The Mirror : Nov 14, 2016 : Trends
Here's my monthly informal/thumbnail analysis of the posting Content on beBee. In August of 2016 I reviewed the most recent 100 posts on beBee and looked for patterns. I did "the Mirror" again in mid-September. And then in mid-October. I completed this profile/inventory on November 14, 2016.
As you might imagine, the recent US election has had an impact on beBee content. In anticipation of this, I did a survey a few days before the election, and another one a few days after. Then I averaged the two surveys.
Here are a couple of high-level 'intuitive' observations about before-and-after the US election:
A marked increase in Personal Insight/Art/Philosophy
Much of this activity was clearly in the global response to the potential impact of the recent US election. The 'personal/art' category often features music-as-a-personal-influence. There were also many remembrances about the passing of poet/musician Leonard Cohen.
A slight increase in Technical/Analytical/Business-oriented
Maybe not worth noting, though I imagine that some of it might be a desire to 'make sense of a potentially disturbing situation'. Note: This traffic was more political analysis than business-oriented or technical.
So let's get to round #4 of "the Mirror":
Scorecard: The 5 Content Categories : mid-November, 2016
These categories seem to hit that sweet spot of being informative and valid - without being too complex. Imperfect? You bet. But still useful:
33% Spanish Language
16% Motivational / How-to / Self-help
26% Personal insight / Art / Philosophy
14% Promotion / Self-promotion
11% Technical / Analytical / Business-oriented
Here's a chart showing the content categories without the Spanish language barrier. I believe that it's a pretty fair reflection of beBee content.
It remains as beBee's biggest unique market area and selling point. The Hispanic market is 'what's happening' at beBee.
*Note: I assume that the Spanish-language content profile is similar to the English-language content profile.
- It's beBee's biggest category and primary audience growth path.
- Usage and cross-pollination patterns among language cultures might be interesting
- This is the doorway to some 'really Big stuff'. Put a thumbtack in it.
Motivational / How-to / Self-help
These "how to succeed" types of articles are a mainstay of any publishing venue. They can range from shallow&glib to substantive&'educational'. Enlightened self-interest motivates us ... consistently.
Personal insight / Art / Philosophy
Personal insights and stories. This content is very genuine. Much of the love that beBee-ites have for their socialNet is grounded in the deeply-felt connections that are forged by these types of articles and posts. This is where beBee Aficionados really connect with each other with that easy sense of affinity.
Up : Is this a reflection of recent events?
Promotion / Self-Promotion
This is one of the "Top Three" content patterns, as it is in other social media. Much of it is beBee self-marketing (which is often combined with LinkedIn Bashing).
Also in the Self-Promotion arena:
The homepage feed features promotional links to sponsors, blurbs, beBee people & featured content. These are regularly 25+% of the items on beBee's dashboard. These self-promotion blurbs add substantially to beBee's advertising profile.Steady
Technical / Analytical / Business-oriented
This category represents the most "substantive" and professional of the posts. Here's where beBee overlaps into the LinkedIn and Quora arenas - but definitely does not compete.
Steady : slight increase
As noted above : I believe that this modest increase is more due to post-election political analysis than to any increase in business-oriented or technical content.
Here's how The Mirror looks over the course of the past 4 months.
The patterns are fairly stable and well-established now:
- Motivational, Personal, and Promotional categories are pretty consistent over time.
- Spanish is the main growth area
- Personal/Art/Philosophy is the largest* category - and is the popular/affinity area
- Business/Analytical remains weak, particularly since beBee continues to tout itself as a "professional" network
* Spanish is a unique category because it quantifies the language difference. When the language barrier is removed - Personal/Art/Philosophy is clearly the largest content category, in terms of the whole beBee Pie.
This may be the last of the Monthly Mirrors
I may re-visit a the Mirror survey if I detect any changes in beBee's overall patterns. Otherwise ... My intuition appears to be operating effectively. I'll continue to opinionate on that basis.
the TakeAways : Advantages and ChallengesThe primary takeAways are in the October Mirror. They still appear to be valid. Priming the Pump puts beBee's self-marketing technique into context.
We've already acknowledged several of beBee's Advantages:
- Large Hispanic-language market
- A sense of connection based on "affinity", primarily in the Personal/Art /Philosophy category
- Vigorous marketing and self-promotion orientation, actively supported by a ...
- Stable of dedicated, compensated aficionados (ambassadors) who 'prime the marketing pump', both externally and internally
So, let's take this opportunity to focus on the Challenges that beBee faces...
- beBee is NOT a "professional" socialNet
- A significant proportion of beBee content is NOT original
- The majority of beBee original content is self-help, "about writing", or marketing-oriented
"Challenges" will be the focus of an upcoming article.
my Disclaimer (and Boilerplate Apologia)
Painful experience with beBee Aficionados obliges me to add this disclaimer to any article which appears to treat beBee with anything other than breathless wonder and admiration:
Well, I've probably really stepped in it this time. People can usually tolerate numbers - even if they refuse to respond to them. Analysis is often reacted to as criticism. And criticism is usually perceived as being negative.
The numbers are the numbers. My observations are pretty much on the level of 'obvious', 'understandable', and 'common sense' - or at least how I've intended them.
If you feel the need to ask "Why do you hate beBee, John?" Please don't.
By way of context, you might check out my many snippily critical posts on LinkedIn (They go back for years).
I've been analyzing and advising - or complaining (if you must) - about social media for a while. I've got some dirt-under-the-fingernails experience and skills, as well as a passion, to make socialnNets work - for everybody. A lot of it has to do with motivation. But that's a whole 'nother rant ...
(c) copyright John Vaughan / The Communication Studio
Visit The Communication Studio website jcvtcs.com