In which I failed at social media

As I work to Save the Barn, I try new things. Because Save the Barn began on Facebook, I started a blog for people who are not on Facebook. I also have a Twitter account (it’s OK to internet stalk me!), so Sarah from the Save the Barn admin group and I have used the hashtag #savethebarn or with more 3 characters, #savingthebarn.

Two board meetings ago, she tweeted during the meeting, which I thought fantastic, because I couldn’t stay for the entire time. Again, with one of us at a meeting and one of us not, Sarah tweeted yesterday. (7 AM after the SuperBowl — ugh!) I was glued to the screen when I had a chance. I copied and pasted her tweets to Save the Barn’s Facebook Group Page. If I like updates, why wouldn’t someone else?

Well, at 7 AM, there weren’t many viewers, so there were few reactions. Not seeing objections, I decided to tweet during that evening’s meetings — from 5:30 – 8:30 PM — with updates being sent simultaneously to the Facebook Group and my Twitter account. Guess what — the Facebook Group Page has viewers after work. And they were vocal about not liking updates at a rapid pace. We even got called Lindsay Lohan. (Oh, that’s bad.)

What I learned. As someone who spends significant time with Save the Barn, perhaps the admin group (core volunteers) is the only audience for live tweets. Twitter allows for louder and more frequent posting. Facebook allows for conversational tones that leaves time for people to respond. Similar to the information overload from the original Facebook Group, we lost people. Too much info, too quickly, going from 2,100 to 2,070 people liking the page within 24 hours. On the bright side, we got 9 people liking our post that says, “responding to everyone by removing posts and promising to use summaries in the future. Save the Barn!”

What about blogging? Ah, here is the issue. Facebook fans are crying for updated meeting information, but with only 420 characters, we can’t summarize adequately! This is where the Barn Blog has a place. The difficult thing with Facebook is that people respond to photos and posts more than they do to hyperlinks that take them away from Facebook. And people don’t accept FB notes with the same energy that a post does. The question now becomes, “How do we get people to the blog?” We have seen a few new subscribers to the Maplenol Barn blog, but it’s not 25 people….

What I liked about live tweeting. I liked the little nuggets, the quotes from the people speaking. These would not show up in a meeting summary on a blog, which can get dry. The things people say are spicy! I liked that I could refer to and show people the ‘play-by-play’ with Twitter’s search feature long after the meeting was over.

It’s all about genuine, instant, compelling content that is suited to today’s citizens. And to the social media platform.

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