Look and Stay or Look Away

How many seconds will you spend looking at a Facebook Page, Twitter profile, Linkedin profile, a professional resume, a video on Youtube or any website before you make a conscious decision to look and stay or look away? Most studies indicate an impression will be established and the resulting decision to stay or look elsewhere within 10 to 30 seconds.

Are you still reading this post or have you moved on? The time you’ve spent looking at this page and reading the first paragraph likely exceeds the average time it takes to instill an impression and make the decision to stay, exit from the site or discard a resume.

Are you catching the attention of those you wish to influence? Are you establishing a positive first impression? Have you presented a clear message? Let’s face it, 10 to 30 seconds leaves little time for even the best speed readers or those with photographic memories to obtain a valid first impression. Consideration must be given to the “look” and the content that stands out. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to inspire your audience to stay with you.

A professional resume or online profile will be perceived within the first few seconds as little more than an overall image with limited content absorbed prior to making the decision to read on. Does it look professional? Is it complete and concise? Have you increased the font size or chosen the content to bold that you want to stand out? If you are promoting yourself as a professional seeking a new position as VP Sales & Marketing, it is not in your best interest to show an online image taken in your back yard with your child’s camera. Your resume should also look professional with impressive and quantifiable accomplishments that will stand out in a graph rather than highlighting your hobby of mountain biking.

Online videos continue to become more popular but I find myself more often than not exiting the video before it ever gets to the main content as the introductions seem to ramble on far too long. I already know what it is about, which is why I wanted to watch it in the first place. Time is of the essence so the information provided must be concise and relevant. Although many live, interactive videos are available, accommodating busy schedules usually finds us listening to a recording so time spent to advise the time, discuss the weather or technical and sound checks is not relevant information. The lack of a professional appearance or image and a less than articulate speaker will also encourage a viewer to move on to one of millions of other available videos.

A Facebook Page is important for any professional or business. In order to create a page that will catch the attention of your audience within a few seconds and communicate a clear message it is important to provide as much information as possible on your Wall. Creating additional tabs and information is ok if you have the time but the majority of people will only spend 10 to 30 seconds which means they will not venture past your Wall. Add FBML boxes to display most or all of the content in your Info tab on your Wall tab including the links to other sites.

Blogs and articles are now being authored by millions of content producers, some authoring long drawn out repetitious articles and others aware that a blog post that is short, concise and delivers a clear message will be more successful in keeping the attention of their audience. Blog posts with titles such as “the top ten tips”, or “the top 2o…” are extremely popular drawing the attention of billions of readers.

If I have managed to keep your attention this long, thank you! I hope the impression you leave with is a positive one and that you will benefit from the tips that have been provided here.

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