In the movie A Christmas Story when Ralphie’s mom couldn’t get his little brother Randy to eat, she got him to do so by asking him to show her “how the piggies eat”. By demonstrating how the piggies ate from a trough, Randy ate his mound of mashed potatoes and enjoyed himself in the process. Now, I’m not saying you want to trick your friends, fans and readers into anything… all you have to do is ask.
When you want to figure out what your social media communities want – what do you do? Do you post a tweet? Use Facebook questions or Formspring? (Do people still use Formspring? Sorry, sidetracked – that’s a question for another day.) What about sending out a survey? A recently wrote a blog post about expected response time from businesses using social media and asked around both Facebook and Twitter to see what other people had to say about it. (You can see the results here:) Not only did I get a blog post out of it, the feedback helped me to be sure that I was meeting and exceeding people’s expectations with my response time from both myself and from Thill.
Social media is a great field to experiment and ask questions in. A great example is AJ Bombers , a restaurant in Milwaukee, WI. They get their social media community involved in what new toppings appear on burgers, what people want to try & even what music to listen to. Being engaged is the name of the game. Think what would have happened if the Gap asked what people thought of a possible new corporate logo instead of changing it and dealing with the fiasco that ensued.
There are other ways your community shows you what they want more of. You can often tell by how people react to your posts. (No, this is NOT about ROI – I don’t want Scott Stratten to think I am advocating the slaughter of innocent unicorns and kittens.) Spend some time studying your social media, after a while you should begin to see some trends. You may see more Facebook ‘likes’ when you post videos on Tuesdays but you get more blog comments when the title is funny or saucy no matter what day of the week it is and maybe you get more retweets when you post tips or facts. Not every type of content or media will work in every channel. When you pay attention to the behavior of the members of each service, you will learn how to get them to show you what they want. (A “Help me, help you” mentality if you will, but that’s another movie for another day) Your community will show you what they want; you just have to know how to listen.
How do you get your community to show you how the piggies eat?