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BLOGWhat Digital Communications Tier are you on?

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Blogging, Make It Happen Tipsheet, StrategyTagged as: , , , ,

Every organization – and every individual – can find themselves somewhere on the three-tier Digital Communications Engagement Index.  Where are you?

Level I, Passive:  At best, passive users have a profile on a few sites, but do very little otherwise, with the exception of responding to the occasional connection request.  Benefit: passive users will be found when someone is doing a search.  And they have more time for “real-world” activities.

Level II, Broadcast:  Broadcasters are not particularly interested in interaction, preferring to spend their time sharing their ideas with (and sometimes shouting to) the Social Media World.  Benefit:  This is an inexpensive way to repurpose content from newsletters; for individuals, this is a quieter, quicker, less formal way  to update status than email.

Level III, Engagement:  If you are here, the online platforms are an important two-way communication medium, where you are engaging on others’ platforms, as much as they are doing so on yours.  Benefit:  A relationship can only be improved when there is dialogue – and this only happens when there is a genuine desire to engage.

An interesting metaphor for these tiers can be found with the telephone.  Passive users have a phone, and their names are in the phone book, but they are sitting on the sidelines waiting for a call.  Broadcasters mistakenly think that the telephone is really a radio broadcast, and not of the call-in variety: they don’t want (or expect) any feedback.  Engagement is very much like a telephone conversation; the call continues because it has value to all parties.


No person – or organization – magically has traction online immediately – it happens one step at a time, sometimes over years.  If your strategy is Passive, make sure that you are using appropriate keywords to improve the probability that you will be found.  Or, move to a Broadcast strategy.  If you are a Broadcaster, then invite feedback by ending your posts with a question or feedback request.  Or, move to an Engagement strategy.  And if you are Engaged, step back, and make sure that you are engaging with the right group, for the right reasons.  Developing relationships (and a reputation) in an area that doesn’t pay off is a waste of time.

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