Analyzing the Effectiveness of Your Podcast

Measuring podcasts in the past has been very challenging and in comparison to many other media engagement platforms remains challenging. With streaming media you are able to better understand who is listening from where and for how long.  With podcasts it is often hard to know much more than downloads.

This is the primary reason that I love Libsyn. While it’s still limited, this platform gives you the most significant data on your audience than you can find anywhere. When you embed the media player on your site you are able to get more significant analytics on these users and Libsyn helps you to understand more about those who are downloading and the platforms and locations that they are downloading from.

At the end of the day, the number that I am continuing to monitor most closely is the number of downloads. This gives me a month over month, year over year comparison to measure whether we are reaching more people, maintaining an audience or losing an audience.

I expect in the coming months that Apple will open up greater insights into podcast engagement like they have with App Analytics in the App Store. Until then, I would monitor the stats you have to help you understand if you are heading in the right direction. Just like anything else, I encourage you to set goals with a purpose and analyze your results to see what adjustments you might need to make along the way to reach your goals.

Creating Great Content for Twitter

When it comes to Twitter it is important to look back at the origins of this platform. This was kind of an accidental social network originally created for people to send mass text messages. 140 characters was the original length of a text and when you followed people you would get their text updates that sent out to all of their “followers.”

Just as text messaging is so much more involved with images, videos and audio messages, Twitter has also matured as a social network. While you can still subscribe via SMS messages the focus is still on the short messages that we call Tweets. These tweets are still limited to 140 characters, but also can include external links, images and even videos.

As you consider what information you want to share on Twitter I would encourage you to think about what you would want to group text out to all of your friends. You wouldn’t want to waste their time with wasted words or messages, but you would want to send them the most important information, highly inspirational messages or ask them a question in order to get direct feedback.  

You then have to figure out how to get those messages into 140 characters or less.

Want to know the secret in how to most effectively do this? Just do it. The best way to get better and shortening messages to 140 characters is to just do it and it becomes more and more natural every time. There are tricks like shortening words like “because” to “bcs” or “and” to “&” or making sure not to use two spaces after periods (if you even use periods at all). Just doing it and using trial and error is the best way though and overtime you will get the hang of it!

10 Interesting Facts about Twitter

Twitter was one of the first social networks to come on to the scene many years ago and continues to be a force.  As you consider your investment in this social network I want you to think about the following facts:

1.     Twitter has 316 million monthly active users.

2.     500 million tweets are sent per day.

3.     77% of Twitter accounts exist outside the U.S.

4.     The platform supports over 35 languages.

5.     23% of all online adults use Twitter (a proportion identical to the 23% of online adults who did so in September 2014).

6.     Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Three-in-ten online urban residents use the site, compared with 21% of suburbanites and 15% of those living in rural areas.

7.     Twitter is more popular among younger adults — 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older.

8.     In 2013, the number of active smartphone Twitter users in the United States was 30.8 million and is projected to amount to 56.5 million in 2018.

9.     There are 391 million Twitter accounts with no followers.

10.   Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets.

* Source:

So, what does all of this mean?  Well, Twitter is HUGE and there are millions of people globally actively engaging in this social network every day. From a simple and direct perspective if you are in an urban context and desire to engage a younger audience (under 50 years old) Twitter is a great platform and you will engage much better using tweets with images.

While this sounds simple, it really is much more complex. You must first decide whether you are going to focus energies on this platform and then figure out how you maximize your time investment to most effectively engage. For the next few days I will continue sharing more information about Twitter and how you can best utilize this platform for ministry. 

Book Tour - Facebook Foundations

Facebook now has over 1 billion users worldwide which can provide great value to almost every ministry or waste a lot of time if you don’t know how to use the platform effectively.  Understanding the capabilities of this network, as well as developing a practical strategy, can translate to very valuable ministry.  I will share tips and tricks for using Facebook both personally and organizationally by sharing his personal experiences and how the Online Church Facebook page has grown to over 250,000 fans. Session Interview with Jason Caston, author of The iChurch Method and Internet Church Developer at TD Jakes Ministries.

Facebook Foundations - Social Media Guide For Ministry Day 2 from Nils Smith on Vimeo.

If you have not purchased the Social Media Guide for Ministry you can find it on Amazon here.

If you have purchased and read the book if you would please leave a review on Amazon here.

If you have any questions about this session please leave a comment and I would love to answer any question that you might have.

Facebook Session from the Virtual Book Tour

So I made a 1 character mistake which ended up being a pretty significant mistake. I promised those who purchased my book that I would send them links to view all of the sessions from the Virtual Book Tour On-Demand. This worked great except one of the links had one character missing. I tried to correct the issue as I received many emails about this issue and feel the best way to resolve is to share this session with everyone! I hope this training session on Facebook including my interview with Jason Caston encourages you and is a great resource for you and your ministry. Feel free to watch, share, or use however might be beneficial for you.

Facebook Foundations - Social Media Guide For Ministry Day 2 from Nils Smith on Vimeo.