Creeping is simply the ability for me to see which other members of an online social network have been looking at my profile.
Sounds juicy, doesn't it?
While Facebook Creeping has led to tons of issues for the female teen crowd (imagine being "outed" because you were creeping some boys' profile), I think brands and Marketers need to reflect a little more on what this means to better understand how their marketing efforts are working in online social networks.
At this point, we're really not sure how to benchmark success when it comes to marketing in online social networks. In fact, this quote from the eMarketer Report, Social Network Marketing, from May 2007 sums it up best:
"'With social networking we're currently doing a lot of traditional advertising and we're going beyond that and doing engagement marketing, which is a little more exciting, but it's not the true innovator that I think will ultimately happy within social networking,' Michael Birch, CEO of Bebo, told Silicon.com in March 2007. 'I think we're going to see a big change in social networking as a business model I'm sure a lot of companies have ideas but between them there's going to be a big business model that's not just simple, straightforward advertising.'"
So, if we are looking at measurements like The Momentum Effect - where one consumer mentions your brand in their own profile, or passes along the information to a friend - then having the ability to weigh who's talking about you against how many people were exposed to the message (you gotta Creep to know) becomes an important equation.
I find it somewhat amusing that if someone has not created content in an environment we call them a "lurker" and if you want to know who has been looking at your profile, we call it "creeping."
Bottom line, Marketers have to do things online that sound shameful ("creep" and "lurk") - even though it's not (and it's completely on the up and up) - to find out what's working and within which channel.