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Invisible Advances: Lookers Look & Lurkers Lurk

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 by in ThiNK First | 11 comments

lurkers

What does it mean to be an onlooker? 70% of buyers have chosen your brand before you know their identity. Are you ready for that reality? How does our invisibility or anonymity change when we think about online (URL) vs real life (IRL). Do we think of lurkers differently than lookers?

Do we have a positive impression of lurkers. Are they Free-Loaders in our minds? Being a Lurker is far from free. Lurking is a time investment. We make lurkers work pretty hard. All that content skimming comes at a price. Of course you could work to simplify the like of a lurker. Forget Klout what your lurkability factor. How easy does your brand make it for lurkers to get close.

Just to level set, let’s be clear we’re all lurkers.

There, you can relax. We’re all safe here in our shared anonymity. We all should have no expectations.

Lurkers has become a hip and trendy term. People know they are lurking. It’s a badge that people wear with pride.

Window shopping for ideas, content, products or services has always been just fine. The internet should not change that. I know plenty of people want to go Cookie and IP Address mad. We can build technology to by pass that and consumers can hide behind a privacy shield.

We’re simply playing an intimacy game of cat and mouse. Call me old fashioned I somehow like the romanticism of outing a lurker by fair means not foul. I don’t want to tag you. You can declare yourself when you are ready. There’s lots of ways to contact me. You can follow me on Twitter or Listly or sign up for my blog or make a list.

At #IMS12 I recall a stat

 

70% of the buying process in a complex sale is already complete before prospects are willing to engage with a live sales person – SiriusDecisions

Lurking is highly contextual. Our lurking preferences are highly niched.

We are insanely selective how and when we out our preference.

According Internet Culture,  1:9:90 is a ratio that describes our behaviour  A staggering 90% of us are lurkers. It makes total sense. We couldn’t all contribute all of the time. It would result in chaos.

I’ve gathered a lot of research on lurking on this list.

Feel free to add other content if you follow the topic

Lurker Research: Are You a Lurker and the Collapse of 1:9:90
Lurker Research: Are You a Lurker and the Collapse of 1:9:90
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Nick Kellet

Lurker Research: Are You a Lurker and the Collapse of 1:9:90

Lurking fascinates me. I lurk. We all Lurk. Then sometimes we participate. This lists collects research on lurking

Source: http://www.nickkellet.com/2012/11/invisible-advances-lookers-look-lurkers-lurk/

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  1. 1  How to Get Lurkers to Engage | Heidi Cohen

    How to Get Lurkers to Engage | Heidi Cohen

    While most people don’t want take an action for a wide range of reasons, marketers want lurkers to engage whether it’s with their website, content marketing or social media initiatives. (Here are 21 reasons people lurk.) Here are three lurker corollaries to help you consider how lure lurkers to action and five ways to get lurkers to engage.

  2. 2  Social Media Lurkers—Who Are They and How Can You Engage Them? - CASE Social Media

    Social Media Lurkers—Who Are They and How Can You Engage Them? - CASE Social Media

    Are you discouraged because you have tons of followers, friends and connections on your social media communities but conversations always involve the same people? Do you wonder why others don’t jump in? You are not alone. There’s a name for this phenomenon – the 90-9-1 rule.

  3. 3  Building Community: the Platform Blog - Lithosphere Community

    Building Community: the Platform Blog - Lithosphere Community

    Dr. Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and online communities. He's a regular blogger on the Lithosphere and previously wrote in the Analytic Science blog. You can follow him on Twitter at mich8elwu.

  4. 4  The 90-9-1 Rule in Reality - Lithosphere Community

    The 90-9-1 Rule in Reality - Lithosphere Community

    Dr. Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and online communities. He's a regular blogger on the Lithosphere and previously wrote in the Analytic Science blog. You can follow him on Twitter at mich8elwu.

