In social media, we are always looking for data points to measure: retweets, follows, mentions, likes, comments, and so many more “measurements.” The problem is one of the most important actions may have no data tracking at all, which is that they saw it in the first place.
This week, I had a little slip of a knife and ended up with a few stitches. I posted the following picture on Instagram:
Here’s the online measurement of the feedback I received:
Likes – 0
Comments – 10
Likes – 4
Comments – 6
Mentions – 1
But, here’s the interesting part, the next day, I bumped into a few friends, and they asked, “how’s the finger?” In fact, four people asked me about the finger, so out of the total online connections, the IRL conversations were nearly 20% of the interactions.
So what, right? I cut my finger and some people asked me about it. People are lurkers, so what? Something more than lurking is happening here. While we mindlessly scroll through our infinite social network feeds, we store bits of information into our short term memory. The journey of passive awareness is a floating data point in search of a real-world match. It has a half life of a few days. If, however, that data point makes a real-world match then the passive awareness immediately becomes active engagement.
Just remember what you see (or measure) is not always what you get. The unseen (or unmeasured) is just as important.