The Most Important Social Media Sites for Growing Your Blog

I may not be the all powerful, all knowledgeable, social media guru, but at least I can share my experiences. I’ll talk to you a bit about my traffic from social media, and how beneficial I think each site is for growing your blog!

Social Media Statistic Overview

I gathered some statistics about my social media referral traffic and first I’ll share those with you! These stats detail how many visits I have gotten from each social media site.

Social Media Site Number of Visits
Twitter 7,104
Goodreads 1,166
Facebook 1,128
StumbleUpon 158
Pinterest 84

Going in-depth with social media

Twitter Bird - Follow Me
Graphic by Arrioch

Twitter

As you can see, Twitter is the single most important social media site for growing your blog. That’s where most of my referral traffic comes from. Whenever people give out tips on how to grow your blog, they always say “Get on Twitter”—and look how true that is!

There are several different ways to utilize Twitter for growing your blog:

  • Chat socially and make friends. If you just hop on Twitter to chat, you’ll meet new people, those new people will check out your blog, and some of them will keep returning. Woohoo! New followers! Just make sure you have a link to your blog in your profile, and it’a also good to have your blog name in your display name.
  • Have people tweet about your giveaways. This will help spread the word about your giveaways and thus drive more traffic to your blog.
  • Tweet about all of your new posts. Don’t spam-tweet your posts, but tweet once or maybe twice a day. Don’t *only* tweet the URL to the post though; try to come up with something interesting to say along with it.
  • Are you on WordPress? Install Tweet Old Post. This plugin will automatically tweet about your old posts! This plugin does WONDERS! I get a lot of traffic on some of my old posts because of this plugin. However, don’t be obnoxious with it. You can set the “minimum interval between tweets”, but don’t put that number too low or you will annoy people. I have mine set to 6 hours, which means the plugin will only tweet one post every 6 hours.

Goodreads

Goodreads actually came out a lot more beneficial than I expected. All you have to do to get traffic from Goodreads is create an account, put your blog URL in your profile, maybe put a graphic for your blog in your bio, then post all your reviews on Goodreads with a link to your blog at the top and/or bottom of the review.

HOWEVER, please don’t be one of those people who only puts an excerpt of their review with a link that says, “To read the rest, visit my blog!” Those drive me completely nuts and I NEVER click the link to the blog. When I read reviews on Goodreads is because I want to quickly get all my friends’ (or non-friends’) opinions on a book. I don’t want to have to go elsewhere to read it. But, if I can read your whole review and if I love it, then maybe I will go check out your blog!

Facebook Shipping Boxes

Facebook

People always compare Facebook and Twitter, and I think my statistics give a good indicator of which one is better for blogging. Facebook still does okay, but it’s got nothing on Twitter!

Even so, I highly recommend creating a Facebook page. Set it up to match your blog with a header image, avatar, and ‘about’ section. Then there are two things I recommend doing at minimum:

  • Set it up so that your posts automatically get sent to Facebook. This can be done with NetworkedBlogs.
  • Post photos on Facebook! It’s been proven that photos do miles better on Facebook than plain, textual updates. Post your weekly book haul, post pictures individual books as you receive them, post pictures of book signings and events, or just post the cover of new photos you discover. Some people even post bookish quotes.

StumbleUpon Superman
Icon by Iconshock

StumbleUpon

On Nose Graze I don’t get a ton of traffic for StumbleUpon. I don’t think people really use StumbleUpon for book-related posts. StumbleUpon is mostly a huge hit for internet humour, awesome graphics, tutorials, and sometimes web-related articles. That’s why I don’t get a ton of traffic from my book reviews. However, I highly recommend submitting any discussion posts or “how-to” posts to StumbleUpon.

On my portfolio site, Creative Whim I sometimes blog about web design or graphics. I wrote one tutorial about how to make your own planet in Photoshop, I submitted it to StumbleUpon, and BAM! I suddenly got like 10,000 pageviews in one day and it has 1,378 “likes” on StumbleUpon. That’s what happens when your link becomes popular! You get a sudden HUGE spike in traffic. Some of the traffic still carries on over time, but you’ll notice one big huge spike in particular. This is an example of how powerful StumbleUpon can be!

StumbleUpon Traffic Spike

But as I said, I wouldn’t expect too much success from book reviews. If you’re going to promote any posts on StumbleUpon, focus on your discussion posts, how-to blogging posts, and maybe some of your very best or most controversial book reviews.

Pinterest Truck

Pinterest

Okay I have to be honest here.. It’s possible that one of the reasons my numbers are so low for Pinterest is because I don’t use it often. I started out using it, but I wasn’t noticing any traffic increases, and I’m not a Pinterest fan, so then I stopped using it.

