Don’t forget the 90% in the 90/9/1 rule

When creating online content and developing communities the general rule is that 90% will be consuming or viewing content, 9% engaging with your content and community vocally, and 1% creating new and unique content or contributions.

When you’re conducting social media listening or mentions of your brand or relevant conversations, you are effectively listening in on that 9% plus the 1%, which collectively is 10% of any given interest group or community. From a social listening perspective then, this 10% stands as a representative sampling of your (most vocal members) community.

From a content development and content marketing perspective – that 10% are the ones you’ll be normally tracking and measuring your metrics from. It’s that 10% who will account for your Twitter retweets and likes and your Facebook comments, likes, shares and overall engagement rate.

However, when developing content you need to keep in mind that while the 10% is whom you’re measuring, it’s the 90% that you’re writing and developing content for.

This silent 90% is the largest part of your community and readership – but how do you understand them if they aren’t talking? You can’t manage them and or develop content they find engaging unless you’re actively looking, monitoring and measuring.

So how do you measure the silence? You can measure what they aren’t doing.

This article from Social Media Today gives some great tips on measuring the silence.

Churn: the rate at which people leave your page. You can get these insights for your website if you are using Google Analytics, or on your Facebook Page by using Facebook Insights. The quicker they leave your page, the less they are reading your content or finding your community valuable. As you add new content, measure your churn rate. You want to see this number go down in correlation with identifying and creating content your 90% finds engaging.

Clicks: again using Google Analytics on your website or Facebook Insights you can see how many times a page or piece of content has been clicked on. While you’d normally focus on comments, likes, shares etc, look to the click rate to evaluate what the silent 90% is doing or which content they are reading and engaging (silently) with.

It’s important to remember that your fanbase isn’t just made up of the vocal 10%, but is actually rooted in the quiet 90%. It’s from that 90% you have a solid following and great potential for growing even more brand advocates and champions.