Last week, we said we’d talk some more this week about Conversation Rate, Amplification Rate and Applause Rate: why they matter; how you can improve yours; and the effect that can have on your business.
We defined conversation rate as the number of audience comments or replies per post. Okay, that’s a nice definition but how in practice do you get people to make more comments?
We actually know someone (and, no, we’re not making this up) who, in a deliberate attempt to boost his conversation rate as well as increasing the number of hits on his website, published a post with the title “As long as I’ve got a face, Sara Palin will always have a place to sit.” He’s taken it down now. It did exactly what he hoped it would do; there were 38 comments on that post within the first day when he’d usually struggled to get four in a month and by the end of the first week the thirty-eight had risen to almost four hundred.
So he was pleased?
Well, no. Because the object should not be simply to increase the number of comments; what you want is more conversation with people likely to become your customers and that was exactly what he was not getting. He’d turned his site into a magnet for porn lovers and that isn’t what he sells – he’s a consulting engineer. His real prospects were turning away. Imagine how you’d feel if you turned up in an office where you were hoping to speak to someone about developments in asphalt technology and you found a series of obscene conversations going on. You’d find another engineer, right? So did they.
If increasing the conversation rate were really that simple, everyone would be doing it. The fact is, it’s hard. What you have to do is write the kind of post that people will want to reply to and that means abandoning the “me-too”, virtue signaling, “we agree with everybody” approach that is ruining social media. Think about what you’re saying. Don’t be controversial for the sake of it, but challenge received ideas. We’ve written elsewhere about the contrarian approach and this is why it’s needed. People now are used to blogs and they pass over most of what they see. If you want them to pause at your post and read it, give them something worth reading. Something they haven’t heard before.
Amplification Rate & Applause Rate
And, strangely enough, that’s also what you have to do to boost the other two metrics that matter: amplification rate and applause rate. You’re walking onto the stage in a theater where the audience’s attention is elsewhere, drinks are being served and the ambient noise levels are such that you have to work hard to be heard and people have to work hard to hear you. If you don’t make it worth their while, they won’t do that.
What you need to understand is that social media has become much harder than it was. The early easy days are over. You can no longer dash off a post, stick it online and expect to see a nice number of hits and a boost in business. Ideas have to be worked at. The prospect has to be engaged. There is a limited time to do that and if you don’t grab the opportunity at the outset it will be gone.
The good news is that there are people who know how to do that hard work and are available to help you. People like us. If you know you’re not getting the results you should be getting and you want to change that, contact us. It could be the single best business decision you make this year.