Scary, Sexy, Sentimental & Smart: navigating what works on social media

In honor of Halloween this week, we’re writing about the scary, sexy, sentimental and smart…ways people and businesses get noticed on social media. Why? It’s part of running a business these days, and while we were not prepared for the amount of time were going to have to spend on social media for Petite Marin, we’re getting the hang of it. It’s similar to posting updates on a personal FB page, but we’re really trying to connect with people we don’t know, who seem to have similar interests, audiences, aesthetics and personality- all online!

As we prepare to launch our business in 3 short weeks, we’ve been learning as much as possible by reading every blog post and magazine article hinting about ways to increase website traffic, taking online and local in-person classes on how to stand out, ‘stalking’ top-performers on social media to see what other people ‘like’ and scrutinizing our web analytics nightly to look for trends. It’s hilariously exhausting and nonsensical.

Why do we do this? Because businesses don’t just grow on their own; we want our concept of turning men’s dress shirts into custom baby clothes to be a business, not just an idea a few of our friends heard about. We’ve learned a few basics along the way that we’d like to share.


First, you need to figure out which social media sites work best for your type of business; there are lots of great options, but focus on just 3-4 as you get started. What should you post? People are going to ‘like’ things on social media they normally like in real life: pretty pictures, catchy titles and a story that ends on a high note. The rest, it seems, is pretty open to personal preference. Here are four ways that we’ve noticed social media light up:

  1. Scary. That’s right, a story that scares you, even slightly, seems to do the trick. I a liken it to rubbernecking, but, safely out of harm’s way. You scan a headline that scares you so much, you can’t help but click, then before you know it, you’re commenting and sharing. I’ve seen it happen. Look at ScaryMommy– there’s a reason they have over 450k followers (and I’m one of them, can’t help it!). Just look at their blog post on life-threatening food allergies!
  2. Sexy: This one speaks for itself. As we’re out there promoting a sustainable children’s clothing line, we are competing with all other chatter, topics that are provocative and coy…and get a lot of retweets. It competes for your attention, too, we get it. Victoria’s Secret has over 8 million Twitter followers. Coincidence?
  3. Sentimental: Nailed it! This is our big win. If a subject tugs at your heartstrings, you are much more likely to read it. Include cute babies (check!) or puppies, and you’re golden. People generally like to feel sentimental about a story they’re reading and connect at a higher level.
  4. Smart: Cool info-graphics and relevant information about topics you enjoy are going to catch your interest. With the advent of amazing free and low-cost graphics programs, anyone can create their own info-graphic sure to catch their reader’s eye. The New York Times and CNN both have over 20 million Twitter followers.

What about you? What makes you read an article or leave a comment?


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