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Does Your Social Media Strategy Fit the Hierarchy of Needs?

I want to talk about social media strategy, but first we have to discuss zombies.

A particular group of geeks are very interested in October 12. This is the premiere of The Walking Dead’s fifth season. The zombie thriller television series is watched by millions. I think it has to do with everyone’s interest in surviving a flesh-eating apocalypse. People always want to talk about how they would survive the undead hordes.

Usually these conversations dissolve into discussions about ammo, canned food and fortified shelters. If you’re a special kind of geek (and I am), you can usually name drop Abraham Maslow into this discussions. Maslow is famous for creating the hierarchy of needs, a psychology theory best expressed in pyramid form.

Is your social media strategy fit for survival?

Essentially, the hierarchy of needs asserts that people need certain things to live a healthy and fulfilling life, and they need those things in a certain order.

First, you need basic necessities like food and shelter (physiological needs, in other words). Then you need security and safety, like healthcare and property; love and belonging, from friends and family; self-esteem, like accomplishment and respect from others; and finally you need self-actualization, such as meaning and creative outlets. These needs must be met from the bottom of the pyramid up. If you don’t have basic shelter, supposedly you will not care about self-respect.

What does all this have to do with social media strategy? The hierarchy of needs can be a tool when considering your content strategy. Beyond any list of blogging tips, people need to remember the basics of their social media strategy, and build up from there.


If the basic needs of any person are food and shelter, than grammar is the basis of any good piece of content. You could have the best information in the world, but your bad grammar and weak voice will keep many readers from seeing it. They stop reading as soon as they come to the first mistake. More on grammar here.


Is your content interesting? Does the subject matter really pop? If not, did you find an entertaining way to present it? If not, you can pretty much assume no one is reading it. The world is filled with content strategy at the moment. Make sure your writing is fun and interesting so you can grab the largest audience possible.


So your content is interesting and grammatically sound. You’re good to go, right? Wrong. Make sure every piece of content you create has some call to action. What do you want your readers to do? How do you want them to react after reading your work? Whatever your wishes are, make them very clear. Otherwise someone will read your content with no benefit to your brand.


So your written information is stellar: interesting, engaging and well written. Now you need some sort of visual content to really grab attention. Readers tend to respond well to visual content, and spend more time on content that has visual stimulus. Whether it’s a painstakingly researched infographic or a funny cat picture, make sure you have something visual attached to your work.


The most amazing piece of content actually has the power to reach millions and even change the world. It’s completely true, and it’s happened multiple times. Perhaps you dream of your tweet or blog going viral. Make sure your awesome content is ridiculously shareable. Add social buttons to your websites or blogs, and make sure you ask your audience to pass on your content.

Is your social media strategy passing this hierarchy of needs? What parts of the pyramid do you really excel at? Let me know in the comments below!