You can’t polish a turd but you can harness its pulling power on social media

January 15, 2021
You can't polish a turd but you can harness its pulling power on social media - Source: ABC News / Facebook / Amanda Fitzgerald

A student who has enrolled for A Lunchtime MBA during the Adelaide Fringe Semester next month, has posed an interesting question.

Why do posts about poop in our community Facebook Group get 10 times the discussion and engagement compared to posts about generous sales and promotions?

I was busy at the time so my number two took the call, but Ass Pro Lloyd has since passed it on to me.

Let’s look at this through the lens of MBA Thinking.

Defining the power of poop

The first thing to note is that humans are animals and, as such, we are intrinsically fascinated by poop, especially our own.

As Oprah Winfrey says:

Everybody looks at their poop.

Why we do that is a matter for another day but suffice to say that when you do read the literature it will take a while to digest.

As an MBA, we look for evidence and social media gives us a window seat to society.

Look at the famous poop emoji in use by Facebook and Messenger, and its evolution over the years.

The changing poo emojis: Source - https://blog.emojipedia.org/

You will see, in this chart from Emojipedia.org, that Facebook and Messenger tiptoed around the poop emoji at first before building their confidence and stepping firmly into it in recent times.

It is no surprise then that the increasing usage of the Poo Emoji has coincided with our great attraction to stories involving poop.

Wait, did someone say poop?

Our student hails from the Adelaide Hills where many little towns have private Facebook Groups to share news about local events, issues, and businesses.

This student has noticed a trend in which stories about dog poop on footpaths and smelly septic tanks, typically overpower the level of engagement about nice stories or general sales by local businesses.

Here is a screenshot, showing the disparity in engagement.

Country chat example

As you can see, despite the drastic sale having been exposed to group members 154 times, only eight people have engaged by liking or loving.

Conversely, the story about a smelly septic tank has delivered 56 comments.

So let’s think about this using MBA Thinking.

One of the enduring models every MBA knows is the AIDA model (there are also AIDAS versions, too).

This model guides us on the pathway to getting consumers to notice our businesses, get drawn into our worlds, and then buy from us.

Here is what it stands for:

  • A – Awareness
  • I – Interest
  • D – Desire
  • A – Action

As you can see, our goal is to raise Awareness, garner Interest, fuel Desire, and then facilitate our customer taking Action.

As an exercise, I have searched on the internet to find four businesses in the Adelaide Hills to use as examples.

Harness the pulling power of poop on social media!

Here are four posts by local businesses, now with MBA Thinking applied, that will surely boost engagement. These ideas are offered freely to these businesses to use, if the wish to enjoy the resounding success and riches that MBA Theory can produce.

Note how I have focussed on the I state of Interest. We know the audience is Aware of poop, so what I have done is blend poop with their messages to raise Interest. The businesses can then take these ideas to the Desire and Action stages.

Your Estate Lawyer

Original post: For over 12 years I have witnessed the damage that poor estate planning can cause so I am on a mission to help you get a heart led and legally sound estate plan in place.

MBA Poop-Powered Post: For over 12 years I have witnessed the damage that poor septic tank planning can cause so I am on a mission to help you get a heart led and legally sound septic plan while also putting an estate plan in place.

Partners In Time

Original post: What are the areas of your home that cause you to feel overwhelm and unease? Are you looking for ways to calm the chaos and enjoy living in your home rather. Are wondering where to start on organising?

MBA Poop-Powered Post: What areas of your home are subject to overwhelming septic smell and causing you unease? Are you looking for ways to remove the smell and enjoy living in your home rather. Are wondering where to start on organising?

Haven in the Hills

Original post: Check out this old wooden trunk! $168 on sale until Sunday

MBA Poop-Powered Post: Check out this old wooden trunk! $168 on sale until Sunday. It’s perfect for placing over your septic tank.

Adelaide Hills Farm Services

Original post: With a bushfire raging around Lucindale where I grew up and still have many, many friends, I asked Pods to give George and I a refresher on how to start the fire pump.

MBA Poop-Powered Post: With a bushfire raging around Lucindale where I grew up and still have many, many friends, I asked Pods to give George and I a refresher on how to start the septic pump.

As you can see, the MBA Thinking you can learn in the space of one hour, can be life-changing and business-changing, and will certainly reward you with the sweet smell of success.

Enrolments open now, along with more details at A Lunchtime MBA, Feb 22 to Mar 19, Treasury 1860.

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