It’s been just over a week with our location work in El Progreso, Honduras, and we’ve learned a great deal. Immediacy and personal stories get the most response on our blog entries. We try to put posts up within hours, sometimes within minutes of their creation, and we tell real stories about OYE scholars whose lives have been changed by access to education.
Segments that require video editing are treated like a news story…that is, we rush back to the office to do a quick edit and post it as soon as possible. We’re using a Canon XL1 video camera, and a 17″ MacBook Pro with Adobe Creative Suite for all of the post production. We’re also using an iPhone with a WordPress app for blog entry uploads. This mobile device method has proven more difficult than we thought because of the lack of a fast cellular data connection in some of the out-lying rural areas.
Looking at the analytics
In the last week we’re finding that Facebook has been our most effective platform to drive hits to the site, with about 60% of our visits coming from that source. Most of these are coming from shares outside the WordPress CMS (i.e., NOT than the share button on the post). Linked In is still very effective in bringing attention to our project (about 30%), but requires a great deal of time spent on personal and forum networking. With Facebook, you just put it up and it has it’s own viral spread. Nonetheless, Linked In has been our best outlet for an engaged audience, and produces the most “follows” and comments by far.
The big surprise has been the amount of re-tweets on Twitter, producing over a half-million total impressions! However, the bad news is that Twitter posts produce the least amount of actual hits (about 5%). Unless you’re Ashton Kutcher, I’m not convinced that anyone is paying much attention to what you’re tweeting. I see Twitter as the social media equivalent of direct mail…massive distribution to produce a small return. Hey…we’ll take it. We sincerely appreciate all the re-tweets from individual and organizational Twitter accounts. Many Latino news sites and organizations have found us and are spreading the word. ¡Muchas gracias por su ayuda graciosa! The other 5% of hits come from a combination of personal e.mails, search engines, and other social media platforms; Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google+, re-blogs (2 ping backs), etc.
Our original goal was global visibility for the project, and we’ve certainly had a lot of success in that respect, with hits coming from over 70 countries. About half are from the US, with big numbers coming from (in order of number of hits): Honduras, Guatemala, The UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Pakistan, Brazil, The Netherlands, and Nicaragua. So there’s been a great deal of North American and European interest, as well as local visibility in Central America.
While we’ve had a lot of success in the past few weeks since this project started, there are two areas where we’ve been disappointed with the results. First, as I mentioned earlier, most of the comments are being posted outside the blog on Facebook shares or Linked In forums. We love this, of course, but it would be great if there were more on the blog itself in order to share your thoughts with the audience of this initiative.
Secondly (and this is the big one), we are hoping to engage social media experts all over the world and have them contribute their expertise and advice publicly on this forum. So far, this has not been happening. If there a organizations with social media departments out there, please consider contributing to this project as a CSR effort. We’ll acknowledge your work on our site and put up your logo if you wish. We’d love to get advice from eminent social media authorities everywhere. Here’s your chance to change the world from a mobile device on your way home on the commuter train, car pool, or airport lounge.
-Richard Lakin/co-founder, 18 rabbits digital media