I do think that Pinterest can work wonders for sites that can pin unique content. Like maybe a fashion blog where you can pin up fashions. But as book bloggers, the only things we can pin are book covers, and maybe book haul posts. I feel like book covers just aren’t that interesting for pinning. If you look at other things on Pinterest you see incredibly unique wedding cakes, fabulous fashion combinations, stunning photographs…. and in comparison, I feel like pinning book covers or movie posters or CD covers (things made by other people and not put together or created by YOU) is just a little lame.. and boring.

But that’s just my take, with my limited experience using the site. If you’ve had a great experience with Pinterest driving traffic to your blog, please post about it!!

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I'm a 28 year old 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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37 comments

    1. I’m honestly pretty bad at chatting on twitter too. 😛 I’m good if someone approaches me first, then I can hold conversation. But I suck at like.. jumping into conversations myself.

  1. Hm I’ve been considering linking my blog to my twitter account (or more likely making a new twitter to link to my blog). My current one is set to private and I pretty much only use it to keep in touch with internet friends I have a hard time keeping in touch with otherwise.

    That Tweet Old Post plugin sounds really interesting! I remember seeing you mention it in a previous topic and how you get a decent ammount of traffic and comments from it.

    Whenever I get around to posting some foodie book reviews (I started on a chunk of one last night) I definitely plan to parallel post them to Goodreads, although that probably won’t be very often for me. I’ve been hunting around on book blogs whose design I admire to try and figure out just *how* I am even going to lay those reviews out. I unfortunately can’t use the Ultimate Book Blogger just yet!

    I definitely need to get out there on StumbleUpon and Pinterest as well. I’m kind of on the fence about doing some sort of image watermarking before I put them out there into the wild blue internet yonder. I’ve seen some blogs that manage to brand their photos with the recipe name and blog name, and it looks really nice – especially with mixed typography. But when it isn’t done perfectly it takes away from the photos, for me. But *then* I’m worried about people stealing photos. Which is silly, right?! What are your thoughts on that issue?

    I’m leaning more towards *not* doing it and letting photos float out there as-is, because I think the majority of people would enjoy them more that way. And most of the blogs I follow that have photography I really admire don’t mark up their images. You look at a photo from them and just know it’s theirs.

    Leanne @ Record of Confection recently posted: Double Cherry Goat Floats
  2. Thanks so much for these tips! I’m currently in the process of rebranding my blog and moving to WordPress because I want to become more established. Your tips have been invaluable, and I just started using Twitter!

    Kristin recently posted: Armchair BEA: Wrap-Up
  3. Oh, the importance of social media! I really enjoyed reading this post because I can completely relate. My traffic comes mostly from Twitter as well. I think many underestimate Twitter (I used to put Facebook over it!!). I
    freaking love it! I think it provides a comfortable environment for people to interact with their followers, especially if it is non-book related! As for Facebook, I am so disappointed at how monetized it has become! Grr. I don’t use Networked Blogs, but Bloglovin’ has the same cross-post feature. As for StumbleUpon, I have never ever thought of using it, and I don’t think I will. Thanks for the cool post! XD (Definitely looking into this Tweet Old Post)

    Christine @ Oh, Chrys! recently posted: That Post-WordPress Post + Giveaway
  4. Very interesting. I find too that I get a lot of traffic from Twitter and a surprising amount from GR. I’ve been thinking about a FB page but I feel I’ve enough to be doing with what I already have! A pet hate of mine is a snippet of a review on GR too, like you I don’t bother clicking to the blog to finish it. I do often click on to friends blogs from GR though or on to an interesting looking post link from one of my GR groups.

    Trish Hannon recently posted: The Liebster Award
  5. Agreed, re: Twitter! It’s been the BEST place for meeting and befriending other bloggers, having fun conversations, and bringing my posts to people’s attention. I LOVE the Tweet Old Post plug-in – in fact, I think I first heard about it from you, Ashley. I need to fiddle with mine a bit one of these days, because I think I DO have the number set too low, but I love it.

    I actually recently got rid of my blog’s FB page because while I appreciated the traffic it got, it didn’t help me that much. And I was thinking of starting a Pinterest JUST for my reviews. I have a reviews board now that’s in with all my other stuff, but admittedly I don’t use it much. 🙁

  6. Ugh, I’m so horrible with using any social media sites. I have a Twitter, but I rarely get on it (I’ll pop on like once a day, but don’t stay on long enough to actually chat). And of course I have a Goodreads. But Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Facebook? Nope. I just feel like sometimes it’s TOO much to deal with. The only one I think that’s really beneficial to use is Twitter and I just can’t seem to get myself overly into it. I’m not sure why? I guess I’m a slacker! Still, this is a great post, and it was really insightful seeing how much traffic comes in to your site from these different social media sites. Maybe I’ll just and re-Twitter myself.

    Asti (A Bookish Heart) recently posted: Feature and Follow Friday: Spine Poetry
  7. Interesting stats. For some reason, I still feel reluctant to link to my blog posts on twitter. I guess I figure that if you’re following me on twitter, and you care about my posts, you’re already following my blog anyway. I do link my discussion posts sometimes, though (and of course giveaways).

