How Influenced Are You By Another’s Engagement?

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Today’s question is inspired by a few things l have read online recently or had conversations with others on – starting with an interesting comment l saw the other day on a forum l belong to that was looking at blogging as a sales platform and the absolute importance of audience engagement and interaction which of course none of us can deny the truth there, be that for personal, hobby, professional and or commercial blogs. We need people to read and engage with the content we publish. Fact.

But in addition to that, the commenter was making further reference to how readers responded more favourably to an informative or qualitive blog post if they saw a very healthy interaction with the published article itself by other readers …. as in – some readers may feel disinclined to comment on published content if no one else has actually interacted with it first but DO feel more inclined and even influenced to comment and otherwise like and engage if others have already.

A few weeks back, Suze and l were having a conversation about friends of hers who admitted that they would be more inclined to respond favourably to published online articles if the content had x number of likes, comments and interactives displayed to the reader from other readers?

So, what this suggests to me is that for some readers reading online published content – they are at times more heavily influenced by the presence of community interaction to the articles rather than merely being impressed or interested in the actual content itself?

As bizarre as the implications were, the more l then further studied the subject of “Reader Influence”, the more l read that supported the actuality of it – which is ‘at times’ readers do NOT always read a published post first, but only read the post if there is a healthy engagement with the post and will then comment on the post itself despite not reading it, but because they have been influenced by the comments only.

I was/am both intrigued and fascinated at the implications of this admittedly. From my personal perspective l see this only as a form of social bandwagoning but that is just me. But also, because for the last few weeks l have been trialing a social experiment of my own on this blog with regards interaction and so the whole concept of ‘influence’ is very interesting as a topic ………. however, l will write on that more in another post at another time …… for the moment, my question is this.

How influenced are you by the interaction you see on other blog posts – do you read the comments from others or merely just leave your own after you have read the published content/article itself, are you more likely to comment on a post if it has x amount of likes or comments ….. answer this how you wish to below, l am curious and fascinated by it all – basically, how influenced are you as a reader by other reader’s engagement to online published content?

Thanks for reading..

27 thoughts on “How Influenced Are You By Another’s Engagement?

  1. Psychologically speaking, that’s known as social proof, and it stems from the innate social desire to conform. People may not even realize they’re affected that way.

    1. Hey Ashley, spot on, that was the term or phrase l was seeing a lot of as l researched further and deeper into it all … it was astonishing reading BUT l have seen that behaviour here also as l feel you have too.

      I have read about topics like this also in books before on the effects of social persuasions and acceptance within marketing.

      Fascinating stuff.

  2. Rory, there are certain friends, you included where I always leave a comment. I am usually the first one to do so. If there are a lot of comments, I sometimes go through them so as not to duplicate what others have already said. But mostly my comments are independent of other’s comments. But I have noticed this phenomenon on a couple of my posts. The more likes a post has, the more it’ll get. Similarly if there are more comments, it’ll get even more. Like a snowball effect.

  3. I read the post, I read the comments, then leave my own. I couldn’t care less whether other people comment or not. There are some posts where I seem to be the only person commenting.🤷🏼‍♀️

    That social proof that Ashley wrote about makes me shake my head in despair🙄 the sheeple… we need more independent thinkers, not Groupthink🤦🏼‍♀️

    I’m off to walk before it gets too hot. Summer has definitely arrived in SoCal☹ I wouldn’t mind so much if it didn’t stick around through October🤦🏼‍♀️


  4. I like to think I’m not influenced by any of those factors you listed. In fact,I follow several blogs that don’t get tons of traffic because I enjoy what the blogger has to offer. I have watched a few like that suddenly become very popular indeed. To me, quality wins over most liked every time.

