELLING by saying, “Come rent our space for your next party.” We are generating attention in your news feed so that you will say, “That looks like a cool space to have a party.” This attention can often times lead to an event that will generate thousands of dollars in income.

Cultivating the Attention

Generating this attention requires a little bit of effort on your part. You won’t wake up and magically have thousands of who like your pages and profiles. Think intentionally about your customers and engage with them on the platforms they prefer.

  1. Be Active – Social media is not a stagnant or static activity. You don’t just create profiles and leave them to be found. Being active requires thought, effort and consistency.
  2. Quality Content – Many social networks place a high value on quality content. What do your customers WANT to see. Quality content means adding value before you sell. I can see 25% off coupons and sales pitches anywhere I turn but if you show me something fun, personal, engaging, or informational you become a brand or business that I can trust and want to do business with
  3. Be Intentional – Take time to thing through your strategy. What do you want your brand to be known for? Do you want to share a more personal side to the insurance world? Are you going to insert humor into being a barista? Take the time to write down your goals, objectives and type of content you want to post. This will go a long way in helping you stay active with quality content.

Want to know more? I am available for individual coaching, corporate training and conference presentations of all sizes. You can reach me at or just shoot me a note on the contact portion of this website.

Check out my Social Media half day Boot Camp in Spokane on April 12.

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