The engagement pyramid is a powerful PR model.
We all care about other people … to a degree.
You should be happy if you can get 1% to offer up their engagement as creators. However, to launch a successful social media campaign, you must also attract contributors and lurkers — even if you can’t expect them to invest as much engagement as your top creators.
How do you raise the engagement bar for your campaign?
The Engagement Pyramid
The Engagement Pyramid divides publics into three distinct groups; creators, contributors, and lurkers. Engaged publics typically distribute themselves according to a distribution that has been scientifically proven well before the advent of the internet and social media, and supporting sociologists have made observations for centuries.1
Example: If we ask creators to upload their best summer pictures for a social media campaign, maybe contributors can suggest creative captions for their favourite pictures? Now, if both creators and contributors are having their fair share of fun, why not invite lurkers to cast their votes on their favourite photos and captions?
When studying internet forums specifically, it’s not uncommon to find that 90% of users have never posted, 9% are adding to comments, but only to existing topics and threads (contributors), and 1% are actively starting new topics and threads.
The Interest Group Model (and Why There Are Many Engagement Pyramids)
The 1% rule (or the 1/9/90 rule) is a rule of thumb and shouldn’t be applied bluntly to broad demographic populations but rather to publics, i.e. situational interest groups. We all belong to various interest groups — and our engagement in each varies.
Online engagement relies on the dynamics of special interests groups of like-minded people. Coincidentally, bringing such like-minded people together is something that the internet does very efficiently.
I’ve used the Engagement Pyramid Model and the Interest Group Model many times to explain how to harness maximum online engagement and why it’s crucial to attract clearly defined special interest groups.2
How To Increase Social Engagement
The Engagement Pyramid, in combination with the Interest Group Model, hints as to why social sites like Facebook are powerful agents of social engagement:
So, how can your brand increase online engagement? Make sure that your campaigns cater to creators, contributors, and lurkers alike. If you fail to activate even one of these, your whole campaign could bust.