  5. 5  The Economics of 90-9-1: The Lorenz Curve - Lithosphere Community

    The Economics of 90-9-1: The Lorenz Curve - Lithosphere Community

    Dr. Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and online communities. He's a regular blogger on the Lithosphere and previously wrote in the Analytic Science blog. You can follow him on Twitter at mich8elwu.

  6. 6  How Can I Push You From Lurker To Participant? | Outspoken Media

    How Can I Push You From Lurker To Participant? | Outspoken Media

    I left my first comment on Chris Brogan's blog a few weeks ago. And if you want to know a secret, I was scared. Speaking up for the first time on a new community is often pretty intimidating. Don't get me wrong, I've been reading Chris' blog for years, lots of us have.

  7. 7  11 Ways To Get Lurkers To Participate - The Online Community Guide

    11 Ways To Get Lurkers To Participate - The Online Community Guide

    Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy, and The Pillar Summit, an exclusive course in Professional Community Management. Richard's clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, Oracle, OECD, BAE Systems, AMD and several youth & entertainment brands.

  8. 8  Heli connecting ideas » Blog Archive » Nomad, migrant, lurker, blogger or networker?

    Heli connecting ideas » Blog Archive » Nomad, migrant, lurker, blogger or networker?

    This time I'll put myself on a web participation map by using some blog posts that have touched me. First I take a post of Wolfgang Greller. He considers himself as a veteran moocer, a migrant that comes again and again, and seems to enjoy the way he participates.

  9. 9  Commenter or Lurker: Which Blog Participant Are You? | Ari Herzog

    Commenter or Lurker: Which Blog Participant Are You? | Ari Herzog

    In his evergreen 2006 article about user participation on online communities, Jakob Nielsen theorized that 90% of participants are non-contributing lurkers, 9% contribute now and then, and 1% of users are active, as popularly illustrated with this pyramid: I believed that lurkers don't like the stigma and want to be shown the way.

  10. 10  Why Collaboration Fails And How Gamification Can Help

    Why Collaboration Fails And How Gamification Can Help

    I had the pleasure to speak at GovCamp Singapore, on 18 November 2011, at the Rock Auditorium, at Suntec City Mall. The title of my talk was The Game of Collaboration: Why Collaboration Fails and How Gamification Can Help. Here are the video of my talk and the slides.

  11. 11  Be My Guest: Cat’s Eye Welcomes Livefyre’s New Commenting Feature | Cat's Eye Writer Blog | Judy Dunn | Blogger | Writer

    Be My Guest: Cat’s Eye Welcomes Livefyre’s New Commenting Feature | Cat's Eye Writer Blog | Judy Dunn | Blogger | Writer

    When I think about my vision for the Cat's Eye blog, I usually think of two words: community and inclusive. I care about and appreciate my lurkers just as much as my active commenters. Some people just want to get the information and run.

  12. 12  Is Livefyre Destroying the Value of a Blog Comment?

    Is Livefyre Destroying the Value of a Blog Comment?

    In case you haven’t noticed, our government has a little problem. You see, over the past few years they’ve been printing dollar bills faster than Heinz makes ketchup, and despite what we’re all lead to believe, this process has only one ending—Inflation. That’s right, prices will go way up...

  13. 13  The Social Business – adopting an integrated social strategy

    The Social Business – adopting an integrated social strategy

    Social and Digital Marketing is the order of the day across the world, however the question that needs to be asked is, is social marketing just about marketing or is it a complete change of business culture? One thing is sure, social marketing blurs the line between internal and external business building strategies.

  14. 14  Why 84% of Your Facebook Fans are Lurkers | Ari Herzog

    Why 84% of Your Facebook Fans are Lurkers | Ari Herzog

    It should not surprise you that 84% of your Facebook page fans never see your wall updates. If this does surprise, please read this to understand EdgeRank and why your page may need to die.

  15. 15  BBC - BBC Internet Blog: BBC Online Briefing Spring 2012: The Participation Choice

    BBC - BBC Internet Blog: BBC Online Briefing Spring 2012: The Participation Choice

    Video of Holly's presentation added 9th May 2012: In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're...

