We all see the level of engagement not moving upwards, but I think downwards. The number of comments per post are kinda stable for the last so many months (around 2: ref here) and the number of posts kinda stable as well (same reference as before). Though I have the impression the number of bot comments is growing, hence my 'conclusion', the amount of engagement is going down.
"What can we do to increase engagement?", is a question I read more often lately. The answer is not that simple, I think. One idea could be to drive the culture to vote for comments. That said, this may drive more comments, but does it drive engagement?
In my view, the engagement we need is of the category of meaningful. Only with meaningful engagements, the service itself becomes sticky. And the level of stickiness determines the potential of service growth.
We can debate about what meaningful engagement is, therefor I give you my 'definition'. A meaningful engagement is a conversation we have because of genuine interest in the conversation and/or topic; Not because we may get a vote and with that vote some monetary rewards. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean long form comments and all; An engagement can consist of multiple comments in a series with just a single word (or image, emoticon, or whatever) in each comment. The other day I mentioned in a conversation with another member in our community, we may drive engagement by voting for the comments, but to be honest: This may indeed drive the number of comments, it may not drive engagement as such.
We may look at our other social media to discover how engagement is triggered.
image taken from StoryCraft (source)
Last week someone in my Facebook feed posted one of those messages in which the reader is requested to do something, and to repost on our own blog. Though I usually don't bother with these kind of messages, this time I decide to play along with some very interesting results.
The Facebook post was this one (the first sentence I added to the post, the remainder was a copy/paste action)...
With 42 comments this post was a major hit! Sure, I responded to every single comment, so therefore around 21 unique respondents. Each respondent took the time to remember when we first met, and I must say: They all aligned with my own memories!
Though all my Facebook friends I do know personally (I keep Facebook closed to anyone else), most of my posts don't receive more than a few comments, sometimes a bit more than a few, but still very limited. I would say, between 0 and 10 comments of which about half are my own.
From this I asked myself the question: "What was the reason for this post that I didn't create myself, to get so much attention and engagement?"
It's not an easy answer, since more than a few variables play a role here. First of all, I don't post to much on Facebook; Maybe 1 or 2 post per week last few months. Before that more like 1 posts per month. I usually post something about technology, a new service, a news item or something like that. Not really a personal post like this one. Secondly, my posts usually don't have a call-2-action, ie a request to the reader. Thirdly,... ok lets stop... I think I have the answer!
note: We are entering the arena of 'Believe' since I didn't execute a form of scientific study...
I truly believe, the reason for the many reactions are two fold:
- Post was about the Person: the connection between my follower and myself
- Request was made to respond
I don't know how it's with you, but I only have a very few real life friends on HIVE. I also find it mighty hard to get my friends to come to HIVE. Most to all of them think its too complicated and they don't see the point to be at HIVE since all their friends are not on HIVE.
Some of us say: "HIVE is like Reddit, or at least should be something like Reddit". I suppose Reddit is less personal, but more sharing information, knowledge, opinions, and news. Great! But I don't think we shall try to be Reddit; Maybe someday.
I think we shall concentrate on making HIVE more personal. Maybe not as personal as Facebook is to many, but when we start paying more attention to posts by users that have something personal to tell, I'm pretty sure we can attract all sorts of new users that like to be part of our community.
I, for one, very much like when users post about their own experiences, share their stories and what not. The reason why I launched a community offering a corner at HIVE to users to flock together based on their interest in music. We need more of these corners at HIVE! Don't you think?
image taken from the big Internet (source)
What's Your Story?
all images by edje unless stated otherwise