Generating Responses, Followers, and Referrals—An “A-ha!” Moment

17877227 – social media

A while ago I experienced an interesting phenomenon related to the release of my monthly e-letter. I’d gotten into the practice of posting notices to various LinkedIn groups when a new e-letter was available, inviting new subscribers. I had been doing this for about 14 months and usually picked up 10-15 new subscribers each month.

Then one month I picked up 95! (which was pretty significant for me because my initial list was only about 400).

I immediately began to consider reasons why the demand increased so significantly.

The Subject Line

Was it the enticing post?: “Tips and strategies for employee communication, branding, and advertising—a new Strategy Matters e-letter has been released. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, let me know.” I don’t think so. This is basically the same format I follow each month.

The Topics

Was it the topics? Employee communication, advertising and branding. Again, I don’t really think so. I’ve seen a slight uptick in interest based on the topics covered from month to month, but these are pretty typical of what I tend to cover.

So, what could it be?

Herd Mentality

After some rumination, and as I continue to see requests come in, I think it has to do with “herd mentality.” Unlike previous months, where people tended to email me privately if interested in being added to the list, this month someone quickly posted a notice to the group asking to be added to the list. Then another. And another. And so on. The group actions themselves, I believe, generated this amazing interest.

Basic consumer behavior, I suppose. We learn from others and have a tendency to replicate their behaviors. You could call it “me-tooism.” And, in fact, the same phenomenon is why the advertising industry works so hard to help us identify—and want to be like—others who buy and use various products.

Key Learnings

For me, the key learnings I’m going to take away from this experience are:

  • Be explicit when posting these types of comments about asking people to “comment here” or “post your comment below.”
  • Consider ways I might use this same process to generate more participation on this blog—just need a few people to be brave enough to start posting publicly for momentum to increase!
  • Leverage this concept as I continue to experiment with Twitter.

Finally, I think it’s important to note that my “aha” moment is really nothing new. In fact, there are a number of great books that explore the sometimes counter-intuitive actions of consumers, and the general public. Some of my favorites are:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini

Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely


and Super Freakonomics both by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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