  16. 16  Is the 1% rule dead? The BBC thinks so, but it’s wrong — European technology news

    Is the 1% rule dead? The BBC thinks so, but it’s wrong — European technology news

    New research from the BBC suggests that one of the web's most common rules of thumb no longer applies -- and that online engagement has risen dramatically in recent years. But is its surprising conclusion based on a dramatic misinterpretation of the rule itself?

  17. 17  Is the 1,9,90 Rule Outdated? - Only Dead Fish

    Is the 1,9,90 Rule Outdated? - Only Dead Fish

    The BBC have just released some interesting research around participation online. The findings (the result of a "large-scale, long-term investigation into how the UK online population participates using digital media today") have raised a little controversy since they seem to...

  18. 18  Is the 90-9-1 Rule for Online Community Engagement Dead? [Data]

    Is the 90-9-1 Rule for Online Community Engagement Dead? [Data]

    Is the 90-9-1 Rule for Online Community Engagement Dead? [Data] There is a rule that has floated around in the social media world for quite some time called the Rule of Participation Inequality or the 90-9-1 Rule.

  19. 19  Learning to love your lurkers - Richmond Green

    Learning to love your lurkers - Richmond Green

    My husband is a Twitter lurker. In the three years since he set up his account, he's tweeted a grand total of 13 times. He regularly shows up on my SocialBro dashboard as 'inactive'. If I followed the advice of the many 'how to spring clean your social media account' posts that seem to proliferate around this time of year, I'd ditch him.

  20. 20  Why You Should Embrace Twitter Lurkers

    Why You Should Embrace Twitter Lurkers

    Ted Rubin is a leading social marketing strategist and the chief social marketing officer at Collective Bias. In 2009, Rubin started using the term ROR, Return on Relationship™, a concept he believes is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database. His book, Return on Relationship, is out in August.

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For those who consume, those who act and contribute help to filter the noise. Non-lurkers help lurkers sift through the noise.

That said, getting lurkers to de-cloak and engage is the goal of every marketing dude on the planet.

Just because it’s our goal, does not make it the lurkers goal. Far from it. This is not about us, it’s about each lurker and what they need. Delurking is simply a non scalable task. It’s highly personal. Delurking is very intimate. It’s trust exercise.

Every prospect arrives at your site knowing something different.

They each arrive with their own unique lifetime of perspective.

They come with baggage and we need to be ready, willing and able to accept them.

If you answer their needs, if you pique their interests, then you may just succeed in changing their status.

Wouldn’t that be fun on Facebook to have a relationship status with each brand. “Just Lurking” would be the first and the default option. Liking a brand does not break your lurker’s virginity. Facebook has managed to make that experience such a light touch that it carries no real meaning of value.

How many times do you hear people say “I’m just lurking”. Oddly that’s much more commited than “I’m just looking”, which is in response to a direct approach like “Can I help?”. We’ve all learned to thwart retail sales people. We cringe when we cut them off, but it just becomes a necessity of modern living.

People offer up “I’m lurking” when they crave an invite. It is the statement a lurker makes when in no-man’s land. They way be willing to the join conversation, but they don’t want to work too hard. They are giving you the tiniest thumbs up, the mildest signal of interest. You simply need to wave the white flag and draw them into a conversation.

Lurking is much more than the internet equivalent of “Just Looking”.

In the real world we can decline people’s advances. We can do that online too. We can bypass or decline people’s attempts for us to sign up and capture their oh so valuable email address. We can sidestep the “Talk to an agent” option. We’re adept.

You can ignore them in that moment when they say they are lurking, or make a joke. Have fun. Welcome them.

You can do it wrong. They can quickly withdraw.

Often all it takes is a simple welcome. They’ll take off their jacket and grab a drink and sit down and join the conversation.

All we want is a word, a sound, a signal. As marketers, we want an invitation. We want to know the light is on, there’s someone home and there’s a spark of interest. That’s all. Just a spark.

We use the metaphor conversation, because that’s all we want. A chance to talk.

