- Posted by Paul Towers
- On May 27, 2015
- 3 Comments
The internet today is a crowded place. Thousands of new websites are created every single day, tens of thousands of Facebook posts are made per minute and hours of video content are uploaded to Youtube every minute. How then do you stand out from the crowd and get some initial traction for your new website, Kickstarter campaign or product launch.
One such recent concept that has taken hold is the idea of “social sharing” or “social leverage”. Essentially it is like crowdfunding, except instead of committing money to your project or cause people commit their social account to help spread the message so to speak. There are two main players that I identified in my research of this space, Thunder Clap and Head Talker.
Thunder Clap certainly appears to command the attention of larger, main stream players. They have even had the White House launch campaigns via their platform. Whereas Head Talker is the local, community guy helping you get the word out there. Based on visual appearance and the “success stories” quoted on each site my initial preference would have been to test out Thunder Clap.
The downside for me at least was that to have your message shared by your backers you needed to reach a minimum of 100 supporters, whereas Head Talker doesn’t have a minimum limit. While 100 supporters isn’t an unachievable number, for the launch of this blog I took stock of my social media following. I had around 200 friends on Facebook, less than a third of that on Linkedin and a non-existent Twitter profile at the time. To get 100 people would mean convincing roughly half of the people I know to back the campaign and based on my knowledge of crowd funding and crowd support I knew that, that would be a very hard feat. If you have read some of my other posts then you would know that I have addressed this issue recently, with the launch of a mini project to network and build my community, however at the time I just didn’t have the social following to hit Thunder Clap’s 100 minimum.
As a result I settled for Head Talker and aimed for 50 followers. The first lesson that I learnt is that most of your friends and family just don’t care about what you are doing. I think this is because the definition of friend on Facebook is very watered down. For most people their friends on facebook are people they know and have met at least a few times in their life, but they are not friends in the traditional sense of the word.
This leads to my next thought is that companies or projects that have multiple founders or members are far better positioned to gain some initial traction. If you are a small team of four or five and you each have 200 to 300 connections across all of your networks (and that numbers on the low side) then even if you each get 20 or 30 supporters each all of a sudden you can easily hit 100+ backers from there.
As it turned out I was forced to contact other people listing campaigns on Head Talker and follow my support in return for their support. This gave me the extra 20 + supporters I needed to hit my target and get me over the 50+ supporters I needed to launch the campaign announcing my blog. While this may seem like a good idea, I do think it dilutes the product that Head Talker offers as everyone essentially spams everyone else asking for support. While this gets you more supporters, the quality of their supporters is significantly reduced as they may not actually be interested in what you are launching.
The other key selling point Head Talker has is that they give you 500,000 supporters to your campaign. There is no qualification on this and I think this is where Head Talker really let themselves down unfortunately. I think they would be much better of providing some background and context to these followers. Where did they come from? Who are they? Etc? My reason for this is that my campaign had the potential to hit 600,000 + people across social networks (100,000+ from my 50+ supporters and 500,000 from Head Talker). My campaign resulted in around 75 clicks through to the website which essentially a Click Through Rate of 0.0001%. While I didn’t expect a fantastic number I certainly expected something higher than that, given the among of effort it takes to actually hit your support goal. I also understand that it’s a potential 600,000 because if someone has 10,000 Twitter followers and the post goes out on their timeline, obviously not all 10,000 people are online and on Twitter at that exact moment. That said however, I think Head Talker would be better off removing the “hey we give you 500,000 supports spiel” or putting some context to this number. Wouldn’t it be great if they said these 500,000 are active supporters of Head Talker and follow our Twitter Account or Facebook page to hear about the launch of new products? That to me is a lot better than hey here’s 500,000 reach.
As you may gather my initial thoughts on Head Talker are not that great. That’s partly because of my own social media reach, as well as how I think people engage with these sites. Just like a Kickstarter campaign the site is not going to bring you a lot of traffic to your campaign. People are not browsing the site to look for campaigns to follow. It really is up to you to build supporters. I therefore believe that Head Talker is best suited to companies or projects that are launching something new. Why? Because if you already exist and have a presence and a following on the internet then you can leverage your existing user base, rather than randoms to get support. The use case that immediately comes to mind is if you have launched a product on Kickstarter and it has been successfully funded. Say then you move through to production of that product and are able to ship the units and begin selling it through your own website. Why not reach out to your backers and say hey you have received your product and now we are opening it up to the world. If you can help us spread the world all you need to do is contribute your social account for a single post via Head Talker. At least in this instance you have a base to leverage. As my experiment shows it is hard to start from scratach and engage users to support your campaign, and even harder to engage people who are genuinely interested in what you are doing.
While this post may come across somewhat negative I do like the concept behind Head Talker and what it offers. To become better though it does need refinement and a different approach taken by its users. If you have used Head Talker or Thunder Clap I would be interested in your thoughts? Now that I am starting to build a following I am interested in investigating Thunder Clap for the next campaign I get off the ground. It will be interesting to be able to compare the two.
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