By Paul Barton, ABC
I recently got to see a demonstration of a very impressive employee communication app called Sparrow developed by DevFacto, a Canadian-based software consulting company. Sparrow allows internal communicators to push targeted communications from the company intranet and other platforms through personalized channels to employee mobile devices. One of the many great things about being an internal communications professional in the Digital Age is all the analytics we are able to gather on what the consumers of our content are doing with all that information. What are they reading? When are they reading it? How far into an article do they get before they stop reading?
Sparrow allows internal communicators to collect detailed data on readership in their organization. But there are even more insights to be gained when looked at across many organizations. DevFacto collects data from all of its clients and can analyze it in a big picture way. I asked the DevFacto’s team to share some of those insights.
Mobile Preferred Even for Desktop Users
According to DevFacto’s surveys, employees prefer mobile apps, and that includes employees who work primarily from desktops. Why would that be? Well, think about your own mobile app reading habits for a moment. You may have a desktop, but how many times a day are you checking your mobile device? We check them while waiting in lines, waiting at traffic lights, in the elevator, on the bus, during meetings, on a break, or at lunch. For many of us, it’s the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning.
The survey findings are validated by the actual reading habits of employees. DevFacto’s data shows that 39% of the internal communications being sent out through the Sparrow app are being read outside of business hours.
How We Read Internal Communications
The DevFacto data shows that the average number of words that a mobile user reads in a post before dropping off is 160 words. But the number changes depending on who opens the message in the first place and how long the post is. The following table shows more detail on consumption stats.
The table indicates that the sweet spot is the 200-300 word range. That’s where the lowest drop rate occurs. The drop rate is the percentage of readers who open a post but don’t complete reading it.
The DevFacto data is fascinating and warrants continued study. It’s a safe bet that mobile communication technology will continue to grow and reader attention spans will continue to shrink. The more we understand the reading habits of our internal communications content consumers, the more effective we can be at engaging them.
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