Lurkers can feel like free loaders, but let’s be honest, we’re holding the party in their name. We’re here to entice them. Often times all the people that are talking are selling something. The real paying customers are often hard to spot. Conversation often takes place between vendors or experts. It’s a funny little dance.

Lurkers are who we’re targeting. It’s just easier to admit that’s our goal. Call a spade a spade. Name the elephant in the room and move on.

What do you feel when you lurk:

  • You are curious
  • You have question
  • You need information
  • You are just not sure
  • You don’t want to spend all day.
  • You don’t want to get trapped.

What do you feel when you are a lurker?

  • Discomfort
  • Ignorance
  • Curiosity
  • Impatience
  • Vulnerable
  • Needy

We always wonder if this is my sort of thing? Are these my kind of people? Am I making a good choice? Is this really what I need.

Often we lurk when we are preference forming. Preferences aren’t born fully formed. They arrive in pieces and we assemble them like an Ikea shelf. When all the pieces fit, we come out and express a preference.

Think about how you came to pick your neighbourhood, your car, your Kid’s school. It’s very hard to tell an honest tale. We get our sequencing wrong in our mind. We cite facts when it’s often emotion that got us looking for facts to back up and support our desires.

We only express when we are willing to share. That’s an important line. Sharing is commitment.

The act of sharing a preference validates us as individuals. Sharing an experience connects us emotionally to the memory. It’s like we make the moment more important. We are wearing a badge.

Sharing an experience is more than a like, sharing an experience makes it part of our story.

Sharing internalizes a concept and embeds it more deeply into our internal preference graph.

Sharing also possibly flushes out more friends who like the same things. We don’t really want to like anything alone. We want our friends to be like us – for right or wrong.

So what is your brand doing to make your story worth internalizing? What makes you worth sharing? Why will your former lurker’s friends want to care about you too?

Brands are the one that need to stop free loading. Loading stuff on consumers for free. Brands are the ones who’s job it is to entice us and make us care. The onus and the effort here is placed firmly on brands.

Brands need to figure out their story. Figure out the layers. Don’t tell the whole story. Find the hooks that entice the lurkers to ask for the next hook. Rinse and repeat.

Metaphorically brands are throwing parties and expecting people to turn up and participate. And there’s too much talk about the brand’s needs (to sell more product) and not enough about the lurker’s needs (to solve problems).

Sure individuals chose to unlurk, but brands create the space that makes that works for us.

  • Brands fill in our knowledge gaps.
  • Brands show us how normal our needs are.
  • Brands prove to us that there are others like us.

What are you doing to let your prospects unlurk and dare to express a preference?

What are you doing to speak to the lurker? What are you doing to get more lurkers to ask that first question. What are you doing to make them want to share.

The lurkers call all the shots: make sure when they’re ready to fire, they aim for you. Today they do all their homework before you even know their name. Be ready for their advances. They don’t have to remain invisible.

Lurkers like it that way. We can embrace this reality or fight it.

I’ve no doubt in my mind which type of company will win. How about you? Do you think about lurkers enough?

Image Credit : vonschnauzer

PS I’ve written more on lurkers. Follow the links on this list.

Nick Kellet Lurker Posts
Nick Kellet Lurker Posts
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Nick Kellet

Nick Kellet Lurker Posts

Everything I know about lurking that I dared to share.

Source: http://www.nickkellet.com/2012/02/the-roi-of-lurkers-lurking-with-intent-to-purchase/

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  1. 1  Participation Funnel: 7 Tips to Draw Lurkers into Crowdsourcing | UGC list creation, content curation & crowdsourcing.

    Participation Funnel: 7 Tips to Draw Lurkers into Crowdsourcing | UGC list creation, content curation & crowdsourcing.

    I thought about a venn diagram this week: Lurkers ∩ (intersect) Crowdsourcers. Is there an intersection? If not why not? And how? Let me first introduce the two terms for the sake of clarity. Who are : Someone who observes and consumes but does not contribute.