  5. The more followers a Blogger has, the more likely I can be disappointed by high expectations. But some have earned their numbers and I enjoy reading their work even though I know they have too many fans (or other interests) to ever get involved with my Blog. Reciprocity is fun if it is real but not necessary for me. I myself like to take Blogs for test drives for awhile and sometimes move on and sample others as variety is the spice of life. Everyone’s preferences are different. Prompts are a cool idea but not for me. They seem like school assignments! I absolutely do not mind being first to comment if I love a post or just have something to say. But I do not feel any pressure to comment on a site where the norm seems to be “like” but don’t comment. I always read the comments if I am going to comment. If someone said what I was thinking, I will just like their comment. I am less likely to comment on a Blog where there is always a long thread of comments from established insiders. It feels almost like going backstage without an invitation.

    1. Hey Geoff, thanks for commenting – this is a greatly informative answer and one which l appreciate especially given the time you have taken to detail.

      I prefer comments over Likes, so much so, that at the end of last month l disabled my Like and Share Buttons from my blog which is reference to where l say in this post ” l have been trialing a social experiment of my own on this blog with regards interaction … ”

      Sadly l can’t disable the Like function button in the Reader as it is connected to WP’s statistics.

      I found the Like button a little disconcerting and had felt that way for most of this year. I don’t use the Reader to read, l only read direct from a blogger’s blog and whilst l receive notifications of ‘Likes’, l no longer have to look at them and that suits me fine.

      I will write about this in due course, but in the process of downscaling my blog from Cosmopolitan to personal only there are areas which l am more interested in for the authenticity .

      I keep my reading numbers small – because l prefer to get to know people and their quality over the quantity of people. I am sadly at times behind with my reading, never intentional – just life. I comment when l have something to say to the person l am reading – l don’t necessarily look at what others have said, just prefer to leave my own be that a repeat or not.

      i used to do prompts but when l reduced my post schedule down to basically one a day [excluding the community greeting], but l find that l don’t have the time to perform them anymore. Like you l only comment if l have something to say.

      Many thanks for your insights my friend.

  6. Have always been an independent thinker and do not follow the crowd. If I click Like on a Blog post, it’s because I found it interesting, educational and/or entertaining, regardless on whether anyone else has Liked it, or not. I do read comments on those post I Like, and also Like the comment if I agree. I sometimes skip a post if it is too long and wordy, regardless of whether it is a topic I may be interested in, because of the time factor involved in reading the material – in such cases, I do not click “Like.” This is so I can cover all of the Blogs I follow daily. I feel obligated to acknowledge these offerings daily, for I consider them my WordPress family and want to show my appreciation of the time and talent they have devoted to their their posts.

    1. Hey Betty 🙂

      Well you know l am the same, one of my main problems with the Like button is that l think way too many people use it as a blatant ‘get out jail card’ – hit LIKE and they think that the blogger will think they have visited, read, absorbed and genuinely liked the content but opted not to drop a comment.

      It’s great to see a genune comment from a reader as it means you have been heard, read and understood .. it’s not always easy to make a comment to all posts – but l think that also it can be used as a way of appreciation … but ther eis a very line between being socially authentic and false at times.

      I am always grateful for your comments as they are always genuine and you are very much an independent thinker and commenter.

      The quite rightly comment here is ‘Time’ ‘ Time is a factor’, the genuine reader if without the time, doesn’t hit like and doesn’t even comment but has to move on to find posts that fit within the time allowed frame.

      Good answers Betty, always appreciated and received with thanks 🙂

  7. It all depends on how much time I have.
    If a post particularly strikes me and I have time to comment on a post I will….but if I am curious what others thought of the post I might cast my eyes over the previous comments – and there are some gold nuggets there!

    1. Hey Jenna ‘ …. and there are some gold nuggets there!’

      For what purpose? As in to enjoy their comments or to glean an idea that way of the content?

      1. I guess sometimes the comments between bloggers are more entertaining and enjoyable than their posts! I mean that in a good way. Sometimes conversations are much more riveting than an essay.

  8. I’m with Sadje on this, after reading the post I then read the comments to make sure I don’t say what someone else has already said. Number of comments don’t influence me, it’s the substance of the post that matters.

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