Are You Cultivating Your Next Generation Of Social Media Super Users?

3 Tactics to Encourage Social Media Engagement

Marketers and bloggers often complain about the low level of user interaction including activities like creating content, writing reviews, leaving comments, and rating events and products. Yet, from a bird’s eye view, audience behavior appears consistent falling into  1%, 9% and 90% segments. Here’s how they break out.

  • Creators (1% of participants). This active group of social media members is every marketer’s nirvana. As fans, they’re engaged super users who contribute user-generated content out of their feelings for your product, brand and/or company.
  • Contributors (9% of participants). These social media visitors are active in some small way that can vary based on the platform. Their participation can encompass a broad array of actions including social sharing (likes and tweets,) commenting, voting, or filling out a profile.
  • Lurkers (90% of participants). This group comprises the great silent majority. They visit social media sites to keep up with their network and consume content others have created and commented on. These lurkers provide great benefits for marketers since they spend time with your content. It’s worth noting that this segment is similar in size to the combination of Forrester’s Spectators (68%) and Inactives (19%) on their Social Technographics ® Ladder. (Here’re more insights.)

From a company or administrator perspective, only 1-2% of social media inquiries require action in the form of a policy violation or to answer a question.

While the ratio of creators, contributors and lurker remains constant, the specific people who fall into those categories changes over time. Further, how these people react varies based on the type of network or site. Therefore, it’s important to continually cultivate prospects, customers and the public to engage and participate on your social media platforms to ensure that you continually draw in new members to your social media following who can move through the different phases of involvement.

To keep your base active and motivated, here are three suggestions. Bear in mind that analyzing your database can help guide and improve your tactics based on your specific results.

  1. Encourage all levels of participation. The objective is to let your audience know that you’re interested in hearing what they say and seeing what they have to share.
  2. Thank users who participate. Regardless of the level of engagement, show that you appreciate your users’ time and activity. Make your response sincere and sound like it’s from a human being. LinkedIn’s celebration of their 100 millionth member is a great example. (If you’re at a loss for more ways to thank your participants, here’s 100 ways to thank your customers.)
  3. Reward participant activity. The best rewards make participants feel good and stroke their egos. Depending on your situation, you may need to offer more value based rewards. The challenge with these is that they can cause readers to wait for your best offer.

If you want prospects, customers and the public to continue to participate on your website and social media networks, it’s critical to keep attracting more potential participants since the specific mix changes.

How do you encourage your next generation of super users on your website, blog and/or social media network? How effective have your results been?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr

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