How to Drive Engagement?

in OCD4 months ago (edited)

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:

  1. Post was about the Person: the connection between my follower and myself
  2. 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?

a HIVE original
all images by edje unless stated otherwise

qsounds music & story library | A...K | L...Z |
hive curator for curie / c-squared / c-cubed


Wow.. yeah I get the whole point. I am not really a Facebook poster but I could remember I have once shared that post on my Facebook and I had pretty quite a number of comments.

Yeah, I believe hive is still far away from reddit because I still see many people blog about their personal life. Most of all, I am part of those set of people. At almost every point of my post I talk about stuff I have experienced.

I for sure is not the type that love writing but the more I engaged and read how people free themselves to talk about personal issues made me feel free to post and share my thoughts on Hive.

Most time I get filled with thoughts and I feel that the best place to pour them out is on Hive.

To improve engagement, I sometimes blog about post of made by other Hivers which I enjoy.

Yeah I am a music lover, I really appreciate c-square for curating some of my music contents.

Thanks for creating such a community.

This post deserves a reblog 🤗🤗

Yea, I think HIVE is a great place to share experiences, but also to express our opinions. Most of us can feel the freedom to do so. Even in case one doesn't their family or friends to read it, one can create a new account and go anonymous. I think many do anyway, ie difficult to find who exactly the person is behind an account. Sure, some expose all sort of links to other Internet information about themselves, but many dont :)

C-Square is discontinued as of last month. Thats a petty. But Curie is still continuing and I'll be seeing your posts when they published onto the chain :)

I fear you might be vastly over thinking this.

I think this is more simple than we realize, and probably because we get so hyper focused on it.

These things you mention could be 'fixed' with the following:

We need amazing content creators marketing themselves off chain and normalizing the platform. The more great content is seen and read by normies, the more the platform becomes normalized.
All those creators need is a simple incentive structure to encourage people to join hive and interact with their content. Weekly giveaways, competitions, voting on what happens next - etc.

Eventually the normies will outnumber us as the platform exponentially grows.

Great content, great representation on other platforms, and great onboarding incentives should be the the priority.

So I ask you - can you write or create something so good that it could draw people over here?

^ that's the focus in my opinion. Everything else comes after that.

Not all of us can create 'killer' content, but we can engage with it. We have to tempt some 'influencers' over to Hive to bring in the masses. It may just take a few brave pioneers to turn things around and reach a tipping point. I've been waiting 4 years for this so far.

We are in catch 22: In the last three+ years I've seen great content creators come and go quickly again. The community doesnt seem to value great content creators. Rewards went (and still goes) to bad content while good content was (is) not rewarded. Hence, I think I'm one step further already in realising we will not get those great content creators. That said, you mentioned those creators shall get the right tools. Well, the question is: What are these tools, and how can we make sure the tools are predominately used for its purpose (not for abuse).

I think we need much more for the HIVE ecosystem, big changes, including removing HIVE as a reward mechanism for content and curators. We need SMT for that. Earlier today I wrote a long comment addressing what I think is needed in our eco-system to grow, HIVE and everything in and around it. In case you are interested, here's the comment:

I keep encouraging people to be more active on Hive. Those who lack followers should do it if they want to get noticed. I have been one of the most active commenters since I joined and it gained me a lot of followers. I have also posted recently about lack of engagement as I see it as a big problem. It's sad to see quality posts of music, comics and other content get no responses after they put in serious work. Comments can matter as much as rewards to some people.

Of course posts about Hive tend to get the most comments as everyone has an opinion.

Yea, you’re work is seen, at least by me :) Continuously high up in the engagement league. Returning user to my own posts and always responding in form of a conversational comment to my comments to your posts. Very much appreciated what you do! This behaviour of yours makes a community we need!

To your statement a comment or reaction may mean more than the rewards: it should be like that. Rewards is just a bonus, or shall be seen as just a bonus. Anything and anyone we as humans stick to, are events and people where we have conversations we like. I assure you (well you know, addressing anybody else who reads this comment), when eg speaking for a large crowd, receiving 10s of thousands of dollars (or more) per event, the speaker won’t be satisfied when nobody asks questions, or want to know more, or debates whatever the speaker is trying to bring across. Yea, maybe a few events like that are still cool, earning damn lot of money, but at some point in time the speaker gigs become boring, regardless the amount of money one earns with them.

To increase engagement, maybe it’ll help when users would use their feed more often. Maybe they do already, but I know I don’t; Too many users and too many uninteresting posts.

Am cleaning up my followers list so I can go back to using my feed again. At the moment too many users and too many posts to go through. And those I really like, gets snowed under. Was planning to finish this activity weeks ago, but the list is too long and I don’t want to kick out those users bringing interesting posts; Takes time to investigate. New target: end of month :)

Hive has to be fun for me. I'm only making a few dollars per day and don't plan to take it out any time soon. I've seen some people suggesting we need to change things to suit the big investors, but it is the masses we really need to make it viable. If it's just about money then the social side will die off.

