Effort signals intent

One of the peculiar features of the new Ello platform is that it’s missing controls that we take for granted now on social networks. You can click retweet and instantly send someone else’s message to your followers. You can click twice in Facebook on the Share button and the message spreads. You can hit the Forward button in Google+.

What do you have to do in Ello? Copy and paste, plus manually attribute to the author:

Ello___stevegarfield
Content credit: Steve Garfield

Oddly, this isn’t a failure to me, because effort signals intent. My cat can accidentally retweet something just by playing with the computer mouse or stepping on my phone. Bots and scripts can and do reshare and retweet effortlessly all of the time, and that word signals the problem: when something is effortless, you don’t have to commit anything to it. When you don’t have to commit time, energy, effort, or resources to something, it has very little value. How much, to a brand marketer, is a retweet from my cat worth? Even if you’re selling cat food, my cat can’t read, so while the metric says yes, you got some social engagement, the reality is that you got a random cat paw.

If you have to work a little, that puts up a very small barrier to entry. That puts up a tiny speed bump – but to an audience looking for mindless and instant, you may as well have put up the Great Wall of China.

Think carefully in your own marketing about what kinds of engagement require effort and what kinds don’t. Measure carefully those that take commitment and effort, and make a special effort to reach out to those who do commit to you, because they are signaling much greater intent. That intent might be evangelism, might be purchase intent, might be a new personal relationship waiting to happen. Reward it! Reward people commensurate to the effort they make towards you, and keep those who work hardest on your brand’s behalf closest to you.

Not all digital activities are equal!


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get daily updates now:


Get my book!

Subscribe to my free newsletter!


Social is as social does

Amidst all the chatter about new social networks and how brands should be interacting with audiences, a simple lesson has been missed, one courtesy of Forrest Gump.

forrestgumpbench

The fictional character’s famous quote, stupid is as stupid does, is one equally applicable to social media: social is as social does.

When marketing managers and directors are looking at numbers, charts, KPIs, and metrics about things like social media engagement, interactions per hour, new followers, etc. and wondering why social media isn’t delivering its fabled results, the answer can usually be found in that aphorism. Social is as social does.

Take a look at this simple chart of a national brand and how many questions on their Facebook Page they don’t answer, as well as the response time:

_Response_Rate___Socialbakers_Engagement_Analytics

Social is as social does. If you’re taking half a day to answer fans’ questions, and answering 1 out of every 6 questions, then don’t be surprised when your social media engagement metrics are in the toilet, when your audience stops talking to you, when people give up because you don’t interact with them.

Being social means doing the basics of human civility, the sort of thing that you tell a four year old.

Say hello and goodbye to people.
Answer questions when you’re asked.
Talk about the other person more than you talk about yourself.
Don’t interrupt other people talking.
You have two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion.
Be polite.

When marketers say that social is all about “being human”, that’s what we’re talking about: accomplishing the basics of being a functional human being. It’s not magic. It is effort.

The next time you’re looking at your social media marketing metrics and you’re not happy with the results, ask yourself if you’re being as social as your audience wants you to be.

Social is as social does.


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get daily updates now:


Get my book!

Subscribe to my free newsletter!


Social media analytics and accountability at SMB36

I had the opportunity recently to speak at Social Media Breakfast Boston 36 about social media analytics, accountability, and measurement, using apple pie as an analogy:

Special thanks to Bob Collins and Social Media Breakfast for having me!


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get daily updates now:


Get my book!

Subscribe to my free newsletter!