90% of your social media followers are lurkers: They don’t create, share or engage with content. They lurk. Lurkers consume. Just 10% of all internet users create or share content. So if you’re a creator or engager yourself, consider yourself part of a creative minority.
Creating content for lurkers might at times be demotivating. You know the deal: You’ve worked hours on a piece of content, you’re proudly sharing it online, and then you get 0 likes, 0 shares and 0 comments. No feedback. Was my content that bad or…?
Well, it’s not always your fault. You see, lurkers are truly lurkers. They really don’t show themselves, they consume. Even when they find your content helpful, valuable or funny, they won’t tell you. They will keep their comments to themselves
Why do people lurk?
And that’s normal. Because not everyone wants to create and share online. You know, creating and sharing content is a time-consumng process. Not everyone has the time to create and share. Lurkers spend their scarce time wisely.
Some people find it scary to create and interact. I had that fear too. You might be hesitant to show your true self online. You open up to so many other users and that’s scary.
And some people are just perfectionists. They worry about every part of their content: Grammar, spelling, structure, idea, and so forth. Trust me: If I weren’t a perfectionist, I could’ve posted so much more. Perfectonism prevents many people from creating, sharing and publishing.
And sometimes, lurkers just don’t like creating and engaging. They’re just there to consume content they find valuable. Content that helps them, makes them laugh, inspires them or motivates them. And trust me, your content surely is appreciated by lurkers too. You just can’t see their appreciation.
A useful conversation
Last weekend I had a great face-to-face conversation with a Marketer. We follow each other on LinkedIn, but hadn’t really interacted online. We had a nice chat. She told me that she loved reading my LinkedIn posts.
I didn’t know that. Because she didn’t really engage with my posts, just like most of my 450 LinkedIn connections didn’t. She only liked a few of my posts. But now, after that face-to-face conversation, I realize that this Marketer, a lurker on LinkedIn, appreciates my content. She just didn’t engage with it because she wasn’t very active on that platform.
Look beyond data
Marketers need data to determine the success of their Marketing Strategy and Marketing Content. Without the follows, likes, and CTRs we feel lost. But we must not forget that our audience does things that we can’t measure.
Your lurkers could become your most loyal fans, without you even knowing it.
A while ago, some friends told me that they were close to buying products of the company I was working for at that time. I was in charge of the Content Marketing Strategy, and I did see many people engage with my content online, but I didn’t see any engagement from the friends I talked with.
Keep in mind:
So yes, lurkers don’t tell you that much. You can’t really analyze their online behaviour, because they don’t show themselves. But your lurkers will always follow you. And your content might impact their lives in the slightest ways, without you even knowing it.
Some of these lurkers might slowly become your most vocal fans, your most loyal customers, or the ones that give you your next opportunity. You just don’t know it yet. And that’s why you should keep publishing. Your lurkers will thank you for it. And they will reward you without you even knowing it!
I’m Jelle Postma, a Junior Marketer from the Netherlands. I love learning more about Online Marketing, Consumer Behaviour and Creativity so that’s why I consume, write and share on Twitter (link to my profile) and LinkedIn (link to my profile). I also regularly write blogs and I have my own newsletter!
If you want to hire me or work with me, let’s connect!