    That Old Post plugin… I have mixed feelings about it. I’ve noticed several book bloggers I follow on twitter that use it. I didn’t realize it was a plugin, but I guess that makes sense. For some reason it bothers me, though. Maybe it just feels like extra “shameless self promotion”? I guess really tired of tweeps who post more than like 1-2 self promo tweets a day.

    But at the same time, with all of this… there have been a lot of these situations where I’ve faved those tweets so I could read the links later. (Usually not the Old Post tweets. I guess I have some kind of grudge against them. I’m just weird.)

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    1. Just my personal opinion, but to me, the tweeting post thing only looks bad if that’s ALL the person does. If I look at a twitter account and see only promotional tweets for their blog, then I won’t follow that person. Then it just looks cheap and feels like you only want twitter for more blog traffic, which may work, but is a little disappointing.

      But I think if you use twitter socially IN ADDITION to using it as a promotional tool, it can be a good thing to tweet out your posts. I’ve had a lot of extra blog comments, twitter “favourites”, and retweets that way. I think that shows people actually do like being reminded of old posts on your blog that they may not have seen before!

      And as I said, I think it’s important to not set your Tweet Old Post tweet frequency too low! If you’re tweeting old posts every 30 minutes (or even every hour), that will get annoying!

  8. I can’t post links to my blog on facebook and it drives me nuts. I’ve never even had a facebook page for my blog. I MAYBE posted a link to it 3 or 4 times EVER on my own facebook page and then one time I tried to post the link and it said it was blocked for being spam! I have tried month after month to get facebook to unblock it but that is straight like talking to a wall. There is no one at the other end of facebook. It is very frustrating.

  9. I can TOTALLY attest to Twitter! I didn’t have the best outreach for a while and when I finally joined Twitter in the early fall last year BOOOOOM. It hit me. It’s so awesome and just perfect for blogging. It’s like they know how awesome it would be for us!

    As for Facebook? I don’t have it and I feel like my blog gets along just fine. And Pinterest? I link mine up but that’s just for fun. I never use it for blogging stuff. It’s not very easy and just not worth it. I just love getting to know my friends better from their boards…rahrahrah. 😀

    Awesome post ash! You make some great points!
    <333Inky

    Inky recently posted: Novella Review: The Prince
  10. I never knew about that WP plugin! I only have Twitter and that does wonders for me in terms of page referrals. I’ve seen a lot of people with FB and Pinterest, but I never considered getting it myself. I think Twitter and Goodreads is all a blogger needs. Well, all I need anyway! Thanks for the post!

  11. I’ve had more traffic coming in lately from Pinterest. I agree it is difficult to determine what to put on there. Right now I have book reviews, books I’ve read, and favorite reads of 2013 posted there. Recently I’ve started to pin cover reveals and those tend to be pretty popular. It’s hit or miss trying to find a balance there.

    I’ve been debating if I should join instagram. I see a lot of bookish people posting, etc., but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

  12. I decided recently that I’m going to give Twitter a go. I always thought it was really for those with phones – probably didn’t make much sense. LOL. I had a personal one at twitter but i just rarely used it. I’ll have to look into twitter more for the blog.

    Jaki recently posted: The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
  13. I’m slowly exploring Twitter. I just didn’t get it in the beginning and I still find this platform a bit difficult. But, I’m starting to get the appeal. I recently had a twitter chat and my followers number increased – and it was fun to talk more with some of my favorite bloggers 🙂

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Fairytale News 12. Review Kobo Glo.
  14. I get a lot of traffic from Twitter, more than any other social media site. Interestingly enough, I never thought about Goodreads. I see now that I need to start posting my reviews there with a link to the blog. Thanks for the great info. and tip on a new social media site to use!

  15. Great advice, as always, Ashley! I’m definitely going to check out the tweet old posts plugin, and I know I click on all of those from you in your TL lol

    You make a great point about goodreads reviews. I usually post a summary of my review on goodreads, but say something like “to read the full review, including quotes, check out my review here. Do you think I should put the full review on goodreads instead?

    1. I personally think you should put the full review, but that’s really just my personal preference. If you have Google Analytics on your blog, you can easily get these same statistics for yourself, and if you already have a ton of traffic from Goodreads, then maybe how you’re doing it is better for generating more traffic on your blog!

      But just purely from a Goodreads user’s perspective, I prefer to see the full review on Goodreads. I only read Goodreads reviews when I want to get a really quick idea of how my friends liked the book, so that means I won’t click on 10 blog links to be taken outside Goodreads and read 10 different reviews there. I want to quickly and easily read them all on Goodreads itself, so I can get a quick, good idea.

      But for all I know, I may be the only person in the world who does it like that. 😛

  16. Social media has significant importance these days, and without using it correctly we cant get our desire results Google Plus and Facebook is most important factor now a days and the way you define the entire mistakes to avoid is awesome. Thanks for valuable Sharing!

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