For the last month, I’ve been experimenting with a traffic-building tool called Triberr.
I’m a little late to this particular social networking bandwagon. That’s because every time I heard Triberr mentioned, I mixed it up with tribe, a network I explored then ditched in 2004. (Triberr is also not to be confused with Seth Godin’s Triiibes network!)
Once I realized everyone was talking about something new, I was intrigued. After all, there has to be value in a network used and endorsed by marketing influencers such as Gini Dietrich, Neil Schaffer, Mark Schaefer, Michael Brenner and Ian Cleary. Right?
What is Triberr?
Triberr is a social platform that helps bloggers work together to share each other’s content. The site is built around various “tribes” or communities of interest. For example, there are blogging tribes, travel tribes and human resources tribes.
Once you join a tribe, the idea is that you share the blog content of fellow tribemates to your social following and they do they same.
The core of Triberr’s value proposition is this: By sharing and being shared in return, you multiply your online reach, tapping into the social networks of other bloggers in your space.
For example, I currently have about 2,800 Twitter followers. That’s my Twitter reach — the potential number of people who will see something I tweet.
If I join a tribe with 10 other members, and each of those members has 3,500 Twitter followers, now my Twitter reach is 37,800.
You can see that as you join more tribes and gain more tribemates, especially tribemates with large followings, your potential reach can expand dramatically.
Once your reach expands, your blog traffic increases — or at least that’s the hope.
But does it work?
Results from a 30-Day Triberr experiment
I joined Triberr on Feb 21, 2014 and tracked my progress until March 21, 2014. I don’t do any social sharing on weekends, so the trial period ran for a total of 20 working days.
I requested membership in 12 tribes but was granted membership in only two. Still, according to Triberr, those two tribes gave me 123 tribemates and a potential reach of 1 million. Not too shabby.
(As a follower of the 10 other tribes to which I wasn’t given membership, I can see what’s posted there and share it if I like. But my content is only visible to the two tribes of which I am a member.)
The give and take
Knowing that good networking is as much about the give as the take, I logged into Triberr every single day to look for items my tribemates and my target tribemates were posting. In other words, I scanned 12 content streams every day.
In total, I spent about 6 hours for the month, or just over 15 minutes a day. I shared 32 posts, which averages out to a share or two a day.
My blog content is automatically pulled into Triberr with an RSS feed. In the 20 days of the experiment, I published 8 fresh blog posts. Five older posts also got pulled into the feed, for a total of 13 of my blog posts available to other Triberr members for sharing.
Most of the older posts didn’t get shared because they weren’t visible in the stream of fresh content. But the 8 fresh posts plus one older post were shared 24 times by my tribemates. That averages out to not quite 3 shares per post.
The bottom line
Those 24 shares — what results did they create for my blog?
It’s impossible to know which of the new Twitter followers I gained in the last month were because of Triberr shares, but I’d guess very few.
Blog traffic is also difficult to track. In Google Analytics, I can see how many visits came from the Triberr site itself — that number represents my tribemates checking out my articles.
I can also see that the number of visitors coming to my site from Twitter doubled in my Triberr trial period.
That seems good. But most of the Twitter referrals were to posts that aren’t even available on Triberr so it would seem Triberr wasn’t responsible for that referral spike.
My conclusion? In 30 days, Triberr generated negligible results for me.
That doesn’t mean I’ll be abandoning the network though.
At least not yet.
Bigger results may come
On any social network, the early adopters tend to gain an audience quickly and easily. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder to generate big results.
Triberr launched in 2011. The following year, Caimin Jones wrote a book called Traffic Generation With Triberr. In it, Jones says traffic to his blog doubled within a few days of joining Triberr.
He also quotes Triberr co-founder Dino Dogan as saying that huge traffic spikes were so common for Triberr members that Dogan considered using “The Traffic Doubler” as the site’s tagline.
It was partly based on these traffic claims that I finally decided to give Triberr a try.
As you’ve seen, my results were not nearly so impressive. I suspect a big part of the reason is that the early adopter rule has already played out. First mover advantage is gone.
(I’d be really interested to see how long these Top 100 Triberr bloggers have been members of the network, for example.)
Triberr is not going to be an instant success for anyone in 2014. I plan to give it a bit more time and try some new tactics before deciding if it’s worthwhile.
I’ll try some new tactics
Sharing content on Triberr is not automated. You choose only the posts that you think would be of interest to your social following.
Not forcing reciprocation is a very good thing.
But it means that your potential reach is nowhere near your actual reach. If you recall, my potential reach was 1 million social followers through 123 tribemates.
In reality, only a small number of my tribemates — fewer than 10% — chose to share my content. My reach was reduced accordingly.
One way to improve how much sharing my content gets is to increase the number of tribemates I have.
I’ve started following 9 more tribes and may add more in the coming weeks to see if that bumps the number of tribes that make me a member.
I’m also going to work on boosting my engagement rates by doing things such as leaving comments on articles within Triberr and sending messages specifically to tribe “chiefs” to request membership.
I’m giving Triberr another 30 days of concerted effort to see what it can do.
Are you using Triberr and having good success with it? Or did you try it and leave? Let me know in the comments. I’m interested to hear about your experience.