The 3Ps: Ping, Promote, or Proffer.

When thinking about social media, pay special attention to the second word in the phrase; media. The plural form of medium, it lumps every app, website, and service together into one all-encompassing bucket. And for many, that bucket can actually look more like a can of worms; messy, hard to disentangle, and worst case, not worth opening.


In reality, it’s not one bucket at all. It can be broken down in any number of ways. By content style (words, video, audio, still photography, etc.), by user experience (purely lean-back passive to richly interactive), and more.


The shelf life of this post would be minutes if I focused solely on the currently dominant social channels. Social media is an ever changing, organic universe. Coming up with a list of immutable rules is a fool’s errand, because Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter (the titans of social at the time of this writing) are constantly optimizing, refining, and occasionally pivoting, or completely shuttering their services, regardless of popularity or utility.


My advice: focus on the channel’s primary function, not its temporal functionality by boiling them all down to the Three Ps: Ping, Promote, or Proffer.


‘Proffer’ is an archaic word with an interesting pedigree—but more importantly, it starts with ‘P’. Consider it an offering to the Gods of Alliteration.


Ping. Promote. Proffer.
The 3 Ps of Social Media Call & Response.

Despite the hype, the rich intricacy of social media can be broken down to a few primary elements. I submit the following three sharing styles for your consideration, and implementation:



A simple, quoted tweet can be the beating pulse of your social media presence. But be careful—too much irrelevant activity might drive followers away.


aka ‘See that blip on your social media radar? That’s me!’
Suggested Channel: Twitter (retweets, quoted tweets, status updates, no original content)
Time/Effort Required: Minimal




Every time you promote someone else, you’re actually doing the same for yourself. Contributing your two cents to a LinkedIn post promotes the person who posted it, and enables you to demonstrate your expertise to peers and prospects. It’s a win/win for all involved—including your audience. (Great Proffer, Spencer, and nice Promote, Barbara.)


aka ‘Hey, (person I know / group I am a member of), here’s some input from I think you’ll be interested in.’
Suggested Channels: Twitter (hot takes, Instagram (casual photos), Facebook post, LinkedIn group participation
Time/Effort Required: Some, but nothing too time-consuming.



Making the commitment to be one of social media’s 1%,  ‘the Creators,’ takes time and discipline, but can be the primary thing that builds your personal brand and identifies you as a valuable ‘follow’ online and in real life. This blog post originated at my Getting Crea8tive blog, but is shown cross-posted at LinkedIn.


aka ‘I want to give you this thing of value, at no cost, because we’re friends.’
Suggested Channel: Blog post, YouTube video, heavyweight original content
Time/Effort Required: As much as you can muster on a regular basis.


Pick a ‘P’ and get posting.

By categorizing your social media posting via this trilevel system, it’s easier to create a doable strategy that doesn’t require a dedicated team to implement.

One way to think about this model is as a continuum from least demanding / lightest effort (Ping) to most involved / most demanding (Proffer). For instance: A 140-character Ping-style tweet requires a far less effort than a deeply conceptual, YouTube video (Proffer).


Social Media is a beast that must be fed,
but every meal need not be a 1,000-word epic.

A regular posting calendar is a critical component of any social media strategy, but remember creating a calendar is not the same thing as developing content. A calendar is an actionable outline that can make the creation of content if not easy, then certainly less painful. How? By showing you graphically that ‘it’s really not that hard.’


Let’s say your strategy calls for you to post something at least twice a week. Two meaningful, well-conceived and -crafted blog posts could require the better part of a day to write, prep and post (if not two or more). Ain’t nobody got time for that, assuming social media creation is not your day job. But don’t worry; that’s the beauty of the 3Ps. If you don’t have the time or content to Proffer, you can always Ping or Promote.


A balanced posting week might look something like this:


Monday: Play ‘catch up’. Ping appropriately (or not at all).
Time/Content creation weight: Light.


Tuesday: Ping
(Twitter / could be hot take, retweet, quoted tweet)
Time/Content creation weight: Light.


Wednesday: Consume social media, Promote something you’ve found.
Time/Content creation weight: Medium.


Thursday: Proffer
(e.g., blog post, cross-posted where possible)
Time/Content creation weight: Heavy.


Friday: Followups from blog post response (’like’ likes, shout out to quoted tweets, etc.)

Time/Content creation weight: Medium.


The duration of your efforts might have to be spread out over two-weeks instead of one depending on work, travel, and family obligations. Maybe the strategic timing of your social presence should be a little less aggressive. But a schedule, even one this loose, is the skeletal system of strategy, and execution is its muscle. Without both working seamlessly together, everything falls apart.


Here’s the biggest, baddest secret to this entire 3Ps strategy:
You don’t have to be an omniscient social guru. Or a master of video, audio, or Adobe Creative Suite. And you don’t ever have to do any Proffer level heavy-lifting to have a successful social media presence on social media.
But you do have to do something, and with clock-like regularly.

Ping on a regular basis. Promote whomever whenever possible. And who knows, you just might come up with something worth Proffering—and then you can because you’ve already developed the muscles and skills needed to do so.

Executing the Three Ps (as part of a comprehensive strategy) is like going to the gym. Don’t just get the membership. If you want the results, you have to do the work. So Ping, Promote, and Proffer, according to a realistic workout schedule that you can manage and maintain for the long run.


– D.P. Knudten > Chief Collaborator > COLLABORATOR creative

©2017 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved




D.P. Knudten, the Chief Collaborator at COLLABORATOR creative, is a ~25-year veteran in advertising and marketing. Providing everything from freelance copywriting; content marketing strategy, creation, execution; and his NonFiction Branding™ system, D.P. collaborates creatively to identify, craft, and tell the true brand stories of complicated products, services, and companies throughout the United States.