Alan See is the Chief Marketing Officer at MindLeaders. He has written the following guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog. 

Research shows that we tend to remember:

• 10% of what we read

• 20% of what we hear

• 30% of what we see

• 50% of what we hear and see

• 70% of what we say

• 90% of what we both say and do

In other words, you are more likely to learn and retain when you are fully engaged in the material. When I’m facilitating classes I keep those statistics in mind because it suggests that the students who are active discussion leaders, and are fully participating in the group assignments are engaged with the concepts I’m trying to get across. In short, they usually perform very well, and are a blast to have around.

As a marketer, I also like to reflect on what those percentages might suggest as it relates to customer engagement and retention. Net promoters, advocates, evangelists; whatever you call them, when they are engaged with your brand it’s a blast.

But then again, does life always need to be a blast for marketing folks?  Many social media experts would insist that having a blast is the whole point of being social and anything less than two-way engagement is old school thinking.  I’ll have to admit that I’ve shifted my thinking over time on that topic just based on my own social interactions and metrics.

Let me explain. I currently have 39K followers on Twitter and over 33K profiles that I follow.  I’ve also tweeted over 12K times.  Those are fairly low numbers when compared to many avid twitter users; although high enough to rank in the top one percent of users according to Twitter Grader.  But what does that all mean?

For me, it means that it is highly impractical to be highly engaged with the vast majority of my connections and still keep my day job.  I follow and friend several brands and I read their posts; but I just don’t communicate back to them that often.  So does that technically mean I’m not engaged with those brands?  I don’t think so, because just listening can be just fine.

After all, I’ve had several students who I would not describe as the “life of the classroom.”  And yet their assignments and test scores clearly showed they were engaged with the material.