Social Media Success: What’s All the Attention About?

What's all the attention about?

What’s all the attention about?

Recently Chipotle had a hack on their Twitter account. Someone got onto their stream and posted nonsense tweets. It turns out, they did it themselves, for a publicity stunt. After all it worked for Burger King who did the same think and gained 30,000 followers. Read more about the stunt.

Thirty thousand is a lot of people. In the eyes of business, that’s a ton of new customers. Yet is that the point of social media—to get attention? To build “the numbers”?

It’s understandable why that seems important. A larger number “followers” impress our bosses and our friends. A larger number of followers attracts more people, too. (People like to be connected with important people.)

I understand. I have great connections on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and I continually have to tell myself that each one of those numbers is a person with joys, desires, and needs. I know this to be true. There are people whom I’ve connected with on Twitter whom I now consider good friends. We’ve met in person. We’ve celebrated birthdays together. We are even friendlier in person than online! (I know, can you believe it?)

I’ve also met some of my online friends on vacation and at booksignings. I love giving a hug to those who’ve encouraged me through tweets and posts!

I love social media, but an important question to ask is, “What’s all the attention about?” Is it about making ourselves look good or about finding new customers for our products—whether it is books or hair clips?

For me, I’m awed to have this reach to share the good news of Jesus. I’m amazed to read my stats and see that every day thousands of people visit my website/blog from all around the world. (Jesus took it seriously when I prayed, “Send me!”)

Yet there’s danger that comes with that too. It’s tempting to seek attention. It’s tempting come up with nonsense that will draw and entertain the crowds. Thankfully, I have a case study on how Jesus handled it.

During the first year of His ministry, before the official opposition began, Jesus was immensely popular and great crowds followed Him. However, the crowds did not impress Jesus, nor did He cater to them, because He knows what is in the human heart (John 2:25). Anybody can join a crowd and go with the flow, but it takes courage to stand alone for the truth and obey it.

It looked as though that crowd was seeking spiritual enrichment from Jesus, but the Lord knew better. Most of them wanted to see something sensational, like a miracle, while others were concerned about something to eat (John 6:26). A generation later, the Roman satirist Juvenal wrote that the Romans “longed eagerly for just two things—bread and circuses,” but this Jewish crowd was just as bad, and so are many crowds today. The apostle John would have called them “worldly” because they focused on “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NASB). Warren Wiersbe, Jesus in the Present Tense

Friends, the truth is that many people visit blogs for the same thing: “bread and circuses.” They want free stuff, and they want to be entertained. If you’re not going to give it to them, they have millions of more sites to visit. I’m not saying that free stuff and entertainment are wrong. Personally, I love both. I just need to make sure I’m spreading the messages Jesus has asked me to, without being worried about the number of views my posts get. I’ll leave that in Jesus’ hands.

I’ll never have all the answers, but I just might have a few  I’ve learned (from experience) that will guide men and women to the Truth.

What about you? What do you think of social media attention?

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  1. Bread and circuses- I never picked up on that before….wow! It’s hard to not want to give that to people. As a newer blogger I’ve had to stop myself a few times from jumping on the “I need to have a giveaway or get a free e-book made asap” to get my name out there. That may be a great way to grow your stats but I’m really longing for community and real connection. I’m hoping that if I just keep writing what’s on my heart that God will bring the people he wants to me- whether it’s 15 or 15,000. Thanks for the timely reminder 🙂

    • Cheri, so true! You want people to come to you for content first. I just think it’s so amazing that we can impact hearts in this way, whether it be 15 or 15,000!

  2. Loved this post, Tricia! Sometimes we get caught in all the things we should be doing, and forget what our core mission is. In the end, what matters is that we follow God’s leading, and let Him have His way in our blogs and social media channels. Thank you for this important reminder! God bless you!

  3. So true, Tricia! Galatians 1:10 comes to mind.

    • “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Yes!

  4. Amish Author Sicily Yoder says:

    That is so very true, Tricia. It’s why we write Christian books instead of mainstream. call called us into the ministry. For years, I did not have a new book out, but promoted other Christian writers’ books and blog posts to help multiply His kingdom.

  5. What a great reminder to keep myself in check whenever I check my website stats. I love when I find out a blog made a difference or inspired someone else to make a difference for the Kingdom of God! Its better than any stat can ever make you feel. Thanks for the check point for all if us!

  6. Thanks for this. It’s a slippery task keeping that balance … which is why we need Jesus every day. Not just when we begin an endeavor, but every. single. day.

  7. Wow. In a time where everyone is all about stats, this is the exact post I needed to read. Tricia, this is exactly why I come here and subscribe to your blog. You have a heart for the Lord and His truth and you share it with tenderness. Thank you!

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