1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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Who You Should Be Talking To

February 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment

There’s a number that floats around social media known as 90-9-1.  It refers to the percentage of people on any given website that are Lurkers (90%), Contributors (9%) or Creators (1%).  Creators make most of the content on any social network. Contributors will jump in and join the conversation occasionally but generally don’t start things.  I wrote more about this here.

The main body of the people on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network are the Lurkers.  They rarely if ever say anything publicly. Perhaps it’s a fear of public speaking, or a desire for anonymity or something else.  But they rarely say anything.  But they are your real audience.  They are “Who You Should Be Talking To.”

So when someone asks me a question on one of the corporate Facebook pages I’m running I don’t necessarily answer their question outright.  Instead I’m writing for the 90% who read that question and think “Yea I’d like to know the answer to that.”

Often I’ll answer the question that wasn’t asked.  I’ll give the answer that I want everyone in the silent majority to hear. You have to be careful with this because you do need to answer the question you were asked.  But you want to work into your answer the other information that you need to get out to the audience.  In other words don’t be rude, be sure that you answer what was asked, but you can go far beyond that into the info you want everyone to get.

I strongly suggest that you avoid what the Sunday morning talk shows do.  Which is refuse to the answer the question at all, but instead make their statement.  We’ve all heard the politician asked the question about the tough budget and he answers with his stance on abortion.  If you try to do that you’ll get called out for it (said the voice of experience).  So be sure that you don’t stray too far from the original topic.

This technique allows you to respond to the comments that you might ordinarily ignore.  For instance if the occasional person lobs a hand-grenade like “Your products suck!”  You now have an opportunity to say something like, “According to the survey conducted by XYZ most of our customers feel our products are superior to the competition.  But we know we’re not perfect- how would you suggest we can improve?”

The person who threw that particular grenade may or may not answer you.  But you got an opportunity to tell the 90% about that wonderful survey that shows that you’re superior.

And as I’ve said here before, when you show that you’re willing to defend yourself your advocates will come to defend you too.  And the beauty of advocates is that they will take on the really tough ones, the unfair ones, the ones you don’t have a good answer for.   When someone criticizes someone that you like unfairly you want to defend them.  And that’s exactly what your advocates will do.

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Related Reasons:

  1. Talking About a Competitor in Social Media
  2. They’re talking about you- Twitter and Public Decisions

Tags: Marketing Monday · Reasons For Net Marketing

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Clay Franklin @ iZigg Mobile Marketing // Feb 27, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Interesting take on who we are talking to when we write articles or Tweet, or comment on blogs. I am a bit surprised that 90% are lurkers though. I would have thought it was more like 65% (Now that I have thought about it, it seems that 90% is a good number)
    You make a great point about answering the questions that are not asked. A great way to do this is to post Facebook page or tweet or write a blog post about information that you find interesting and if people are thinking like you or interested in the same stuff then they will appreciate it.
    Thank you for the thought provoking article.

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