The Churn Rate in Social Media

@Kevin | Measurement & Analytics

When I worked in the cell phone industry one of the metrics that was always talked about was the churn rate.

Here is a decent explanation from wikipedia:

In its broadest sense, churn rate is a measure of the number of individuals or items moving into or out of a collection over a specific period of time.

This metric applies to social media and you don’t see a lot of people talking about it when it comes to marketing their social media profiles.

One thing I learned while blogging on myspace was that I could never rest on my laurels no matter how popular my blog got on there. When I hit a subscriber mark of over 2000 subscribers and I was hitting the top ten in the most popular blog rankings on the site, I felt that I could just sit back and watch the traffic and new subscribers roll in because of my positioning.

Because I thought like that I saw the traffic decline to my blog, although my subscribers were still increasing at a small rate.

What was the cause of this?

Poor content? Nothing had really changed.

Increased competition? Eh, most of the other popular content was awful.

I couldn’t figure out what was causing this. One day I received a message from a reader on MySpace saying that they were hardly using the site anymore and missed reading my blogs. I decided to go through my comments to see when that reader had stopped comment and I noticed a trend. Besides a core group of commenters and thus readers came through in waves. Usually they had a shelf live of about three months. I had to continually promote my blog in order to at least remain in my current standing and if I didn’t promote it I wouldn’t be able to grow my audience.

Recently I applied this thought to other social media websites that I was apart of. Some of these sites I had built up large followings but really haven’t aggressively promoted anything on them. When I checked out the last log in dates for a lot of my friends I had noticed that people haven’t been on in months. I decided to put the time and effort in to connect with new people on there in order to reestablish my standing on those sites.

We need to keep in mind that people grow disinterested with social media sites and are fickle, in order to keep and retain standing on those sites you need to continually promote on some level. You have to be aware of your social media churn…