The Single Most Important Social Media Site for Growing Your Blog

The single most important social media site for growing your blog. More traffic, better conversions, new subscribers... The one website to help you pull all this off!
  • What’s the best social media site?
  • Which site do I need to be on?
  • What social media will help me grow my traffic the best?

In 2013 I wrote a post on the most important social media sites for growing your blog. The lovely Ariel from Fictively suggested that I do an updated version of the post.

Just like in my last post, I will share some of my specific social numbers for you. But honestly, there’s only one thing you need to take away from this post…

The most beneficial social media site is the one you love to use.

In order for social media to help you generate traffic and grow your blog, you need to use the site to its fullest.

  • Engage like a real person (don’t have a purely automated/promo-based feed).
  • Interact with other people.
  • Put a lot of effort into your engagement.

Instagram can be massively beneficial, but only if you love creating imagery (and you’re good at it). If you suck at taking/creating photos, then Instagram isn’t going to be as beneficial for you.

Twitter can be a fantastic tool, but if your feed is only automated promo stuff and you don’t actively use Twitter to engage with other people, then it’s not going to be a huge benefit to you. (And if you hate engaging on Twitter then it’s going to be hard to force yourself to do that.)

Pinterest can be fucking awesome, but only if you take the time to create “pinnable” graphics (and it certainly helps if your niche is very visual, like food, design, fashion, etc.).

If you enjoy a social media site, you’re more likely to use the site as it was intended (and succeed at it).

Social media is like exercise. People often ask, “Which exercise programme is best for me? What will help me lose weight?” Sure, you can throw around statistics and recommendations. But at the end of the day, the best programme is the one you enjoy well enough to stick to. If you hate a programme so much that you’re not motivated to do it, or you don’t enjoy the process, then you’re far more likely to cut corners or even quit entirely. You won’t get the benefits.

But if you love the programme you’re doing (or the social media site you’re using) then you’ll be able to check all the boxes. You’ll be engaged, you’ll put in effort, and ultimately you’ll see results.

My results from social media

Here’s a table that shows my traffic from the last month. I’ve also included more data than my previous post, since I think it’s interesting.

Keep in mind that the previous set of data was from over the period of nearly a year. This new set of data is just from the last 30 days.

Social Network Pageviews Avg. Session Duration (mm:ss) Pages / Session
Pinterest 14,644 00:52 1.32
Twitter 1,889 02:00 2.28
Facebook 1,554 03:11 2.72
WordPress 703 02:11 2.76
StumbleUpon 179 <00:01 1.02
Goodreads 11 01:26 1.22

Let’s analyse these a little…

I get a lot of traffic from Pinterest.

Pinterest clearly dominates in terms of pure page views. But what can be said about the quality of that traffic? It has one of the lowest “average session duration” values, and it’s on the lower end for number of pages per session. That means a lot of people visit the site, check out one post, and then basically leave.


Because my niche (WordPress + coding) doesn’t do that well on Pinterest. My posts that thrive on Pinterest are the one-off posts that aren’t super focused on my niche. Like How to Design Your Own Logo. Nose Graze isn’t a design blog. That post does super well, but it’s not super on-topic with the rest of my site. So when people get here, they’re not interested in all the coding stuff—they like the design. When they don’t see more design stuff, they leave.

My traffic from Pinterest isn’t focused on what my blog is actually about. That’s because Pinterest works best for super visual niches, and let’s be honest, coding isn’t that visual.

Plus, I’m just generally a bit awkward on Pinterest. I think one of the reasons it hasn’t totally clicked with me as a network is because I’m not the ideal audience for it so I just feel awkward there in general.

Twitter and Facebook have lower page views, but the people who do visit stick around longer.

People who visit from those channels spend more time on the page, and visit more pages. They’re more interested in what I’m offering. This is because I spend a lot of time on those two sites and people know who I am there as a result.

Most of the things I talk about in Facebook groups are really specific to my blog focus. I talk about coding, development, WordPress, and plugins. People start to know me for those things and thus expect those when they visit my blog. This creates a more engaged and relevant audience.

It’s better to put more effort into fewer social sites.

Find one or two that feel REALLY relevant to you—ones where you can be yourself and feel relevant.

I don’t feel relevant on Pinterest, and my posts that thrive on that site are the ones that aren’t actually relevant to my overall blog message. That’s why a lot of people visit one post and then leave (not what I want!).

But Facebook and Twitter allow me to really be myself. I’m comfortable there and enjoy talking to people on those platforms. As a result, I get some nice, relevant traffic that sticks around longer.

I see the most success when I act like a regular person without an agenda.

  • I stick to the sites I actually enjoy being on.
  • I don’t think about page views, traffic, or sales when I’m on social media.
  • I act like myself.
  • I engage with other people.
  • I promote a few things now and then, but 95% of the time, my focus is just on… being me… and chatting with like-minded people.

Which social media site(s) do you enjoy the most?

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Hey Ashley, great post! I would love to hear how you got those numbers for social media engagement. Did you get the from Google Analytics or some other analytical site?

