Slingstuff

Social Media as a Passion Point

Along with our social media agency, Speakeasy (a joint venture with The Dallas Morning News), Slingshot spends a lot of time thinking about, planning and executing social media campaigns. While social is not necessarily the be-all and end-all that some articles suggest, it is obviously a tremendously important part of any communication mix.

One reason it’s so important is that it represents, in perhaps its truest form, a “passion point” for consumers. In my previous posts, I’ve talked about passion points as one of three important tools for finding people where they are paying attention (or making them pay attention).

There’s a stark difference between advertising placed in content that surrounds your customers when they are not necessarily involved with it and messaging placed in content with which they are actively engaged. According to eMarketer, in 2015 U.S. users spent 41.39 minutes per day on social networks, and teens spent more than an hour.

An example of how we use passion points from a traditional advertising standpoint might be an ad directed at golfers placed in detailed golf content that we know truly interests this audience. Or cooking content for Tupperware—you get the idea. It’s the content that ensures your distracted consumer is actually paying attention. The correlation between the content and the message you are delivering becomes undetectable.

Social media works a little differently in that it basically contains ALL content its readers are passionate about. In many respects, it is self-selected, high-involvement content. Not topic specific, necessarily, but rather content that is extremely personal to the individual user. That is why they are viewing it. It may be possible to match your message to the content of a specific post, but the more important thing is that you know your audience is paying attention to their surroundings in the social environment and, therefore, your message.

As the chart below indicates, the variety of passions pursued on social media is endless, and each is customized for the user, by the user. So, the opportunity exists to put messages in places that are surrounded by meaningful content, and if you do it right, your content adds to the attractiveness of the surrounding content, resulting in a better social media experience for your customer and better results for you.

Top Social Media Passions

It’s important to realize there are limits to the organic reach that can be gained by messages in the social environment (setting aside cases of viral content), but also that the users you do reach are REALLY paying attention.

One of the highest conversion rates we saw on a recent campaign was for Texas Motor Speedway with targeted people tweeting about WWE with context-appropriate promoted tweets.

Texas Motor Speedway

The takeaway: Impressions in social media, whether organic or purchased, are high-quality impressions, because they play to your consumers’ passion points.


In the last two decades our culture, and therefore our behaviors, have gone through a sea change. This is largely due to the impact of the Digital Age on how your customers are living their lives. It calls for a seismic shift in how we think about marketing, not just a tweak of our tactics.

Over the course of Slingshot’s 20th anniversary year we will examine this shift with a deep look at the new lenses through which all marketing and advertising decisions must be made. We will help you learn how to "be the butterfly" that captures attention in the age of distraction.

– Owen Hannay, Founder and CEO, Slingshot

Posted Thu, Jan 7, 2016 by Owen Hannay in Marketing in the Age of Distraction®