Internet traffic and Soylent Green are both made of people.
Last night, a social manipulation more than two weeks in the making finally came to a head in the most spectacular of fashions. Proof that the Internet is made of people.
On January 7th, I created a Facebook ad promoting one of my blog posts. It was a part of a ‘Page Post Engagement’ campaign and had a very specific aim. If you’re interested in a cheap way to use Facebook ads to develop a personal brand let me know and I’ll break down this strategy for you in tomorrow’s email.
The post (shown below) was targeted at Facebook marketers and drove to a humorously written case study about how you can drive massive traffic with Reddit. Knowing that it would insight some conflict with Redditors, I didn’t exclude them in my target audience… I wanted to create conflict in the comments.
The first conflicting comment was better than I could have possibly hoped for.
Mike was clearly a marketer and a Redditor which gave me the opportunity to have an intelligent conversation with a peer… a conversation I knew others would see.
Further more, I knew that every comment on the post would boost my ranking and relevancy score with Facebook thus resulting in cheaper traffic. (shhh, secret trick)
First order of business, acknowledge Mike’s perspective and present mine in parallel.
Mike responded quickly, moving to a new point. This showed me that he was more interested in finding the correct perspective than being correct himself.
Again, starting my response by acknowledging his (extremely valid) perspective.
Before Mike could counter, Adrian jumped in…
It seemed as though Mike and Adrian (while complete strangers) were on the same page. Knowing Mike would get a notification of my response, I addressed them both.
Again acknowledging their perspective first, I spoke to the objection I was citing “exceptions to the rule” and showed just how many “exceptions” there are.
At the end of the message, I complimented them on their ability to be intelligently critical. They weren’t yelling “you’re wrong!” They were making great points and I wanted to take a moment to appreciate them with a genuine compliment.
It was at this point that I got my first supporter.
Now I had to give appreciation to my supporter in order to garner more support (from him and potential others), but do so without stomping all over Mike and Adrian. I used Nicholas’ comment as the foundation for saying “we’re all on the same page.”,
Praise your first supporter… and you’re likely to get a second. Ben jumped in saying:
Now things got tricky. To rebut something is to ‘to prove (something) is false’ so to thank Ben for his comment would in essence be taking credit for proving Mike and Adrian to be false… which they weren’t. You can’t play both sides of an argument, but if you’re strategic — you can bring everyone in the room to a common ground.
I thanked Ben while complimenting Mike and Adrian in the same compliment.
The funny thing about having a deep and meaningful conversation in a public space — the more people want to join in and contribute.
Twenty days after his original comment (and having received notifications for every new comment since), Mike dropped back in to recant his comment and apologize for jumping to conclusions in the most kind, intelligent, and mature way possible.
I responded immediately with the overwhelming appreciation his comment deserved.
Ben jumped back in, Mike responded before I could, and we all became bros.
Pulling back from the “logical” responses and getting a bit emotional I had to appreciate the opportunity to have this immensly rare discussion with stellar humans.
This started as a conversation with me and Mike, but it had become a discussion.
Adrian rounded off the conversation with a rather splendiferous declaration.
I’d just like to take a moment and restate the fact that this entire discussion took place in the comments of a paid Facebook ad. Engagement is the new content.
And because I know you’re going to ask… here’s a graph of how the engagement in the comments made my cost per engagement cheaper over time.
TL;DR — someone on the Internet apologized to me, we’re friends now