Do you know the 90 – 8 – 2 Rule?
The rule says only 2% of your fans, subscribers, etc. will engage with you on a regular basis.
That’s right – 2%.
Ninety percent will watch what’s going on and stay silent, with the remaining 8% chiming in occasionally.
Let’s break that down. You have 1,800 people on your email list (which is average for Constant Contact customers) and you send out an e-newsletter. The 90-8-2 rule says you’ll have approximately 36 people who will take one or more of these actions on a regular basis:
- Email you a response
- Share your newsletter with their social networks
- Leave a comment on your blog or Facebook Page
- Forward to a friend
The other 1,764 people may read your newsletter or click a link – but won’t participate publically.
Does this mean you or your newsletter is a failure? Absolutely not!
Small engagement has big impact
We all hear about the big brands on social media. Their “big engagement” – the hundreds of tweets, FB Likes, +1s, etc. – can be intimidating. It’s easy to give up. You’ll never get there, right?
Here’s why that thinking is wrong for small businesses.
In the Engagement Marketing book, I give the example of Donna’s Gourmet Cookies, a small business in Cincinnati, Ohio. At holiday time, Donna’s posted a picture on Facebook of their holiday cookies.
One person, Ilene Ross, shared that post with her network.
What happened? One of Ilene’s friends, Cindy, posted to ask, “Where is Donna’s located? Would love to order some.” Bingo! New customer.
Ilene then posted Donna’s store address – as well as reminding everyone Donna’s had been voted “Cincinnati’s Best.”
You can’t buy this kind of endorsement.
It’s easy to think one share, a “like,” or a comment here or there doesn’t yield anything. But think of the people in Ilene’s network – and Cindy’s too – who saw the post and didn’t engage, but now know about Donna’s Gourmet Cookies!
Celebrate your small engagement
When people engage with you, celebrate! Get excited! Do a fist pump, say “Woo hoo!” do a little dance, whatever. Engagement is engagement. Fantastic!
Then, thank people for engaging with you. Some simple methods for acknowledging people that don’t take a lot of time:
- Thank people for their “thumbs up” on Facebook or LinkedIn post comments
- Private message a thank you when someone Retweets (RTs) your content – or thank them publicly
- Welcome people when they Subscribe, Follow, Join, etc.
- Email those you know – or even send a handwritten thank you note
Get to know your frequent participators by name. Offer them something of value when they refer you, write endorsements, or share your content (further extending the WOW!).
Pretty soon you’ll find engagement builds as people feel comfortable participating – leading to more referrals, endorsements, and yes, sales. That’s the magic of small engagement!
Do you have a small engagement success story? Email our content team at SocialSuccess (at) constantcontact (dot) com – we’d love to feature you on our blog.