Thursday, May 24, 2018

make noise vs. making an impact - how social media reacted to my impact report

Earlier this month I published my latest annual social impact report on myself - and my deciding to frame it against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals seemed to be well received judging by comments and feedback I've received to date.

A few years back, I started to publish the report on twitter, using the hashtag #AAimpact14 (and adding 1 for each subsequent year). But I never really thought about if twitter was the right channel to be doing this with - sure, there are various hashtags that relate to impact reporting, but that doesn't mean it's the right place for something like this.
So this year, I decided to experiment on myself (again!) - and posted out the sections of the impact report each day across different social media channels that I have a profile on, and then looked at what the numbers suggested 1 week after their original postings.

It's interesting reading, and almost counter-intuitive (if you listen to some of the hype around which social media channel you should be broadcasting your messages on):

Taking a chart based on the average number of impressions per social media post which is how most people I know seem to judge their success on social media (some channels got 1 per day, and others several, based on available characters allowed), I also looked at the number of engagements as a proportion of my total connections/followers on each respective channel.

So it seems that when it comes to reporting our impact and social value, LinkedIn is the place to be for getting it noticed, but if we want people to actively engage with it, then we should be looking more to instagram and blogs.

However, when I re-cast this chart using the number of impressions as a percentage of my total community on each channel (rather than an absolute number), a very different picture emerges:

A 'truer' picture emerges of instagram and blogs being the place where people like to see what's happening in the worlds of impact reporting, but in a much more passive sense than over on LinkedIn...

Thankfully, in an age where we can easily cross-post content and messages across different social media platforms, sharing our impact reporting like this isn't an either/or choice. But it's perhaps an interesting question to pose to ourselves: what are we hoping to achieve by posting about our impact reports - are we simply 'showing off', or trying to stimulate conversations and reflection amongst others as to how we're doing it?

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