Welcome to the Influence &IMPACT email letter, and a big thanks for subscribing. I really appreciate it! Focus of this fortnightly communique is on building, in a thoughtful way, a personal brand that people recognise, respect and trust. How can we establish our public voice, build credibility for that voice, extend the reach of our voice, and finally, extract value from the recognition and reputation we build? We cover that, and a wee bit more. Onwards!

Never underestimate the value of social media lurkers


Sunday, November 22, 2020 | Melbourne, Australia


Hello, hello ... hellooo!

Hey, do you publish brilliant content online (including social media) but get little engagement?

Don't be disheartened - there are plenty of lurkers out there in your audience who probably are taking notice of you.

Back in 2017 I wrote an article on my PR Warrior blog titled Online Engagement is Terrific, but don’t Underestimate the Value of Lurkers.

In it, I discussed the importance of engagement on social media (yes, it's still vitally important!), but also highlighted the 1-9-90 principle, which states that for collaborative websites such as a wiki, where users can both create and edit content, 1% of people create content, 9% will 'interact' with it (i.e. commenting, modifying or offering improvements), while 90% view the content without contributing. This principle dates back to 2006 (attributed to bloggers Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba), but it still rings true today.

The 1% Rule

I was reminded of this rule the other day while reading a new article on the Animalz blog - Write for the Lurkers - in which the author Ryan Law highlighted an updated variation of the 1-9-90 Rule: the 1% rule.

The idea here is that only 1% of participants in an online community actively contribute content, while 99% quietly consume.

Whether the 'silent majority' is 90% or 99%, it doesn't really matter.

Bottom line: a shit-ton of people are probably consuming your content, but you'd never really know.

Anecdotally, for years now, I've experienced the ‘invisible 90 per cent’ – I call them lurkers. Personally, I've had heaps of people, including prospective clients, tell me things like:

“I’ve been following you on LinkedIn for ages and you keep popping up.”


“I’ve been reading your stuff for a while now.”

This has been my experience for a long time, and it continues today. No doubt, if you're a content creator, you're in a similar boat.

Key takeaway: While we'd all love more engagement with our content online, don't be disheartened if people aren't publicly liking, sharing or commenting on your social media posts. It's a fact of life in today's noisy digital world, but it doesn't necessarily mean people aren't taking notice of your content efforts. 

As Ryan Law reminds us: 

"The engaged, active, enthusiastic 1% of any online community—the vocal minority—are powerful amplifiers and voracious readers, and they are the reason places like Twitter and Reddit are worth visiting. But as content marketers, it’s essential to remember that they are not always your target audience. We have to write for the lurkers."


If you listen to one Reputation Revolution episode this year ...

This is the one.

It's a look back at Season #3 - and includes heaps of takeaways from a wide range of savvy folk! Plus I recap my 'Personal Branding Universe', which represents key elements that aspiring thought leaders and professional experts need to be aware of if they're wanting to build a sustainable business off the back of their personal brand. 


Thought leadership needs a serious rethink

According to this article, so much of what we knew about thought leadership has changed.

The article's authors, Bonnie Rothman and Judy Kalvin, say that audiences want to be inspired and guided by leaders who share experiences that help make sense of the challenges we face today. 

They write: "You may be timid about sharing personal stories, or your company might not want to take a public stance in this contentious climate. But, thankfully, you don't have to tackle the big issues head-on: Just insert humanity into your stories."

Rothman and Kalvin provide a list of examples to illustrate their point. 


This quote caught my attention

After a build-up in the media, Twitter this week finally unleashed 'Fleets'

Twitter says Fleets are for "sharing momentary thoughts – they help start conversations and only stick around for 24 hours".


This quote caught my attention

"The audience is the new algorithm" - Jay Baer

In other words, people decide what content wins!


Hit “reply”

I'm excited to be writing to you in this format. Let’s keep it personal!  I encourage you to hit “reply” and let me know what’s on your mind:

  • Got any thoughts regarding the content I’ve just sent you? Let me hear it!
  • Have a question? Ping it through!
  • Got a recommendation for an article, podcast, video or person-to-follow that you’d like to share, bring it on :)

Thanks for reading! Until next time ...




Go forth and make an impact!

Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne
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