Your level of engagement decides quality of your group or tribe

by Ashvini on January 29, 2013 · 11 comments

in My Personal Thoughts

If you ever owned a group or blog, you know who in it is a conversation starter. In majority times, it is you. You are the leader of your tribe. You get good number of followers because you are smart, beautiful / handsome and also a great conversationalist. In the course of time, you get enough followers.

Soon you start thinking that “Yes, I have made it. I wanted a community of about five thousand plus people and I have got them. I have become known and famous. This cycle of getting more and more followers will be eternal and spontaneous”. Right?

Reply: As Arnold said in one of his movies “Wrong”.

A loose application of second law of thermodynamics takes over

Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Since the objectives have been met, the group owner gets a feeling that there is no need to engage the audience. He or she starts ignoring the group/community because his/her followers are creating discussions by themselves. More people are joining because the group is famous. It is feeding on itself. People are starting conversations and managing by themselves. Everything is okay till reality hits back.

What just happened?

Well it’s called as second law of thermodynamics.

Your group starts facing the problems common to societies, countries and groups which do not have effective leadership. They start disintegrating. Trolls take over, fights erupt and there is chaos. If this is too dramatic for you, then your group and community start losing its direction. The faithful leave the group and move on to those places which resembled your group/community like before. You as a group owner just left the conversation to feed on itself. Ever seen how a TV show degenerates into chaos if everyone shouts at the top of their voices. You have left the group to feed on its own which it can never do without you looking over. You were the owner of your tribe. You refusal to engage anymore has left your followers in a quandary.

How do you know you are not engaging enough?

When the people, who use to turn up and participate suddenly decided to drop off. When the conversation after the group became bigger appear more mundane than interesting. When you know that inexperience of the group is weighing heavily on conversation and the only experienced person in the room is yourself. The group then feels like an echo chamber.

I was recently made moderator of a blogging group. I really never asked for it. I participated in discussions and gave suggestions. That was good enough for the owner of group. Now that I have accepted the post of the moderator, I still try to participate wherever I can.

If the owners/ moderators do not operate the group it will degenerate fast.

How do you get your group back?

It’s not hard. There would be people who remembered you. They liked the things you did. They liked your brand image and the way you engaged with them.

Restart. Talk to them individually. Tell them you want them coming back. Ask them for feedback.

Do not ever think that people don’t have choices. In the age of internet, loyalty is one of the most fickle variables. There is huge competition for limited number of people. You alone are responsible for lack of engagement with your audience and the moment you slack, you are done.

Do you agree / disagree? Please comment below.

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Zalando June 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Nice article Mr. Ashvini, the level of engagement within a group among everyone decides everything. One can never expect people to respond for good when you are not willing to participate in their concerns. Also, it takes time to build trust and healthy relationship. So its better to stay worthy and trustful person and participate in all opportunities so that you can do good for a community and there is no reason they wont respond back when you need them the most.

Purnima February 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Impelling share Ashwini.
Seeing a group disintegrate is indeed painful for the group owner and thinking of ways to overcome it becomes quiet difficult . Taking feedback, analyzing it and talking to people is a wise way out and can make a difference.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Purnima for your comment. I agree that tracking and keeping the group alive is really important.

Craig McBreen February 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

Good points, Ashvini,

I understand that will a certain level of success it might be difficult to engage as often as you once did. But to completely abandon your audience, well there is no excuse for that, is there?

I think if you’re in this game. If you have a presence on the social web and people consider you a thought leader (I hate that term too ;)) you do need to lead by example. Or at least show up ;)

Your friend, Adrienne is a perfect example of someone who engages, heck you might just say she over-delivers.

Nice post!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hi Craig,
Thank you for the compliments.

It is indeed difficult to high level of engagement when there are thousands of followers. But kudos to those who still manage to do that. I agree about the showing up part. That shows you are here and interested in things that you started. People understand that you are busy and will not mind as long as you occasionally show your face. Adrienne is way beyond all this :). She shows up everywhere with equal gusto. I wonder how she does it :).

Have a great day Craig and thanks for dropping by.

Sonia Winland January 31, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I loved this ash! I would call this complacency at its worst. Considering I don’t know how being at the top is per se, but I have seen people get to the top, have tons of fans slobbing all over them and they could care less. These types of people I just want to slap because I know they are sitting back feeling as if they don’t have to do anything, yet alone work anymore.

My mother used to always tell me to never get complacent at work, with friends, relationships and anything for that matter. To me complacency is a clear path to unforeseen mistakes on the arisen if you aren’t careful. When we kick our shoes up in lew of our success, we lose a sense of ” je ne sais quoi” about us and the mystic that drew people to us in the first place.

People notice real quick when you stop responding or don’t care. Eventually they don’t care about you, your products, business and anything you might be associated with. People will turn on your quick and destroy you if you get too comfortable. It’s like them saying, “Hey we put you where you are now, how about a little love back?” It’s the same for a business that goes from being 2 to 5 employees to thousands later. When we forget where we started, how we got there and who got us there, its all over. By then its too late and you and your brand might be destroyed or have allot of work to do to repair what has been broken.

Trust is hard to earn these days because people have been there seen that. They can smell BS a mile away and know a sales pitch when they hear it. You have to continually work and stay in touch no matter how high or low you are. People will appreciate you and at the end of the day, all they want is to be acknowledged. That’s my 2 cents.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Hey Sonia,

As always a top class comment with nothing for me to add. All points agreed :).

Adrienne January 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I agree Ashvini and I’ve seen this happen to a few people. Heck, I’m part of a group right now and the creator pops in maybe every five months. The group isn’t being watched over and people just start doing what they want because we don’t have someone taking the reins.

It can definitely get out of hand but knowing the person that created it and liking him altogether, if he were to approach me again I’d join. Under the condition he would appoint someone else to take over or be there more himself.

You can’t expect to start something and then just let it go and all will be well upon your return. I only wish it happened that way.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Machines don’t go working by themselves forever. That is the law of physics which applies to such situations too.
I know that you care for the person that is why you would care to return if you do. But yes the engagement needs to happen much more. Coming from you its absolute truth :). That lends credibility to my post and I thank you for that. I wish people learn from you what engagement really is. Why don’t you start a group yourself if you have time. I will join readily .

Have a great day :).

Lori Gosselin January 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I agree Ashvini,
You have to keep up. You can’t expect to stay at your place and wait for people to drop by and never do the dropping-by yourself. (I used to have a neighbor like that – not nice!) It’s getting more challenging as people become busier. As you said, “There is huge competition for limited number of people. ” because more will read and not comment (thus remain invisible) than will. It’s like trying to have a party with 90% or more wall flowers and few people on the dance floor!
See you at the Hangout later!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hi Lori,

It was sad that I missed the hangout. I will be there the next time. Its really tough to get attention as there are many things asking for people’s attention. Better follow your advise and keep up with them.

Thanks for your comment :)

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