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The Easy-Does-It Principle: Social Networking and Effective Connectivity

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

easy hardI'd like to share a real-world illustration of social media networking that came to me recently. The cornerstone concept is: Make it easy for people. 

Strictly speaking, the subject matter isn’t about medical or hospital marketing. Nevertheless, it’s a good model for effective connectivity. In this case the engagement tool was a survey...collecting anonymous data for an interesting and worthwhile project.

In this example, my friend did a great job:

  • Cordial, personalized greeting;
  • Relating to our friendship (individualized);
  • Acknowledging that he has been out of touch;
  • Clearly asking what he wanted; and then
  • Politely asked to extend the request to my friends.

Most importantly, he made it super easy for me to help. The instructions were clear and simple, and he even included a form letter—with all the particulars included—for my use.  (By the way, you are welcome to participate in this survey yourself.)

The principles are useful across the board in social networking: the engagement level increases when it’s easy and convenient for the reader to respond or take action.

Here’s a model to emulate in your own words:

Hey Stewart,

I know it's been quite a while since I have seen or talked to you, but it’s time for me to call in a HUGE favor from my friends and family. I have officially started the process of collecting data for my dissertation, which is a social-psychological study on political decision-making, and I need your help with two things:

1. Would you consider personally taking my anonymous survey? It should take about 30 minutes, and you can enter a drawing to win one of ten $50 gift cards to Amazon.com upon completing the survey? I know your time is valuable, but your help would really mean a lot. Anyone can take the survey as long as they are over 18, under 70, and eligible to vote in the United States.

2. Perhaps more importantly, would you be willing to distribute the survey among your friends, family, co-workers, etc.?

The completion of my dissertation depends on people like you to promote this study among your friends. In fact, if I can get 100 of my family, friends, and co-workers to take the study, and who get four of their friends to take the study, I would have all the data I need.

Here’s the link for you to take the survey: https://llu.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9BK0B8wmKVIEdBr

If you’re willing to help distribute this survey, here are a few things to keep in mind:

a. Although status updates and social media posts will certainly help, please try to personally contact people (via email, personal Facebook message, etc.) who you think would be most likely to take the survey.

b. While you can send out the link at any time, there is research that suggests people are more likely to take a survey if they receive the link on a Monday or Tuesday.

c. If you need an idea for how to tell your friends about the study, here’s some text that can get you started. Feel free to modify it however you like… a personal touch always helps.

“I just received an email from a good friend of mine who is working on his Ph.D. in Psychology. He needs my help recruiting people for his dissertation who are willing to take an anonymous survey about political decision making, and you came to mind. Would you be willing to help him out?

The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete, and as an incentive, anyone who completes the survey will be given an opportunity to win one of ten $50 gift cards to Amazon.com. I know your time is valuable, but your help would really mean a lot. Anyone can take the survey as long as they are over 18, under 70, and eligible to vote in the United States.

If you’re willing to take the survey, or if you need more information, click on the link below. Also, if you know anyone else who might be interested in this research, please forward this message to them. This seems like an interesting and important study (then be sure to provide the link above)."

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


  • Daniel Northington, M.A.
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology

 RELATED READING: For more on this topic, see these previous Healthcare Success posts…

How to Engage and Inspire Action and Social Sharing and Facebook Secrets to Share-ability Versus Invisibility

Stewart Gandolf, MBA


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