Can You Increase Value in Social Network Discussions? Four Thoughts

Interview with Kenneth Vogt, CEO, Crooner Labs, Inc.

Situation: Individuals participate in social networking sites for several reasons – to network, to promote their businesses, products or services, and to gain insight through crowd sourcing. For these audiences, what are the best ways to increase the value in your discussions?


  • Encourage participants to move from a short-term to a medium-term focus. Short term focus is about lead generation, immediate results and “Buy, Buy, Buy Now.” Think of the man in the flashy sports coat selling cars on late night television. It may generate a “sale” but with low engagement and commitment. If focus you instead on engagement, you start to build growth which is more sustainable – which will stay alive with more momentum.
  • Clarify your objectives. Are you interested in sales or influence today, or this quarter? How much effort do you want to put into it and what payback do you seek?
  • Be patient. Take the time to develop quality content. This time is an investment which pays back both medium and long-term.
  • Stop treating people as though they are stupid and can be manipulated into buying from you. There is a karmic cost to this approach. Look instead at the potential benefit that you can provide that will attract people to your content. Think in terms of reciprocity – give first and let others decide how they will respond.
  • Some time ago I tried an experiment. I proposed a simple question: “What do you want?” I asked the question three times, each time with a different thought in mind – first annoyance, then confusion, and finally empathy. But rather than speak the questions, I sent them via instant message one after the other. The words on the page were exactly the same each time, “What do you want?” Yet without tone of voice, expression or body language, the receivers could instantly tell me what I was thinking in each case. The same works in social networking. People can read where you are coming from based on how you position your content. So if you want to increase the value of what you have to say or offer, offer it openly and invite your audience to respond.

You can contact Kenneth Vogt at

Key Words: Social Network, Discussion, Focus, Objectives, Value 

2 thoughts on “Can You Increase Value in Social Network Discussions? Four Thoughts

  1. Crockett Dunn

    I ran into you on the Duke Alumni LinkedIn group. Great article!

    One thing I did not understand is bullet point #4 about knowing where the writer is coming from with “What do you want?” when the text is exactly the same. I’m assuming there is something about the context of these IMs that I’m missing.

    Either way, the bullet points are great sales advice.

    I’m going to syndicate your article (with credit, link, of course) on, if that’s OK with you.

    Crockett Dunn

  2. Sandy Post author

    Thanks, Crockett. I suggest that you reread the bullet that you found challenging. The experiment was very subtle. The same text was sent to different people, but Ken had a different emotion in mind when he sent each text. The test was whether the readers – receiving only the same identical text message – would be able to tell the difference in the emotional thought intention behind each message. Interestingly, Ken found that they did. Ken’s point is that somehow, in a way that he can’t explain, recipients could tell his mood. The point here is that if the intention is to sell or to share, readers may well pick this up even if the writer is trying to mask the action.

    No problem at all with your syndicating my blogs provided that you add the credit and link. Thanks!

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