Social media is massive around the world and people spend a lot of time on it for no reward. I don't see why they can't be using Hive for at least some of that time and be earning. We really need more compelling creators on board to bring them here, but they have to juggle their available time against potential rewards and engagement.

Yeah that's what I am still wondering.

Social media is massive around the world and people spend a lot of time on it for no reward. I don't see why they can't be using Hive for at least some of that time and be earning.

Maybe it's because they have lack of knowledge on what hive is and what they can really post.

I used to think that I only need to create great contents that's why I was restricted to only my guitar videos.

But I have come to believe Hive is far better, it's actually a place I can speak out my mind and vent my thoughts. Doing that not because my content my get upvoted but because of the relief I would get in me.

Hive is not a simple system to understand and use to start with, but we have seen that people can get the hang of it. They need guidance when they join.

I try to encourage people to join, but I don't have that many connections on other platforms.

Hive is about freedom too. Enjoy!

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HIVE in my view (at this point in time at least with the feature we have available), is like having a blogging website, but then many of them in the same service. The fact that many people came to HIVE (Steem before) was the focus on rewards. I've seen most of the good content creators coming and as quickly going again after they saw what content got rewarded and their valuable content was not getting any. But I think, when we dont focus on monetary rewards anymore, the service becomes more sticky to those who take the effort to get an account and learn about the basics of HIVE.

Yeah exactly. Many people have left because they didn't get rewarded for the content they make and Most of them didn't take time to really understand how hive is.

I used to think hive it's only content creators that are needed in hive but what I have just come to understand is, Hive can go further than that.

People can blog more about personal stuffs, and even not just create contents but learn from the contents of other users.

The problem starts from how do we promote Hive. Do we call it a place where content creators are rewarded or a social media that's open for every one to blog about what ever they want?

My preference by far, is the later: "Social media that's open for every one to blog about what ever they want". Even some of the high stack holders (incl leaders and founders of curator teams) dont seem to understand this. MOst of them market HIVE in the same sentence with monetary rewards.

I listened to Dan's video and was able to grab some little things.

And also to your comment in support to SMT'S and 2nd layer token. I'm still quite new year and just getting to understand some things.

I hope you get to connect with @theycallmedan on discord maybe you both can discuss on the connection you can make in that your comment.

Definitely, HIVE shall be fun. Otherwise many users will leave. That said, I think many users are here for the rewards, not playing the social game, but posting every single day. Some even tell me they spend considerable time to create the content so they dont have time to go to other users posts and consume and engage; They feel its not needed. Some even decide to not follow anybody and after some time complain nobody is voting for their posts. Seriously? BTW, quite a few of those users in the music section of our community. Unfortunate, but true. Can't talk about the other topics though, maybe they do better... I hope at least :)

Just wrote a long comment to theycallmedan post talking about what I think HIVE needs at the moment. I'll not repeat, but if you are interested, you can find it here:

There are some people who can guarantee to get big votes, so they may not bother engaging, but that's their choice and I can't influence the whales. I do okay, but I feel bad if I get lots of votes, but no comments.

There are plenty of people just fishing for rewards, e.g. using communities that are just for that. I will post in communities relevant to the post in hope of getting more readers rather than votes.

I appreciate that some people really need the money. I read of some who don't have electricity all the time or struggle with broken computers they cannot afford to repair or replace. A few extra dollars may pay the bills for them and I think Hive can do good there. Those of us who are better off are really just playing around and don't desperately need the money.

I want to see Hive grow in all countries to see what it can become. I know some dread an influx from poorer areas, but why shouldn't they have a chance to benefit?

Hahaha yea we all know these communities :) And still, some of these communities are not really focussing their whale votes on their own :) I'll tell you, more Music posts in a single multi whale, general topic community with low engagement levels, then in one of the dedicated Music communities. Ok ok, they may like to get the money, and also I am ok with that. The thing that struck me more than a few times, are those who dont understand the basics of what social media is about, or even Internet is about, or dont want to understand it when being on HIVE and complain when nothing happens at their posts. That is what I was trying to refer to in my previous comment.

It would be fantastic when HIVE can grow throughout the entire world in the social side of things and in App enablement of things including p2p payment solutions we can use at any place and time. I think the later is kinda required to get HIVE into the top level position of crypto tokens. But we still have a long way to go. We have no relevant marketplace, we have no suitable p2p paying app. Sure we have some of them, but they are what I call 'mickey mouse' level, far from professional and useable.

Anyway, though we are going through a heatwave right as we speak (you in UK as well?), I seem to find more energy to work on HIVE and reach out to people who can make a difference. Maybe I can make a difference, who knows :)

Sure.. I would check it out.

bit warm today, but the birdies still wanted to support spreading the word...