Cognitive Content

By Tracy Spetka  Is your content strategy captivating your audience? If your tweets aren’t eliciting responses and your Facebook posts aren’t encouraging comments, one option you have is to explore psychologically-supported content. Understanding the mind’s most deeply rooted processes could help you predetermine the success of your posts by learning the best ways to capture the attention of your fans and followers and learning what will motivate them to interact with your brand.

While there is no such thing as automatic engagement on a post, there is automatic engagement in your mind when you’re exposed to certain types of content. Recently, I included a fill-in-the-blank style question as part of monthly content for a Facebook Page where the community is not usually very outspoken. The results were impressive. While these types of posts can be the least-engaging for some brands, for other brands they’ve been some of the most successful.

There is a psychological mechanism by which the mind fills in the blanks in the information it gathers to construct the perception of a seamless experience. The mind automatically recalls the information that it already knows to complete a picture. This survival-driven latent function of the mind works not only in clinical trials for recalling the details of a past event or identifying objects based upon surroundings, it also works quite literally for simple fill-in-the-blank style posts.

These posts automatically trigger a call to action for the user as they mentally generate a response or to try to. This is true even when the instructions do not explicitly tell the viewer to begin thinking of responses. While the decision to physically comment on the post or reply to a tweet is up to the discretion of the user, even without ‘thinking,’ those who do not respond will begin thinking of possible answers on some level, and in that way will continue thinking about the brand who has posed the question.

Do fill-in-the-blank style posts work well in the online community you manage? Share in the comments! The types of posts that work best for me are ______________.