- 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|
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.