Feb 17, 2010

I want to break up with Twitter today

I use Twitter, both professionally and personally. Some elements I like such as getting headlines from my favorite news sources or reporters. I enjoy staying up to speed with my handful of girlfriends who are on Twitter via Twitter. All fine and dandy.

But it is kicking my butt professionally at the moment. Currently the GSCTX account http://twitter.com/GSCTXcouncil) has 645 followers which I'm pretty content with but has very little interaction. Generally I tweet about 50% Girl Scout specific information like camp registration dates or a new volunteer tool and 50% interesting, relevant information like stats on girls' health. I've been taking that approach for 4 months, give or take. We've seen a steady increase in followers, re-tweets and click-throughs. Until now. Now my follower growth is just a mere 4% over last month...which while a step in the right direction is a dramatic difference fromt he 16% growth we experienced December to January. And the worst stat of all is click-throughs. I'm just ashamed. I might not even be able to tell you.

It's 159.

More than halfway through February and links we've shared have only been clicked on 159 times. For a little perspective, in January we had more than 1,000 click throughs. This is shameful! Why the dramatic decrease? What am I doing wrong? Part of me says "I haven't moved away from my historically successful approach" and part of me says "if you don't adapt, you die and Cheryl, your strategy has not adapted in a few months."

So while it seems a little absurd that I need to tweak my strategy every 3 or 4 months, maybe that's what needs to happen. The problem then becomes how to adapt? I'm thinking I mis-determined our audience. We had been envisioning an adult Girl Scout audience. While I think we got the "adult" part right, maybe it isn't adult Girl Scouts. Maybe it's just the techno-happy general public of adults. What part of Girl Scouting interests them? This is the question I need to answer. And shy of cookies...right now, I'm not really sure.

I think shocking stats like only 65% of Texas high school juniors pass the TAKS math test is interesting. I tweeted it. Literally only one person followed that link to read more. OK what about Girl Scout Cookies keeping a soldier safe? Tweeted, 6 clicks. Better but still, just 6? This seems too low. So I asked a question "how many times to teens and tweens text per hour?" and linked to the answer. Just 2 clicks! What the heck!? I've tried shock and awe, I've tried a cliff hanger, I've tried the rhetorical question.  None of them really worked.

As you can probably guess, this entry is becoming me talking myself through this professional dilemma. What I haven't tried enough of is "what can Girl Scouts do for me now?" as an approach. I suppose for the rest of the month I should tackle that question. I now get to struggle with what immediate, helpful action can Girl Scouts offer the general public at this exact moment. I hope I can think of a variety of things and that I'm right about this different approach.

I'm not going to think about it too much now though. I'm still a little sick and I need a head that's not full of snot (gross but whatever) to really think this through effectively.

But if I can't figure this out, someone will have to remind me why breaking up with Twitter really isn't the best alternative because trust me, I'll be tempted.

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