How to catch the attention of your social media followers in less than 280 characters

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If you’re not familiar with the term “TL:DR,” it stands for “too long, didn’t read.”

We’ve all been there, we’re scrolling through Facebook, and an interesting image catches our eye. We stop to check said image out. A few lines of text are shown with a “See More” tag at the bottom.

We click it and….BOOM.

A massive wall of text careens down the page, filling our screens and assaulting our attention spans with letter after letter of copy that no one is going to read.

Admit it — you’ve seen this happen and gone, “Whoa, no thanks.”

Whoever composed that post might have had an important message to communicate. Whether they’re a business owner or just someone trying to share their thoughts and passions with peers, they’ve made a fatal mistake.

They overestimated a modern audience’s willingness to read.

Your business social media posts need to be punchy, catchy, and attention-grabbing if they’re going to have any hope of paying off for you and your social media strategy.

But there’s a subtle art to composing a compelling social media post, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of alienating your audience and being completely out of touch with what they’re looking for.

In this article, we’re going to go through several ways that you can create attention-grabbing social media posts that will pull users into your messaging.

1. Use memes and funny images

We live in the age of the meme. If you somehow don’t know what a meme is, they’re those humorous photos with writing on them that typically make some kind of statement on modern society or pop culture.

If you want to grab your audience’s attention through a Facebook Ad, for instance, why not try using a meme to get them to stop scrolling?

Instagram estimates that 1 million memes are shared on its platform every day. That means people are used to seeing them, and they’re easily digestible content.

What’s more, by incorporating a pop culture figure or meme trend in your post, you can convey your message to people in a way that’s familiar and fun to them.

Even a serious topic like student loans can get the meme treatment.

In the image above, the character of Michael Scott from the hit NBC television series “The Office” declares bankruptcy. It’s a very memorable line and moment from everyone’s favorite binge show.

By relating it to student debt at the top of the image, you’re creating a humorous bridge between something serious and something fun. This resonates with people.

Just make sure that the memes you’re using aren’t out of style. Using Ultra Instinct Shaggy in 2022 is going to get you more eye-rolls than clicks.

2. Get straight to the point

Don’t beat around the bush in your posts. They’re not blog articles, and you don’t have to write a lengthy 200-word opening that introduces a topic.

Less is more on social media, particularly on platforms like Twitter that force you to stay within a character limit.

If you want to catch your followers’ attention, get straight to the point by stating what your post is about.

Look at this example from Fivetran promoting its article about data integration. In just a few words, you know what you’re getting.

Fivetran lets you know what this post is about in two sentences and hooks you into clicking on its article. It also includes an emoji and a hashtag, which do a lot to break up text and capture the eye of someone scrolling.

This whole mentality of getting right to the point does especially well in a post like this where you’re introducing a blog article. You don’t want to wear the user out before they ever get around to clicking on your content.

Give them just enough to inform and make it enticing so that they’re going to want to see more.

3. Provide quick fun facts

People love trivia and fun facts. Little anecdotes that they can bring up at dinner or at a party can go a long way toward getting people to take a look at what you’re presenting.

StuDocu demonstrated this last December with a well-timed Christmas-themed fun fact that tied in with a milestone for its organization.

In the image seen above, StuDocu is heralding its 10 millionth document upload. It then offers a fun fact by saying that this is the same number as the sales of Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit. This tweet was sent out on December 17, just days before Christmas.

Not only was this timely, but StuDocu also did several other things right. For starters, it used #funfact right before the piece of trivia. This helps people who are looking around for fun facts to share at their upcoming holiday celebrations find the tweet.

It also uses a number of emojis to break up the text. The image itself is actually a gif, so it was moving in the post. It even teases a gift coming to StuDocu users in their inboxes very soon, which could be a great way to get more people to upload documents.

4. Use images and videos

We’ve touched on this a bit already, but it deserves its own section.

Visual media like images, gifs, and videos can help you capture someone’s attention. Walls of text don’t jump out at people, and visual information is retained far more easily in the brain.

ActiveCampaign used this strategy effectively in a post about its email templates.

The text at the top is kept short, sweet, and to the point. Emojis and hashtags are effectively used to break up the monotony and catch the eye.

Then you have the image itself, which actually features more text. This is perfectly fine and should even be encouraged. Because this text is sparse and creatively laid out around the image, it’s easier to read and retain.

This is far better than just listing all of the information in a normal tweet with no media. The way ActiveCampaign has structured this content will help it stick in users’ minds.

A video could have also been a great idea here, perhaps one that cycled through several templates. These videos start playing automatically as people scroll through their feeds, so you’re going to have no problem pulling someone in.

5. Use easter eggs

Some creative artwork will go a long way toward capturing the interest of bored social media users.

A lot of the content out there is cookie cutter. It’s all the same, and everyone’s ads can start to look alike when they feature similar messaging. That’s why you need to do something outside the box.

This is where Easter Eggs come into play. You can use them to engage with followers and stand out without having to rely on a bunch of messy text to convey your message.

What do we mean by Easter Eggs? They’re hidden features that surprise users.

Baskin Robbins has a great hidden meaning logo that’s easily recognizable.

Baskin Robbins is famous for its 31 flavors of ice cream. Because of that, the number 31 can be seen in pink within the iconic “BR” logo.

Creative imagery and Easter Eggs like this will keep followers on their toes, so include them in your branding and social media posts.

6. Provide offers

If customers are following you on social media, it stands to reason that they want exclusive offers and discounts. No matter how fairly you’ve priced your products or services, customers are always going to want to knock some numbers off of that price tag.

While you could probably come to that conclusion based solely on common sense, there are numbers that back it up.

A massive 70% of millennials follow their favorite brands on social media. More than half of these people claim that they do this mostly to receive exclusive discounts and offers from the companies they enjoy.

By including discounts and special promotions in your social media posts, you’re making your followers pay careful attention to the content you toss up on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In fact, if you’re running enough promotions through the year, people will start to expect them.

To that end, they will actually go to your page to seek out your posts and comb through them, looking for their next big discount. You’ve now successfully incentivized them to subscribe to your brand on social media, and that’s going to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

7. Run challenges and contests

Who doesn’t love winning something? As human beings, most of us love a challenge, and we love competing for a prize.

You can lean into that natural human desire by offering challenges and contests on your social media posts.

People will pay attention when you’re giving something away for nothing. Even if the prize is something as simple as a coupon for a future purchase, it can be an excellent way to get the audience engaging with your posts and interacting with your platforms.

EarlyBird, a platform designed for gifting money to children, generated a buzz with its #BabyWealth challenge.

EarlyBird was able to promote its app by creating this unique challenge. When people gave a financial gift to a child during a certain period, they received a $10 credit.

This isn’t a huge prize; it was nothing earth-shattering, but it’s still free money. Something like this is not only rewarding to users, but it’s fun at the same time.

To promote this, EarlyBird created a custom image with eye-catching colors and text that laid out the basics of the contest. Then, in the actual text of the post, it further dove into the contest’s rules.

When laying out a contest, it’s permissible to write a bit more since the rules have to be explained. Plus, if you can pull your audience in with a well-designed image introducing your contest, it stands to reason that they will want to read through all of the information.


Social media is a huge part of the modern business world, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

Because of that, social media has become a crowded, competitive atmosphere where businesses of all sizes scrape and claw over one another for consumers’ attention.

So, if you’re not writing compelling, attractive, and succinct social media posts, you might as well not be posting anything at all.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to create attention-grabbing social posts that will connect you with your target audience.

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