An invite to Crowdbooster - increase your reach

Throwing - 'Opening Out' 

Crowdbooster is a great online service for analysing your social media activity, but it also goes a little bit further and actually helps you improve your reach, kind of suggests that in the name! 

Crowdbooster is currently still in the test drive phase, I've been using it for a few weeks now and I really like it so far - I have a few invites to hand out too in case you like what you hear in this impartial review - details at the end of the post.  I'll be having a look at the features Crowdbooster has to offer and explaining why understanding the 'reach' of your tweets and updates is relevant to promoting your craft blog and handmade business. 

What does Reach mean?

Reach is a word that digital marketing people use to describe how many people your tweet, update or campaign in general could possibly be seen by (they use lingo like 'eyeballs', but I'd rather just talk about people if that's ok) The potential reach of a post is just that, potential.

Who is online - actual reach as opposed to potential reach?

Looking at a typical Facebook update for this example -  an average of 50% of users log in every day - so half of your fans on average will not see your post in their facebook streams. The reality is that your update may also have been buried by many others from the day and your fans will never get to it, worse still they may have hidden your feed previously so they never get to see your post (*weep*).

The less engagement (likes/comments) the quicker your post will sink, many people still have their news feed on the top news setting. The more engagement the more 'potential reach' your post has. You will need to work on this by getting involved with your network, especially fellow crafty types who are often very sociable!

I wrote a post for Folksy, where I stressed that interacting with fellow crafters was not 'preaching to the choir' but instead should be seen as asking the choir to hand out leaflets at the village fete - you want to reach the friends of your fans!  If just one of your fans likes or share's your post to their own wall then you have increased your reach.  In digital marketing we would call this 'secondary reach'.

Only building up interaction and following in a genuine way will improve your facebook reach - consistent interesting and relevant updates are important. Engaging with your fans naturally is what makes a great page.  A page with 10,000 fans built up as a result of an expensive marketing campaign (facebook ads!) can find their posts are falling on deaf ears if they fail to engage their community, whereas someone with a tenth as many fans can find that their posts have a fantastic impact, resulting in traffic and maybe sales. (*happy dance!*)

As a real example, take a look at the fan page of Kirsty Elson Designs, one of my personal favourites - she is doing everything right to increase engagement. This post for example, has 37 likes, each like creates a link back to this post...  and likes beget likes, fans and sales!  Working on building engagement, rather than blindly auto posting salesy adverts can help your products get seen. (Clearly this comes naturally to Kirsty!)

Crowdbooster Review and Features

So how can Crowdbooster help you with your reach and more importantantly your resonance.  Resonance is a measure of retweets, shares, replies, comments or likes. Crowdbooster says simply - 'How are my tweets doing' :)

The following are a few of the features I'm enjoying using on Crowdbooster so far -
  • Analysing the individual performance of tweets and updates - all those circles in the image above relate to a tweet and you can click on them to see all the details of retweets and replies, it's great to see the kind of tweets my followers engage with, and the kind they ignore!
  • Easy to understand and navigate dashboard, you can view up to 3 social media accounts for free, and quickly flip between them and find what you are looking for.  
  • Great interactive visuals that give you instant understanding of your online activity - hope they develop even more of these, I like to see things in an all on one page view. 
  • Suggestions of when to tweet / schedule updates - based on any timezone you choose and from an analysis of when your followers are most active and how your previous tweets have performed.
  • Pointing out influential people to follow and also who to mention.Not all of them so far have seemed right for me, so I guess this has room to improve. 
  • Find out who your top fans are - it's a great idea to keep your top fans on your good side! I wrote a post recently about engaging with blog commenters and rewarding loyal commenters - same principals apply to your top fans!
  • You can post to facebook and twitter directly from the dashboard, and it will remind you of the best times to post.
I was lucky enough to be sent an invite by the socially awesome Mari Smith - but I also have 10 invites from crowdbooster to hand out myself (thankyou Ricky!), so if the above appeals to you please leave me a comment and let me know what you love or hate about using social networks like facebook and twitter... I'd love to hear both sides!

x Hilary :)