Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Social Networks - Too Much Activity?


The reality of interacting with your audience on Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook is that you can go un-noticed pretty quickly.

Right now Facebook claims over 800 million active users with around 50% of them logging on in any given day.  The average Facebook user has 130 friends and in an average day more than 250 million photos are uploaded everyday.  

In the Twitter world there are over a billion tweets posted every week.  Twitter users welcomed in 2012 with over 16,000 tweets per second on New Years Eve last weekend!!

While some grumbled at the changes from the Facebook F8 conference last fall to the News Feed - face it something had to be done.  We are all drowning in the posts from our friends and also from the many celebrities, movies, TV shows, Radio stations, products, stores, and political pages and Twitter accounts we follow.   

When I look at my news feed with around 500 friends and maybe 30 brands/personality pages I'm linked to I end up with around 20 posts an hour during the day. My full news feed page maybe covers 2-3 hours.  In Twitter it can move even faster.  Of course every week I add new friends and followers so in a year these numbers will climb a lot. 

Also keep in mind that Facebook IS filtering what hits my news feed.  They are looking at my past interaction (reading, linking, sharing, or commenting) with each of my friends and brand likes and deciding who is important.  They are also looking at what is posted by each of my friends/brands and deciding if it might be interesting to me on a long list of priorities.  Just as Google looks at my search history and sorts out what might be the best sites for me Facebook is also doing that for what appears on my News Feed.   

So now you are getting set to do some posts on your station's Facebook page or hit the Twitter button.  Is your message going to breakthrough?  Or are you just wasting your time?  



To get better at interacting with the audience on Social Media you need some feedback.   Yes some metrics or statistics or ratings that tell you what the audience is doing with your interaction.  And you need to develop a strategy behind the data to make sure what you post or tweet has a chance.  The other challenge is that the listener's News Feed is filling up every minute with more stuff and even with good content you can fall off the feed before they even see it.  

Some have taken to posting all the time to stay on the news feed, but remember that you don't want to become the 'evil' spam-master of Facebook.  Yes, the News Feed filter also looks for 'spam' and filters it out.  We also have the ultimate goal of getting the audience to interact with the ultimate source here - the broadcast signal.  Perhaps down the road we'll be important enough in the Social Media Web to make all our dollars from the digital side, but for now (and probably forever) we need to get them to tune in or stream in.  

The key is getting good feedback.  Know how many people saw your post, how many hit any links, looked at the pic, rolled the video, commented, shared and also who they are.   You can get most of this info if you have a Facebook analytic program, although many programs can be hard to read or navigate. Even bigger than just having the data you need to keep track of what worked and what didn't.  Once you have this data - now you have a chance to build a strategy to become more effective.   But, we have to hurry - next New Year there will probably be 50,000 tweets a second and we'll have 500 Facebook friends to keep up with and 5 times the posts we have today.   

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