Thumb-stopping content: How we do it for our clients.

What do you do when the thumb never stops? You bring back the fun.

Have fun. It’s a simple mantra for creating good content.

Yet, it’s so easy to forget in a noisy, competitive environment filled with content aimed at blowing your brains out. So when you hear thumb-stopping social media content, you might feel disheartened that you do not have the budget or the content to get someone to actually stop scrolling and look at what you have to show and say.

Find your audience of one

When Australian radio host Andy Lee was asked how he manages to make the whole nation laugh, his answer was simple. He doesn’t try to make everybody laugh, he only tries to make his co-host Hamish Blake laugh. Applying this approach to your social media content will help you create a conversation that is more in touch with real life experiences. Create content that you, your team and your close friends love and there is a good chance that a lot more people will connect to it. This will allow you the opportunity to tag and mention people that are part of your journey, whether they are colleagues, friends or clients.

Most businesses struggle with this and end up chasing reach and impressions, or see the platforms as golden opportunities to announce company news or discount offers. Yet, most platforms started off as a space for creative content and good conversations.

Keep it simple

We recently stumbled upon a series of thumb-stopping content for our client Neovision. While their brief has always been very clear – to promote their affordable optometry offers online – we were playing around with a range of different content aimed at creating brand awareness, building loyalty, etc. Then one day we noticed that a certain kind of post kept performing better than the rest. It’s a “spot the difference” image that we introduced a while ago to keep things interesting. It actually got people to stop scrolling through their feeds and deeply engage with the image.

Can you find them all? There are 8.
Neovision Optometrists
Feeling lucky? There are 7 differences to be found.

Up close and personal

In our office, we have a saying that most people will be pooping when they see our content. We mean it literally. The massive shift to mobile-friendly brought about a change to how and where people will engage with your content. Try not to sound like a billboard when you speak to someone taking a dump or in the middle of a smoke break. Avoid sounding like an old fart or trying too hard to be hip and young – just talk like an ordinary person.

Digital storytelling is about intimacy and connection. There’s a good chance that your message will reach your audience in their kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. So make your story worth their while.

Fourie Rossouw

Thumb-stopping is your cue to engage

What do you do when people actually stop and engage? You engage back. What we loved about these “spot the difference” posts was that it gave us the option to respond to potential clients in a fun way, without relying on shop-talk. Where people struggled to find the differences, we poked fun at them and asked if we should maybe book them an appointment for an eye test. We used the whole range of emojis available to engage back whenever someone commented on the post. And the more we did it, the more people engaged back.

By creating content that is aimed at starting a conversation, you create an easy entry for your brand to hold a dialogue with your customers. Too many brands avoid casual conversation between themselves and their clients or their social media followers. At the risk of damaging their brand or being trolled, they are stuck giving formal responses to clients’ negative or positive feedback, questions and queries. It is, however, possible to join the social chatter, while avoiding the majority of the risk of damaging your brand.

Keep playing

There is no single recipe for engaging thumb-stopping content. We’ve seen sales pitchy content doing just as well as content that aims to strike an emotional cord. We’ve found that being consistent and creative will, over time, set you up for social media success. If your budget and time are tight, you can aim to produce “good enough” content on a daily basis instead of trying to produce the perfect content on platforms that are fast and fleeting.

If you do a photo shoot to produce high-quality content for some or other campaign, use the behind-the-scenes content to show another side of your brand story.

Experiment with poles, blogs, Q&A’s, competitions and partner content.

Use Instagram’s story feature and have fun with it. Use it to share partner or client content. Try text, gifs, emojis and all the other cool

So what’s next?

If you are wondering what the next creative step your online conversation should be, we would love to connect and help you figure it out. Click here to see what we are usually up to.