Observers: Your Future Champions

Every single one of your supporters, from your petition signers to the chair of your board, started as an Observer.

engagement pyramidWhat’s an Observer? Observers are the folks at the bottom of your engagement pyramid who are interested in your work, but have not yet identified themselves to you. The Observer level is for people who aren’t yet in your database, but you know they exist and are the pool from which your supporters emerge.

For the purposes of your engagement pyramid, Observers are the people you can count but you may not know their names and/or you don’t have permission to directly contact. That means the count of Observers in your engagement pyramid is likely not coming from your database; if you don’t have someone’s name or contact info, there’s no individual data to store. It may come from media impressions from paid or earned media, unique website visitors, social media impressions, etc.

That number is also a mix of apples and oranges. Your communications staff should be tracking each of the categories in your Observer level separately for their work. You have a different strategy for increasing social media impressions than for unique website visitors, for example, or you may have a dependent strategy for the two streams, but an increase in website visitors is likely more valuable than an increase in social media impressions.

For simplicity’s sake, however, we combine those numbers in the Observer level in your engagement pyramid. The general rule is that the higher the number in your Observer level, the more people you have to convert into Followers, your best prospects for action, volunteering, and financial support.

Here are some well-tested strategies for increasing Observers:

  • Paid media
  • Earned media
  • Social media content worthy of sharing
  • Free events, classes, etc.
  • Event sponsorship
  • Providing services or other value on your website. Some great real-life examples: hikes database, guides (safe sunscreens, top-rated preschoools, union-made clothes, etc.), a tide schedule, etc.

When someone finally makes it into the Followers level, and therefore your database, make sure you are tracking lead source so you know which of your Observer streams yield the best conversions to Followers. And once you are engaging those Followers like a pro, you can track them in your engagement pyramid, all the way up to Champion, with our Salesforce app StepUp!