Sprinkler Marketing

  • Posted on: 13 May 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

"Come to my event!!!" "Come to my event!!!"
"Come to my event!!!"
       "Come to my event!!!"
"Hey: come to my event!!!"
        "Come to my event!!!"

Has this happened to you?

I saw Avengers in the theatres 3 times. I'm not going to see the same motivational lecture 3 times.
People are bent on promoting their given cause. They're a friend, and friends travel in flocks. All of those friends have been urged to share information. The end effect is that a small number of people end up in front of a fire hose of messaging. That's the opposite of what you really want. Fire hoses used in that fashion are ideal for knocking down rioters. The fire hose approach is never used to irrigate a field, nurture growth and impact a large area. Social media marketing doesn't need the fire hose. It needs a sphere of coverage. Messaging needs "Sprinkler marketing."

What is Sprinkler Marketing?

Sprinkler marketing is the approach of spreading your message via social media to a wide audience instead of a narrow audience. This serves two purposes:
  • first, it connects with the biggest number of people via social media.
  • second, it connects with friends of friends who are not your friends.
If you are preaching to the converted, it may be very hard to sell them on what you are pitching. I saw Avengers in the theatres three times. I am not going to go to the same motivational lecture three times; nor buy the same collection of how-to videos three times. Social media is a river of information and reminders are a necessary evil, but a barrage in quick succession will put off an audience.

Sprinkler Use 101

Your Posse

Getting the word out for popular people isn't a big trick. They are innately capable of sharing out stuff. They'll put it out and 20 minutes later it's in circulation. Those people likely should not read this post as it has little for them. For the rest of us, it's not uncommon to encourage friends and loved one to prime the pump: to share stuff not because it's shareable, but because you need a favour. If you go this route of asking for help, don't overdo it. Especially, go to distinct cliques of your friends and ask them for a friendly sharing. In Facebook, look at friends and the mutual friends by clicking on the See Friendship link.
Look at the relationship between two people you are sharing with. If two allies have too many mutual friends, your share will appear to be a fire hose and not an irrigation system. Likely an overlap of more than 25 mutual friends is too many. If you run out of distinct friend circles, change the stage.

Your Stage

Facebook isn't all that. There are many social networks and sharing venues. Some (like Instagram and Flickr) are better suited for specific types of material. Social media junkies will have a foothold in every network, but some will only dabble in a few networks. Some friends of mine are all over LinkedIn, but won't touch Facebook. Some are keen only on Twitter. If you get allies and strategic sharing happening in other networks, it will help to spread a broad base of exposure. The key to the broad coverage is get some exposure everywhere but not drown anyone in links.


Coverage is great, but social media invites serial amnesia. If you share your links, understand that, after a while, your links will be buried by new content. This process of burying links can be made that much worse if people repeatedly pile on new repeats of old links. That said, be a tiny bit selfish. After you think your initial shares have grown cold (like 72-hours or more), re-share you links, maybe put them through other allies.

If you want to talk about your marketing strategy and how to sprinkle with love instead hose down your audience, Let's talk!

Last updated date

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 14:49