The Force That Drives Social Media Traffic

The power, the force, the overwhelming urge that causes people to spread the word about your content comes from the consumers of the content themselves, and not from your copy.

Copy cannot create desire, it can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of a mass of others, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular piece of compelling content you hope to see go viral.

This is the blogger’s task: not to create desire—but to channel and direct it.

The above is an adaptation of the opening paragraph of Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, which many consider to be the Copywriting Bible. The original text naturally refers to channeling mass desire to a product, and how an advertiser can never create desire; he can only take advantage of desire that’s already there.

When it comes to social media marketing, the same concept holds true for attracting attention and traffic as well. It’s all about the psychology of existing needs and desires, and finding a way to speak to them.

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Comments

  1. Brian

    It’s curious that you link to a (really) long-copy piece here. I’d really appreciate your comments over on http://www.copyblogger.com/introducing-the-new-seo-book-sales-letter/ where there’s a lively discussion on the afficacy of long-copy.

    Rgds

    Richard

  2. I link to that copy because it’s the only way to get the book, and the product is aimed at other copywriters so long copy is essential. ;)

    I’ll head over to the other “debate” now.

  3. Everyone who has the desire to be famous can put up a video on YouTube and talk about their cats, thus fast-tracking it to fame and fortune.

  4. Every “How-To” guide to internet marketing I’ve ever read speaks of “Niche Markets”, or finding a need and filling it. I haven’t heard it said quite like you just did, but it’s the same message.

    You know, people don’t like to be sold but they like to buy. Show them a solution to their problem and they’ll buy it every time.

  5. So how exactly do you create a desire for something someone knows they should buy/get, but don’t want to…

    In other words, if you room gets dirty, you know you should clean it, but you don’t want to. So how can you effectively “market” to that person and persuade them to clean their room?

  6. >>So how exactly do you create a desire for something someone knows they should buy/get, but don’t want to…

    You can’t.

  7. That’s why through your blog you should talk to the readers, about the readers, even if you are telling something about yourself. I’ve seen some personal blogs, take for instance dooce.com, that have nothing quite valuable, but still draw lots of traffic only because so many people can relate to what’s being written over these blogs.

  8. I agree with Amrit. My least read and commented posts are the ones which sound more like a textbook than personal thoughts, something I obviously try to avoid but don’t always manage to!!

  9. It’s a fine line between getting personal with your readers, and wandering into self absorption. Too many people try to imitate Dooce and fail… blogs like that are not easy to replicate, and much harder to get rolling now that blogging is a much more crowded field.

  10. I read somewhere that the next wave of internet optimisation is social media optimisation. More and more people are going to social book marking sites these days because the content is human filtered.

  11. I think some of you are missing the point. “The public will try anything again and again” if you present it to them in a different way. What Eugene Schwartz is telling you in his book is to exploit the desire that is out their already. The only way to do this is with your ad.

  12. i agree with james… i do believe that the public will try anything again and again… when you present it to them in a different way…i think the value that social media adds as quite rightly said by kenney is that social media sites have a human element.. unlike the complex algorithm that google uses.. quite simply if people like what they see.. they will vote for it and therefore it will increase website traffic… so it becomes another means to get a msg across to your target audience.. so the success of any dugg or stumbled site on a social media will depend on how well it meets the desire/needs of the individuals who view and vote for it.. so what i think or the value i take from this post is to remind me that to be a success at social media i have to remember to meet the desires of the people there

  13. It is very helpful.there are many ways to getting famous, Youtube,digg,twitter and suerly the copy blogger is another tool

  14. Can’t believe that this post is a few years old now but I’m glad I was able to read this.

    Today, there are a lot of social media sites available for every niche out there. Youtube is also very powerful to channel attention and twitter too.

  15. This is way too obvious. Of course, had I read this when you originally posted it, I may not have thought so. In any case, great post. Thanks!!!