Social Media Strategy

Social Circles – Use Social Media to Build a Touchpoint Corral

The_touchpoint_corralJay Baer Blog PostThere are very few sure things in social and email marketing…

The open rate for email is 25% on average.

The reach of a Facebook post (without paying to promote it) is approximately 5% – 15%.

The reach of a tweet is almost impossible to determine. If you buy promoted tweets, you’ll receive impressions data but not reach data.

How many of your customers see what you post to Instagram or Pinterest? Who knows? That’s unicorn math.

What portion of your customers will read any given blog post, or download any given ebook, or attend any particular Webinar? Your results will vary, but this blog generated 864,000 unique visitors in the last 365 days, but even the most popular post (about social media strategy) was viewed just 49,000 times. Thus, my MOST popular piece of content in the last year reached just 5.6% of my total annual audience.

Circle the Wagons

You simply cannot rely upon any one tactic to consistently reach the majority of your audience; consumer attention and behavior are too fragmented. You need to instead build a touch-point corral that allows you to surround your customers with messages from multiple venues and modalities.

The goal shouldn’t be to connect with the most number of people by growing your Facebook like count or email database. The goal should be to increase the number of different ways your brand is connected to every single person that cares about you. That way – even though you can’t rely on any one particular message in any specific channel to reach your audience – you maximize the likelihood that SOME message in SOME channel will reach each audience member.

Maximize connection points and you maximize connection possibilities. (click to tweet)

This is why it’s so important to build proprietary audiences for your brand across the social and digital spectrum. This is why it’s so important to have a database that gives you a unified view of your audience, so you know how many different ways you’re connected to Sheila in Omaha. And this is why you should be tracking these two metrics:

Total audience connections (social + email) for the brand

Average number of connection points per audience member


p.s. – if you want to dig deep on this concept of proprietary audience development, grab the new book Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers by my good friend (and Social Pros podcast co-host) Jeff Rohrs. It’s out this week. 

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Based on this assumption, and I believe you are very much correct, the way companies organize around social media needs to change (aka – the social media help desk effect). There are too many channels and messages, and yet budget for staff seems to be a fight. So my question would be, what does this look like, and how does it scale? Great post Jay!

  2. Katherine Kotaw says

    Brands would be a lot better off if they put away their numbers-game automation tools and instead worked on strategies to (quoting Jay here) “increase the number of different ways your brand is connected to every single person that cares about you.” And, if you really want people to care about you, you have to show that you care about them, not demonstrate how well you increase the size of a disinterested audience. Thanks, Jay, for your insight.

  3. says

    Great reasons for multichannel marketing, Jay! Sorry to disagree with Katherine. Boards and C suite peeps always want to know the ROI for marketing expenses. As they should. It’s about accountability.

    • Katherine Kotaw says

      I don’t think we really disagree, Elaine. ROI is crucial. The size of an audience, though, doesn’t necessarily correlate to ROI. I know those boards love their numbers — and rightly should — but sometimes they (and their marketing teams) fixate on “more” in raw terms rather than concentrating on true ROI. And connecting with people who care helps bring in numbers with dollar value. This is good news for smaller business owners who enjoy greater flexibility in their marketing strategies.

  4. says

    I do consider that this article applies to the concept of reaching new people through loyal people that you are strongly connected to cross channel. That way you are sure that they will give a share at least on one social media site and that means new audience while keeping your old one.

  5. Movable Media says

    5.6% is a great statistic to note. We work with influencers who have audiences and move them to original branded content they create. A 3-5% Movable Index (uniques/total audience) is about the top that we ever see moving directly through the author’s own promotion. But those seem to be the most engaged, valuable, and trusting leads the brands get.

  6. says

    Good stuff, Jay. Spot on with noting that not all content/social marketing strategies are going to work for every client. Developing a toolbox as a go-to has always helped our agency in the past, but it’s also clear to let client know from your first meeting that trying everything at least once is good for testing the waters.

  7. says

    I think that 5.6 % can be increased on individual social media connections by improving reader interaction and quality of content. If a reader is excited to read your blog than your outreach will have a more garauteed viral effect.

  8. LoriGama1 says

    Jay: great article, as usual! A couple of folks in the comments here asked for real-world examples. I hope you don’t mind that I share one of mine. In Facebook, I’ve been nurturing a tribe that had been neglected (barely any interaction from brand to fan). Even though this brand holds several live events throughout the year, they weren’t leveraging the good feelings and fun these events created in the attendees via their Facebook page, which had 9,873 fans and only 2% engagement when I took over 4 weeks ago.

    I’ve increased fan engagement from 2% to 7% in 4 weeks and increased fans (“Likes”) from 10,061 to 10,239 (increase of 178) by posting pictures from events (lots of these pictures are with people in them); posting “chit-chat” types of questions once a day that pertain to the thing this tribe loves doing; and posting pictures of the thing this tribe loves and the brand sells. The posts that get the most engagement are the community-building types of posts. The “commercial” types of post (special deals the brand promotes from time-to-time) get very little interaction but do get some and you have to mix them in them a little.

    *The key is to be consistent and fairly frequent.* Post 6-8 times per day – depending on the size of your Facebook community (post more often if above 1,000 fans). Posting frequently and consistently works well when you have a large tribe of followers in Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+, too.

    Sales are way up over last year. Fans are happy. I could share many more details, such as the way we take pictures: first the subject is asked if it’s okay if we take their picture and post it on the brand’s Facebook page (99% say yes!); the subject in the picture ends up feeling special in the moment we take the picture and we tell them to be sure to go see the picture on our Facebook page and tag it, like it and share it. But much of the time, we just say “be sure to go see your picture on our Facebook page” and the rest naturally happens: the fan is compelled to like it and share it with friends and family. All it takes is knowing how to nurture the tribe.

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