    1. I got them from Google Analytics. 🙂 You can see them by going to Acquisition > Social > Nerwork Referrals.

  2. I love this post, Ashley! I’ve been trying to use 2 social networks to the fullest now unlike before where I tried too hard to do ALL of them. I’m using Twitter and Instagram more. Though with Instagram my feed isn’t all about books ?

    I need to get the stats to my blog tho! I use google analytics but still haven’t used that to the fullest!

    1. That’s great Zeee! 🙂 Focusing on two is much better than spreading yourself super thin.

      At least you have Google Analytics set up! That’s the most important thing. As long as you have it running, you can check the data at any time—whether that’s now or six months from now. My point is: the data is there waiting for you if you want to look at it. Whereas if you didn’t have Google Analytics installed at all, you wouldn’t have any data to work with even if you wanted to!

  3. Excellent post! I couldn’t agree more. That is exactly what I have noticed with my blog. Though since I’m more active in twitter than in pinterest twitter generates more traffic. I’m a big fan of Pinterest. the only reason my twitter is more active is because it gets updated from Goodreads and the publicize feature in Jetpack for WordPress. I wish I could publicize in Pinterest 🙂

    1. Yeah I think there are fewer things out there that auto post to Pinterest. Or the only options are paid ones!

  4. Here’s another area where I’m an ‘odd duck’ because I don’t do social media. At all. I deleted my facebook and Goodreads accounts last year and I’ve never had twitter/pinterest/instagram accounts etc. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on social media later this month, so I wont’ go on a rant here lol. I do love interacting with people via comments/visiting their blogs, but that’s as far as I want to take things. I’m much more laid back about blogging this time around (my second attempt at book blogging), and I’m not tracking numbers at all 🙂

    Sara@LibraryHuntress recently posted: Saying Goodbye to YA? Maybe, Sort Of
    1. Social media can definitely help with growth and meeting new people, but if those things aren’t on your list of priorities then you can certainly ditch social media all together! Do what makes you happy and is in line with your goals and priorities. 🙂

  5. I totally agree with this post! I can’t see the point in trying to spread myself across ten different social media sites and ending up neglecting them all. I tend to just stick to Twitter, though I’m *trying* to get started with Pinterest and would love to have another go at Facebook sometime!

    1. I think Facebook pages are total crap, but groups can be fantastic! They’re a great way to form relationships and meet people. Like Twitter, but slower paced and with a higher word count, haha.

  6. At first I was going to say just Twitter and Pinterest. I do love Pinterest because it’s visually appealing and I find great resources on it, but love Twitter for being able to actually interact with others, even though I have to said what I want to say in 140 characters or less 😛 When I got thinking about it more, I thought I really do love the social media platforms I use but for different reasons. Some for more personal, like Instagram — I love photography even though that’s not what my blog and business focus on. And for Facebook, I’m really enjoying interacting in Facebook groups.

    While I wouldn’t say I focus on all of them (could you imagine how much time that would be!), I do focus on certain parts of each platform. I hope that makes sense!

    And I agree with you on feeling legit when I’m posting. While I do scheduled my posts throughout my social media platforms, I do make sure I post in real time too to connect with others. I also make sure my scheduled posts are legit and something I WANT to share, not because I think I have to.

  7. I think this is such a wonderful post you have written here!! I am not active alot of all of the social media sites. The ones I use the most are Twitter and Goodreads and a little on Facebook. Goodreads is my favorite though, always has been. Because its all about books and that is what I love most to talk about. But I do get more traffic on my site through Twitter. So I try to engage with people as much as I can on there.

    Renee (Lover of Romance) recently posted: Book Love (11) The Mackenzies: Zach
  8. I love your approach on this subject and I have to say you’re totally right. Usually the bloggers tell us to use this or that social network, but what works for you may not work for you. There are no “one fits all” blogging tips!
    For instance, I used to post to a lot of Google + groups, but after checking my GA analytics I discovered that only about 3% of my traffic came from G +. So, I decided to stop posting to G+ groups. The traffic it brought didn’t compensate the time I wasted.

  9. I love this. I totally just checked my own stats in google analytics. Back on topic though… this is something that I think a lot of people miss. It is important to use the right tools but if you don’t like a social media site, you won’t thrive on it even if it is the “right” one to use for whatever audience people are trying to grab. The key to social media really is engagement.

    I’ve been trying to grow my Instagram and twitter accounts recently. For Instagram, I’ve been putting more effort into my photos and really focusing on taking pictures of things that I want to represent my account and presence there. Since I’ve started doing this and really engaging with users there, I’ve seen my followers grow by about 20 people already in the last week or two. I went from have about 73ish people to almost 100.

    Twitter is a similar story for me. I’ve seen the greatest ROI when I really engage with the people there. Twitter requires quite a bit of effort if you ask me, but it’s useful and a lot of fun to use.

    Now I just need to figure out how to grow my blog traffic…

    Stephanie B recently posted: The Great Guilt of the Classics
  10. I think I agree about the engagement thing I found you in a facebook group and checked out your site.Liked it.It was just what I needed.So decided to say hi and thank you .

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