When we try to figure out the value of all of our social media efforts, we look at the numbers. Who is commenting, who is sharing, how many people are clicking….
Those are all valuable metrics, there’s no doubt, but sometimes we get overly discouraged when the numbers aren’t what we hope they would be. We all need to remember this: a fraction of the people seeing your message are reacting in a way that you can see.
Engagement is always what we most want, Edgerank on Facebook has made particularly sure of that, but even so, we often forget that most people don’t react to everything that they see online. That doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing it.
I recently had a friend tell me that her husband works with someone I worked with years ago. When I asked how they had possibly figured that out it was because they were talking about Las Vegas and both said they knew someone who had recently been. Aside from the fact that it was very cool that they figured that out, what was most interesting to me is that this friend who I used to work with - I haven’t interacted with her in almost two years, not even on Facebook. Except I have, because she knew I was in Vegas because I talked about it on Facebook. What may have seemed like an interesting tidbit in her feed became significant later. And the whole time I had no inkling that she knew what was happening in my life.
Another example happened this week. Karen and I were in a coffee shop when someone we hadn’t seen in a couple of years walked up and said hi. I have barely seen anything in my feeds from her in the last while but she knew just what Karen and I were up to, including the conference we’re planning. What’s more, she owns a local business that I follow (though I had no idea it was her) and she’s exactly the audience we hope is seeing our content.
So, what’s my point?
Keep producing good content. Keep sharing it and keep talking. People are listening, even if you don’t know who.
I’ve had people reference a blog post I wasn’t sure anyone had read, and tell me that they finally got in touch after following my tweets for over a year. I know people who don’t use Twitter but follow people’s Twitter pages, people who have their email readers set to not let your newsletter software count their open, and there are so many more examples. Only a fraction of the people out there are ready to tell you they’re there. Sometimes it may feel like you’re talking and nobody is listening - but you may be surprised just who actually is watching you.
Do you have any examples like these? Share them in the comments!