A few months ago Edgeryders have launched an exciting experiment in our social media sphere, which was supposed to bring people together in the act of spreading the communal news, reaching new people who might be interested in joining or benefiting from what Edgeryders is and offers, and building a powerful network of sharers, who’d also send us their own communal news, so that we all make sure the important and valuable information <the best our community has to offer> is constantly in circulation and reaches wide cycles of people.
Even though the countonme (yes, count on me) list consist of fourty persons, so far the response has not been as exciting and enthusiastic as you would expect (look at the picture from the last week) - and as the situation seems not to change significantly after holidays, we wanted to ask you, what is missing, and what should be improved? What do you think of the headlines? Did you share them, forgot of them, consider it as another newsletter/spam, never opened them? For what reason?
I’d like to ask you about your feedbacks, opinions, further interest in being part of this idea. Let’s talk, so that this promising concept might be improved and saved, or completely turned around and changed.
Everything is a prototype.
I like countonme
I like the daily email. It keeps me up to date on the community in one email (as opposed to hundreds of emails when one follows a conversation/group). I share a few of the links. Please don’t shut it down.
I like the idea of questioning countonme – I agree, it’s definitely not working. For me it’s a small mystery, because the list is opt-in: everybody who is on it has asked to. So, why would you ask to be on a list aimed at resharing links and then never reshare any link?
The question is interesting, but we have a second-order problem: if the countonme people don’t react to the mails, why would they react to our invitation to open a discussion here?
I suggest a hack. It comes down to crafting a careful email to tell people what is going on, and asking for their input. Specific care should be taken in crafting the subject line, trying to (respectfully) catch the recipient’s attention. For example:
“Countonme”… can we really count on you?
Maybe we could even personalize them: it’s only forty people, so we could send 13 emails to three addresses each, and start them with names “Dear Alice, Bob and Carla…”. The mail would contain mainly a call to action: participate in the discussion in this very thread and participate in the Twitterstorm. I am not sure about this final point, maybe you cannot really have two calls to action in only one email. I very much trust @Noemi's community manager instincts.
And now for my two cents: I suggest that low-engagement could be best served by snappier tweets. I am one of the few people on countonme to actually share: but I found out I have to rewrite practically every tweet in my own style. I also settled in a pattern in which I generally share only one of the three daily links.
Reposting all the headline in a form a story
What if we organized all the tweets to make an interesting story that people would like to follow. I am not sure if I am clear on this!? Then add photos to the posts to attract people to learn more. Beside the headlines we need to guess or to know who might be the people who would be interested in x or y story to use the proper # to reach them.
coming back to the topic - as expected, people were not interested in joining the discussion. But I will give it the last try, as in fact what happens now on the platform is absolutelly worth sharing, and the amount of information and news is finally vast. I will send emails tomorrow to the headlines participants, trying to be personal, and it would consist of instruction, the idea behind the headlines, and three headlines that will be ready to share on Twitter. Let’s give it a week of test later with this new formula, and let’s see if anything happens. If not, well…
I feel a bit sorry, Natalia, and I think, I should help, but being not familiar at all with all this tweeting (having had no Twitter account by now) I needed sort of guiding.
And yes, it looks interesting and worthy to be followed.
So, if you could be bothered to teach an absolutely ignorant…
… if not, we’ll accept it.
Personal emails was my first suggestion, and I think it is the way to go. That is a “last stand” email, so please @Natalia_Skoczylas don’t send anything before sharing the text with me and @Noemi. Even better, make it a wiki, we’ll work on it and send it when it is perfect. Don’t worry, it will take minutes, not weeks.
Then, if people have dropped out, they have dropped out. We should accept it and move on.
Results ain’t so bad for a screamy brave new social media world
The results list above is for clicks, and extrapolating a bit from the click stats I get in my weekly “Your week on Twitter” e-mail, these results are just a bit lower than what I expected. Note, people who share will not necessarily click themselves before sharing (I often don’t, maybe I know the content already, or I think it interests my readers more than myself …).
But I see your point: these stats are still a low ROI for your time. I blame it on the “screamy” social media culture, which is only getting worse: it’s all about “sharing”, and so much is shared that people hardly read it any more. Twitter, to me, is the paradigmatic example: I can’t stand its stream of disconnected “news”, with no proper filters to only see what I want, so I don’t look at my Twitter feed at all these days and just use it as a bookmarking tool for links I want to remember, and quotes I like … not caring that there are “followers” who might get these in their feeds, but if they do, I expect them to not read them mostly, just like me, and my weekly Twitter stats prove it. To me, social media culture is really dysfunctional since 2-3 years: now where everyone wants their own stuff to go viral, the resulting noise is just drowning it all.
If we agree here, maybe it’s time to explore other media routes with Edgeryders. Because we have played our part in screamy noisy social media sharing well so far over the last years
I think you hit a chord when mentioning ROI for Natalia’s time… the effort needs to be worth it. I can’t speak for her, but preparing headlines it took me about an hour every morning - reading content, selecting key pieces, getting links, thinking how to package it.
The format, length, hashtags of the headlines are also a question of taste and web literacy, some people are on twitter and prefer 140 characters headlines, others prefer a longer description so they get it all without needing to click. I don’t think we need to find a all size fits all, but agree with @Alberto : snappy headlines because in the end, the mailing list is both an audience and communicator, and our routine double filters which ER content is most interesting to put out there.
As for use, we’ve just discovered some like @Lurglomond see the countonme list as a syndicated newsletter, and a way to get an overview on Edgeryders daily, but without making it a win win by sharing, which is good feedback in itself.
In the end, the question remains: more forward with this or move on?
A final push makes sense, will work with Natalia on the email.