empire avenue pollI enjoy Empire Avenue. I love the people I’ve met through EAv and I think it has potential to be “Social Media Rocket Fuel” as their tag line claims.  But it’s not there yet.

In fact, the number of new sign-ups has been declining in recent months. And desite more than 20,000 new sign-ups this year, the number of active users (10+ EAv actions in the last week) has declined slightly.  People are leaving EAv faster than they’re coming in, and not many new users stick around very long.

EAv can’t continue like this very long, so a few weeks ago, I created the “Empire Avenue Pain Points Poll” as a way of giving my fellow EAvers a forum to discuss the problems that are frustrating them and causing others to leave.

More than 600 EAvers completed the poll! Woohoo! Thanks to all of you for contributing!  This is the first of several posts delving into the results of poll.

Poll Format

Prior to creating the poll, I identified 7 “pain points” aspects of Empire Avenue that I think frustrate people and contribute to people leaving the Avenue.  Then in the poll I simply asked people for all 7 pain points, to rate each of the 7 on a scale of 1 to 5 how big a factor each is in causing people to leave.

Raw Data

Let’s start by looking at the raw data…

1) EAv is complicated for new users to grasp

empire avenue pain points poll results 1

2) EAv takes too much time to manage

empire avenue pain points poll results 2

3) The pressure to be on EAv and other social networks every day to constantly increase dividends and share price can be overwhelming

empire avenue pain points poll results 3

4) There’s pressure to abuse your networks going for quantity over quality to increase dividends or even use a social network primarily to increase EAv numbers.

empire avenue pain points poll results

5) New users get frustrated by the “pump and dump” strategy that results in new users share price rising extremely fast and then dropping when many people sell.

empire avenue pain points poll results 5

6) Missions produce little in terms of real-world results (leads/sales/donations).

empire avenue pain points poll results 6

7) EAv does little to police users who are gaming the system.

empire avenue pain points poll results

Analysis

There are lots of ways to slice and dice the numbers.  I think a good way to determine which factors are the biggest pain points is to combine the number of poeple who gave each factor a 4 or a 5 and thus consider that factor to be a significant or major contributor to people leaving.  If we do that and rank the factors by that percentage, here are the results:

  • 58% – (3) Pressure to be on EAv and other social networks every day
  • 54% – (4) Pressure to abuse networks, quantity over quality
  • 52% – (2) EAv takes too much time to manage
  • 42% – (7) EAv does little to police users who are gaming the system.
  • 42% – (5) New users get frustrated by the “pump and dump” strategy.
  • 35% – (6) Missions produce little in terms of real-world results.
  • 33% – (1) EAv is complicated for new users to grasp

Conclusions

1) The first thing that jumps out at me is just how high the numbers are.  For every factor except #6  (Missions produce little in terms of real-world results), more people thought it was a significant or major factor than not (those who voted 4 or 5 outnumbered those who voted 1 or 2).  And the fact that the top 3 pain points all had more than 50% of EAvers saying it was a significant or major factor, should raise some major red flags.

2) I’m actually surprised that #6 (Missions produce little in terms of real-world results) isn’t considered a major factor by more people. It could be because people are happier with the results of missions than I realized.  Or it could be an indication that the people who are sticking with EAv are the people who are doing it for fun or the connections and don’t really care about effectiveness of missions. The latter would be my guess, but there’s no way to know without doing another poll.  But personally I don’t think missions are very effective (because the targeting is poor)  If they were, social media strategiests would be flocking to EAv to  add EAv’s “rocket fuel” to their social media.

3) Despite all frustration over these pain points, most EAvers (at least those who are active and completed the poll) are still relatively happy with EAv.  When asked, “What’s your current satisfaction/frustration level with Empire Avenue?” 63 percent said they either “love, love, love EAv” or are mostly satisfied.

Coming Up

Before we start discussing solution I want to do at least one more post about the poll results, specifically comparing the opinions of new users with veterans to see how their views differ. In the poll, I asked 3 demographics info – how long on EAv, share price, and primary purpose for using EAv (fun, personal networking or branding/lead generation).  If you think we could gain some insight by breaking things down along any of those demographics, let me know.

Discussion

What are your thoughts on what you’ve seen of the results so far?