  2. 2  Lurkers are the silent majority. Ignore them at your peril

    Lurkers are the silent majority. Ignore them at your peril

    Lurkers exist everywhere. Lurking is how we learn. Lurkers is old news. Lurkers are the silent majority. Ignore them at your peril

  3. 3  Snackers Are The New Lurkers

    Snackers Are The New Lurkers

    Your existing customer, your modern reader, your prospect: They are skimmers Hurried. Hassled. Commitment averse. They want snacks. Infosnacks. That want fast food for the brain. Don't take 500 works to make a point if 300 will suffice. You should know this. You skim. You guard your time. You like short sentences.

  4. 4  Many Lurkers don't want to be lurkers. They want to be outed!

    Many Lurkers don't want to be lurkers. They want to be outed!

    You need to be ready. You need bait. You need a hook! Blink and you'll miss a lurker. You'll miss the moment. You can entice lurkers to join your conversation.

  5. 5  Listening to the Lurkers, The Silent Objectors. We struck Gold

    Listening to the Lurkers, The Silent Objectors. We struck Gold

    We got to hear the Lurkers voice. If you follow my blog you know I love Lurkers. We got to talk to the people who didn't Listly and wouldn't sign up. Priceless

  6. 6  The Invisible Third Mindset: Content Creation & Curating Conversations

    The Invisible Third Mindset: Content Creation & Curating Conversations

    If you read my blog you'll know I gnaw on the lurker bone from time to time. My friend Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu has a unique perspective on lurkers and I'll probably misrepresent his view. I'm writing my take, not his! Kevin has yet to write a blog post on "Invisible Third Thinking", but this might just change that.

  7. 7  Invisible Advances: Lookers Look & Lurkers Lurk

    Invisible Advances: Lookers Look & Lurkers Lurk

    Internet Culture says 90% of us are lurkers. 70% of buyers have chosen your brand before you know their identity. Are you embracing this new model?

  8. 8  Do You Embrace Infosnackers, Entice Lurkers & Live in Real Time? #LAVACON2014 | UGC list creation, content curation &...

    Do You Embrace Infosnackers, Entice Lurkers & Live in Real Time? #LAVACON2014 | UGC list creation, content curation &...

    You can't fight the info-snacking culture. You can't fight the fact that today's consumer for the most part wants a self-service experience The 1% rule is the norm. 90% of people consume or lurk in any given situation. Are you experimenting with real time content or are you still thinking/acting like Guttenberg?

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Nick Kellet (148 Posts)

Nick is co-founder the social curation platform Listly, that combines crowdsourcing, content curation and embedable lists to drive high-level community engagement, live inside your blog posts. Connect with Nick on Twitter · Linkedin, Facebook and G+ and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at NickKellet.com and blog.list.ly


11 comments
sandyhubbard
sandyhubbard

@NickKellet Thanks, Nick, for link - I will check it out! #usguyschat

tamcdonald
tamcdonald

@truthdrivenlife Hopefully we see you, or just know you are there, on @HuffPostLive ;) cc @nickkellet @Brendan_Charles

tamcdonald
tamcdonald

@TruthDrivenLife Welcome! #LoveTheLurkers cc @NickKellet @Brendan_Charles

NickKellet
NickKellet

Thanks:) @tamcdonald @Brendan_Charles Here's some insights on @NickKellet when it comes to lurkers --> http://t.co/aF6lXbYh … I love it!

SteamFeedcom
SteamFeedcom

@appellation Thanks for the RT Donna! :) Hope all is well! @NickKellet

NickKellet
NickKellet

@sandyhubbard my favorite Lurker post is the one I did on the "Invisible Third" inspired by input from @mediasres It's his term #usguyschat

appellation
appellation

@SteamFeedcom Sure thing, and it's looking good on two fronts but not getting too excited just yet :-)

SteamFeedcom
SteamFeedcom

@appellation Haha, ok! :P Hope it all works out Donna! :)

appellation
appellation

@SteamFeedcom Too soon to give details but hope to be able to share soon