Over the last two weeks, I’ve been conducting a few social media experiments. In the ones I’ve chosen to share, I played around with Path, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, video and behaviors. Below are some of my findings.
Engagement on Pinterest vs. Instagram
My main goal with this experiment was to post images to both Pinterest and Instagram and measure the responses to the images. When I posted to Instagram, I usually cross-posted to Twitter, Facebook or both. I rarely cross-post images on Pinterest to Twitter, but I did a few times. With Pinterest getting a lot of attention lately and Instagram being acquired by Facebook, I wanted to see which was really the leader in photo sharing. I don’t know if I accomplished that, but I’ll share my top three highlights.
- While both networks allow comments, I rarely received them on either. I received a handful of “likes” on Instagram but many more repins on Pinterest.
- However, many people commented or liked my Instagram photos that were shared on Facebook.
- Twitter cross posts from both networks did start up conversations. But no one retweeted the images.
Posting video on Twitter vs. Path
In the past, I’ve been frustrated when posting video to Twitter. It has taken a very long time to compress and sometimes never posts correctly. As I’ve been playing with Path, I’ve tried posting video there. The results are below.
- I posted a video to Twitter and Path simultaneously. The video was compressed and worked on Path within 90 seconds. The video took 3 minutes to post to Twitter and never worked.
- In similar experiments, I tried changing the video URL from yfrog to twitvid for Twitter. The videos still took a long time to compress and post but at least they worked.
Changing up the avatar
I’ve had the same avatar image on all my networks for almost a year. It’s an image from a professional photo shoot but it’s not really representative of what I look like any more. Over the course of four days, I changed that avatar on ten networks twice.
The first change was a photo I took of myself using my iPhone in the bathroom mirror. While it’s representative of what I look like, I don’t have much talent for taking pictures of myself. The responses (not necessarily all online) were:
- It looked a lot more like me. One person even tweeted that it was “much much gooder.” (They also acknowledged their bad grammar.)
- However, others expressed that the photo was too severe and just wasn’t a good picture of me.
So I changed it again … on all ten networks. The photo was taken by a friend and included my dog. (Everyone loves puppies, right?)
- Interestingly, in a 36-hour time period, the only person who commented on the change was the person who took the photo.
- Also, the only public reference to the photo changes occurred on Twitter. Perhaps that’s because it shows up more often on that network?
This experiment was more of a behavioral study. After #shehechat last week, I went dark on all social media networks from 10 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday. During that 24-hour period, I only answered a few texts and one direct message on Twitter. My observations:
- Of the ten networks I use daily, only Twitter followers noticed my absence. It’s true that I post on that network most often and consistently, but it wasn’t as if friends and followers on other networks weren’t trying to engage me. They were; yet they weren’t bothered that I didn’t respond right away.
- I received texts and direct messages on Twitter for six different people during my social media outage. They professed worry about my well-being and/or asked if I was upset with them because I hadn’t responded to a tweet.
I swear I might swear
When I re-engaged Friday night, I posted a new rule on Twitter saying I might drop a swear word but only after 10 p.m. (I am also thinking about limiting this rule to only Friday and Saturday nights.) For the record, I did not drop any f-bombs. Still, the response was amusing.
- My tweet was retweeted and/or favorited six times.
- The next night, my followers asked me to swear again. I told them I wouldn’t until after 10 p.m.
While we are on the swearing subject, we all know Jim isn’t as careful about language on Twitter as I am. Coincidentally, in a recent morning coffee meeting, a Twitter follower asked me about how Jim and I don’t see eye to eye on this topic. I asked him if he’d like to do an experiment. I told him that I’d bet $10 that one of Jim’s ten most recent tweets would have a swear word in it. We called up Jim’s Twitter line and … the third one had an f-bomb. I win.
- My one and only observation on this unplanned experiment is that Jim and I will never see eye to eye on swearing in social media. I just barely got myself to drop a small swear after 10 p.m. on a weekend night. Jim is willy nilly dropping f-bombs at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday.
Have you done any social media experiments or have any suggestions that we should try?