PODCAST: Audience Feedback is Important and Helpful

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

This podcast talks about the importance of audience feedback in storytelling, content marketing and social media.

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Hi there, Christoph Trappe here and today I like to talk about how important it is to get feedback from the audience as they’re seeing your story or your message to them.

In late January 2014, I announced on Facebook that my wife and I were expecting another child. The child is due in July and as you know if you’re following me on Twitter and Facebook and those networks, I talk about technology. I talk about change and I’m fairly chit-chatty. I say quite a few things probably about once an hour, and, of course, I actually schedule all these posts through Hootsuite so they don’t overwhelm people, but I do have a lot of things to say so that I say things isn’t that uncommon. That I say things about technology and change in behavior isn’t necessarily uncommon either.

expecting a baby

In my Facebook post I couldn’t just say, “Here’s my Facebook announcement: My wife and I are expecting a child in July.” I had to say, what I actually said was, “How to pick a baby’s name in 2014. No. 1 parents agree on a name. No. 2, it’s not too common. No. 3, it’s not to uncommon and No. 4, the dot com of the name is available.”

Well, a lot of people read that and I actually read it to a number of people and everybody just kind of said, “Oh yeah, that is true, very true,” but nobody said, “Congratulations” or nobody actually understood that we were expecting. It was interesting because the way that message was phrased didn’t work. It didn’t get the point across.

Now, it got the point across that people buy the website addresses of their children’s name. Some people buy them, register them before they tell anybody what the child’s name is and that’s fine, I did that too the last time around. I’m pretty sure I did, but my daughter, my six-year old, she owns her dot com or technically I own it and she has a WordPress blog so, but people didn’t get it. The point is how did I know that my message didn’t come across. I didn’t see immediate interaction on social media. I didn’t see any reaction when I mentioned it to people in person. They just thought I was talking about technology and they thought I was talking about that’s what people do. They didn’t get that I was talking about myself.

I had to update my message so it made more sense. What I did on Facebook, I edited my post and I added a line at the bottom that said, “I would not be announcing Baby Trappe’s name until after we bought the url” and now, people started commenting and offering, “Congratulations.”

At least one person said, “What a nice way to make the announcement. It worked out really well, but I would not have worked out had I not gotten the audience feedback and the audience’s opinion on what I was talking about so that was great and the other thing is how do you adjust when something doesn’t work in public? I thought it was a very authentic and true story, but how do we adjust, how do we change, how do we make it clear once we know something isn’t working? That’s very important I think nowadays as we are saying more and more things publicly, more and more things in the moment. How do we fix it? How do we make it clearer?

Now, on Twitter I haven’t check it in a while, but I don’t think anybody has said anything about it at all and I do have about 2,500 people following me on Twitter, but of course some of those they many not as personal as the Facebook connections, Facebook is a little more friends, perhaps, Twitter perhaps is more of the national audience, more the communicators, even people you don’t really know necessarily.

How do you get audience feedback immediately? How do you that first look in people’s face when they look at your story when they read it, even if they’re not giving you feedback especially if you didn’t ask them? I didn’t ask people. I was just kind of wondering, why aren’t they responding by saying, “Congratulations” Well, it was because the story wasn’t phrased really well. So it’s very important to see how people react, and then we reformat our story and we reformat what we’re talking about if it’s not working.

I don’t want to say, “re-message” because it’s really not a traditional marketing message, but how do we make it clearer? The clearer the message, the clearer the story, the easier it will be for people to pay attention and for it to make sense.