CHANGE – And Now For Something Different
Change signifies life and the movement through time we all take part in. The dual focus I have taken within this blog has been about things I have a long-time and deep abiding interest in AND the phenomenon we loosely and broadly call “social media” and the business and more human aspects of it.
As of this past few weeks my more business-focused writing will take place on the blog that is part of my new Social Sapiens site. Some of those will be cross-posted here (and vice versa…) as they have aspects of my passion for being human online or how what happens online impacts us in real life. I intend to continue to write for this blog in broader areas that include many of the things I’ve written about before, but that business owners and entrepreneurs may or may not find as directly pertinent to their bottom lines (although my hope is that the work published here will be valuable and thought-provoking to whomever takes the time to read and consider it…).
Please join me on my other blog soon, and keep your eye here for more articles too!
This month we’re treated to a nice mix of articles covering How-Tos, new research studies and a bit of crystal ball gazing for future trends.
KPIs for Social Media
Measurement is the crucial component to understanding if you’re meeting your goals, right? Yet many small-to-medium sized businesses charge into the land of social media without considering what their goals are and what to measure. This article by Dara Fontein
outlines some metrics you might consider, and WHY you might consider them.
With a flurry of articles earlier this year like “Is Google+ Dead?”
, you might wonder just what is going on. While not dead, it is not what it was, and Google, which has a track record for altering, spinning off and dropping products at a seeming whim, is still tweaking the channel. This article by Martin Shervington
goes over the list of what the current release of Google+ looks like, changes that impact you and your business if you’re investing resources there, and a some tips on how to approach it today.
This article by Andrew Hutchinson
takes a deep look at new research by Pew Research that tries to answer this question: One research study last year showed that long-form content (defined as posts of over 1,000 words) consistently got more shares and links than shorter form content; another study found that the average human attention span had dropped by 33% since 2000, largely attributed to mobile phone use, and, given the increase in mobile media consumption, would seem to suggest that people want shorter content…..sooooooo, which one’s better?
This great synopsis of statistics and charts covers a number of areas beyond the fact that Snapchat overcame Instagram in the perceptions of teenagers with an average age of 17 as their “most important” social network. This is critical information if your business has this demographic as a key audience. Very few marketers use Snapchat today, so the opportunity is huge.
Get Better Performance on Facebook!
Another top article by Andrew Hutchinson with the goal of helping you boost your posts’ performance on Facebook. Take note that, early in the article he writes, “So how do you maximize your performance on Facebook? The basic answer is ‘listen to your audience’.” If you haven’t done the work around discovering and understanding your Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community (VACC), tactical efforts will be ineffective.
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Here’s the deal: I don’t go onto the web to be sold to. I look for information. I look for content that will tell me something I don’t know and satisfies my curiosity. I want to be intrigued. I want to learn and join conversations.
Mostly, however, I want to have fun.
Although the actual act of sharing online is simple, the affect on your relationship-building efforts is huge. The act of sharing content actually helps others process your information better. Because of the implied commitment, those who share pay closer attention to what they are sharing. Another New York Times study on sharing found that:
- 73% of participants say they process information “more deeply, thoroughly, and thoughtfully” when they share it.
- 85% say reading content that others share helps them understand and process information and events.
- 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about, potentially changing opinions or encouraging action.
So by creating ideal conditions for content-sharing, you build power for your brand AND create new value by helping your audience understand you and become authentic evangelists for your products and ideas. Obviously, getting to this cannot be reduced to SEO techniques or “buy-ten-thousand-Tweets” schemes to drive traffic. Mark Schaefer
says, “Shareability requires connection of some kind; your content must fill a need or perhaps even reflect on a trusted relationship.
So, let me share an uncomfortable truth: generally, no one wants to share your content.
Research by Cornell University, HP Labs and EPFL
shows that people typically don’t share content they read on the web, even “great” content. The vast majority are passive information consumers. For example, the average Twitter user retweets only 1 in 318 content links they receive. Facebook reports that just 0.5% of those who see a Facebook post share it.
Does this mean all your hard work to create terrific content is wasted? No…but it does suggest that actively finding and nurturing that minuscule number of the most active users is critical to spreading your information online. Popularity, the nature of the content, and audience size alone don’t predict that this passivity will be overcome and they will “click to share.” You must employ strategies to overcome this passivity and systematically find those predisposed to love and share the content you create.