600,000 Twitter Impressions and Only 10 Clicks

This is a cautionary tale on the do’s and don’ts of social media…


A top blogger (Tom Webster) got his Twitter message out with a reach of more  than  600,000 people on Twitter – using social networking friends who are in the  top 10-20% of influencers to help him.

He was looking for something that seemed simple … asking people to record a short message of hope for the people who were devastated by the recent NZ earthquake.

He worked his network hard.  And carefully tracked and quantified the results.

Results after 600,000+ impressions …

389 clicks.  And only 10 messages of hope.

Tom asked his friend, Matt Ridings, who runs ‘influencer’ campaigns what went wrong. Here’s what he learned …

‘My dear friend Matt Ridings (you might have seen him as Techguerilla on the Twitters) has more tangible experience running online influencer campaigns than anyone I know – he’s super sharp, practical, and frankly brilliant about making these things actually work both for brands and for the people these brands hope to reach.

He assures me that the real problem was that I didn’t design the effort well enough.

Instead, he notes that “people need to…

a) see that the influencer took the action (the influencer truly believes)

b) be presented with an action simple enough for them to easily participate and allow competition to take hold (“I can make a better audio clip than you did,”) and

c) see results made public to allow a) & b) to occur in such a way that they believe the influencer will actually see that they did it for *them* vs. the cause, thus garnering attention for themselves.”

In other words, I didn’t “gamify” the effort in a way that would bring influence, notoriety or some other tangible benefits to the participants. I banked too heavily on altruism, and didn’t provide an opportunity for participants to increase their own online clout’.

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