Standing Ovation Model for Social Media Posts and Ad Copy Strategy

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Rather than creating posts and Ad copy in isolation to deliver a specific outcome such as sales or leads, a more effective Social Media Content Strategy should consider your delivery of content as a performance, where your goal is to deliver a performance that gets a standing ovation. For this, we’ll take a look now at the Standing Ovation model.

In situations where there is little time to make decisions (such as deciding on standing up to give a standard ovation), we often fall back on rules to guide our decisions. So, let’s model what creates a popular show that’s worthy of a standing ovation.

As with Granovetter’s Model, individuals have a Threshold (T) for standing up to give a standing ovation. This time however, the Threshold is measured as a percentage of Quality (Q) (i.e. 80%) rather than number of other people taking an action. Generally, when modelling qualitative motives, the model will have some form of bias or Error (E). In this case, the Error factor that determine quality of the show will depend on the diversity of the audience (i.e. more diverse the audience, the grater the Error or the noise in the data). This is to account for the fact that people are not identical, however, they can be similar to each other. Similar to Granovetter’s model, there is a threshold on the number of people that you will need to see giving a standing ovation (X), before you stand up to give a standing ovation, we’ll call this Threshold of X - T(X).

So, we have:

  • Threshold (T)

  • Quality (Q)

  • Signal to Stand Up (S) = Actual quality of the show (Q) + Diversity of the Audience (E) = Q + E

  • Threshold of other people in the audience standing up T(X)

So, if S > T = Give a standing ovation.

In this model, if the quality of the show is high, your threshold is low, your threshold of seeing others give a standing ovation before you stand up is low; you are more likely to give a standing ovation. This is fairly obvious.

However, what is not so obvious is that, if the quality of the how show (Q) is lower than your threshold (T) (i.e. the show is not great), then there is still a chance that the show could get a standing ovation if the error (E), the diversity of the audience is large, because your signal to stand up (S) is calculated by the sum of (Q + E).


Social Media Content Strategy

This model shows us that considering the diversity of your audience could play a key role in how your target audience responds to your messages. Targeting a diverse audience can actually improve the chances of your target audience perceiving your content as high value.

Targeting an audience who is more secure in their opinions and beliefs (i.e. High T(X)) would require you to deliver high quality content. In addition, also targeting segments that are willing to 'jump on the bandwagon’ (i.e. Low T(X)) could complement and enhance the success your content strategy.

In this theatre scenario, there are 2 other factors that we have not considered in the model - where you are physically seated in the theatre and who you are attending the show with. For instance, the people sitting at the front of the theatre (the VIP guests and celebrities) are not as much influenced by the number of other people standing up to give a standing ovation; whereas as the people sitting at the back are more likely to be influenced by the number of other people standing up to give a standing ovation. Secondly, who you are with has an influence in whether you stand up to give a standing ovation. For instance, if the person or group you are attending the theatre with decide to stand up, then you are more likely to also stand up and give a standing ovation.

In summary, for your next Social Media Content strategy, beyond the obvious reasons of getting a standing ovation (i.e. creating high quality social content); the diversity of the groups you target, the use of ‘celebrities’ (influencers) that support your message as well as how well connected the groups that your target audiences are connected to, also have a huge influence on the success of your social media strategy.

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