One of the most astounding aspects of modern dating is the concept of ghosting. Ghosting: when two people have been conversing online or in dating apps, and one of them suddenly and permanently stops responding. No reasoning, no explanation—just a complete cutoff of communication.
It’s upsetting because it leaves the ghost-ed with no explanation as to why they’ve been rejected, no idea of what they did wrong (hint: it’s nothing they did) or why their ghoster felt compelled to be that much of a jerk.
We are most certainly not dating experts at Sprocket. But we are PR and social media experts, and we’ve noticed a similar phenomenon in the social media world: the Post-and-Ghost.
Post-and-Ghost is a term we coined for when a brand posts something on their social media channel, then doesn’t return to engage with comments or pipe up in the conversation happening below their post. Not only is it kinda rude (really, it’s the internet equivalent of being at a dinner table and just sitting there, looking down, while other guests attempt conversation with you). It’s also not strategically smart.
Brands can pay for followers, making follower counts a less important metric. But engagement is important; it’s an action taken by those followers. If a follower chooses to engage with a brand’s content, it means she is paying attention, that she finds the content interesting and provocative.
Creating content that your audience finds worthwhile is the challenge. If your brand has achieved that, what’s left is easier: communicating back to the people who engage. Responding to comments (whether they’re positive or negative) is part of managing a community on social media, and it helps keep social media a bit more human.
So please: if you’re a social media manager who’s guilty of the Post-and-Ghost, now is the time to repent. Strike up conversation and answer questions for the people who comment under your brand’s posts. You’ll learn a lot about your audience, and you won’t leave people restless and waiting for answers.
And if you’re one of those who ghosts romantic prospects: it’s time for you to repent, too.