Don’t Underestimate ‘Passive Awareness’ in Social Media

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.



Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

Get Posts By Email

I send about one email a week.

Featured Post


I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

read post here...