Oct 13, 2015

Social Media Results

Like I said last Monday, I wanted to spend the week really digging into social media. I figured you guys might be interested in what I found.
Social Media magnifying glass

First off, I didn't do much more than post once a day and try to interact with one other post. (Such as a retweet or a like). I did not go around adding friends/followers (though that's a fast way to increase your numbers) because I wanted to see what would happen organically.  What social media, at it's core without any special tactics, for me, is the best to bring traffic and promote myself to potential readers?

Sadly, social media did nothing to drive traffic to my blog. Not last week. Not last month. Not the since the first of August. (Didn't bother looking into data older than that.) Ways to improve that would be posting links to posts, but well, didn't do that because I didn't write one. So this was a good study of how the different social media channels work as an engagement platform.

A bit of glossary so you know what I'm talking about moving forward.

- post engagement rate = the percentage of my posts that are engaged with per week, with an engagement identified as a like/comment/retweet.  This data isn't limited to posts made during the week, but also older posts that had been found through search and engaged with. This is an indication of the quality of my posts.

- follower engagement rate = the likelihood of a follower interacting with one of my posts. This is an indication of the quality of my online persona/brand.


Facebook friend count grew 11% in the week and had a really, really impressive post engagement rate - 283%!  Follower engagement rate was 51%. For engagement, Facebook is hands down the leader. The problem though is my audience. They're all fellow authors (or RL friends). All people who buy and read books of course, but not exactly who I'm searching for.


Tumblr follower count grew 4%, not super impressive, but as a whole I've been pleased with my growth on Tumblr. Most of my followers found me organically based on my posts, not via recommended people like on other social channels, and it's the account I've had for the least amount of time. It places third in follower engagement rate at 27%. My post engagement rate on the other hand is the lowest of all the channels at 30%.  What does that mean? That my followers love me, but I'm not often posting things they enjoy.


Twitter grew 5%, about average for my social media channels. But it's also worth noting from my previous tracking exercises that Twitter is the channel that has the most fluctuation week to week. It's not unlikely that next week I'll have lost as many followers as I gained this past one. Post engagement rate was high, 50%, but follower engagement rate was second lowest of all the channels at 5%. None of my engagements were retweets, sadly, because those would have increased my reach.


Pinterest is my slow miracle social media channel. I'll ignore it, and then come back to notifications and a follower growth. It's like a long-term retirement stock. That said, most of my interactions are on older posts. Growth was zero, with a post engagement of 83% and a follower engagement rate of 16%. Many of my engagements are also not on writing related posts. My most popular are a mermaid dress I pinned years ago and a Peace Corps packing list :/


I was whole prepared to be really disappointed in Google+ , but it didn't do too bad.  A 6% follower increase, with a 33% post engagement rate.  It's a dismal follower engagement rate however at 0.8%. Still, considering I didn't actually post here, but rather interacted with others, not bad. Google+ also functions very differently from other channels - pretty much all the posts are links to blog posts.

Now, the reason why I went through all of this is that I'm feeling really, really stretched out trying to manage all my social media accounts. I wanted to reduce them, pick just one or two to be active one. Social media takes time and mental effort, I had to actually force myself to post and come up with something different for each channel. Plus, social media is, after all, social. I can never keep up with blogs, social is even worse because it moves so fast.

So, where am I going to focus my attention?

Twitter and Tumblr.

While Facebook has a crazy amount of engagement, it's not with people I want to engage with. I mean, hanging out with other authors is nice, but it's not what I want from social media. Facebook was also the platform I had the hardest time posting on. Even with my personal account, I don't use it much. I'm done.

Tumblr I'm keeping because of the audience. I'm hoping to reach the YA crowd, and to be honest the other channels are just not where those readers are. Tumblr is dynamic and has great customization options for the micro-sites.  And the engagement stats are solid on both counts. People like my posts and they like me. Consistently.

Twitter I'm keeping because it's super easy to use and I have a high post engagement rate. It's also the only place where I've had back and forth conversations with other users (aside from the one off followup for blog comments). While my follower engagement rate is really low, Twitter doesn't have a bad growth.

To be honest, Tumblr and Twitter call to me on a personal level that the others do not. Twitter is easy to use via my phone, Tumblr not so much but I go out of my way to access it online. They are where I feel most comfortable with, communities that I want to belong to.

Facebook I'm going to delete. Pinterest I will just leave alone and let it grow. Google+ I'll leave alone, but share my blog posts on and maybe check in once a week.  But ultimately, from here on out you're only going to see me on two social networks. Here's hoping it allows me more time to read your blogs.

Any questions or comments about your own experiences? I wanna know.


  1. I find the best way to drive traffic to my blog is to read and comment on other blogs - there is little cross-over with other social media sights.

    I love my Pinterest account for myself - I've started saving photos that may inspire stories. People keep following me (or rather my 'geek' album) although I have no idea why.

    I still don't use my Twitter account properly, and I get confused about who's talking to who in large discussions :-/

    It's interesting to read your findings.

  2. I've noticed that too, my biggest traffic pusher is other blog comments. Plus, a lot of comment fields have me post links to my site and that ups the rank of my domain. I've also noticed that come NaNo, I'll get traffic from my profile link in forums when I talk to people on the site.

    But yeah, Pinterest is a great tool. I have story specific boards and all that. And it is one where I always wonder why people are following those.

  3. My objections to Facebook (and I may push them aside in interest of seeking more engagement with potential readers) are about Facebook and its privacy policies and, frankly, the feeling that they are out to exploit their users. I don't use twitter much as it's a firehose. Google+ I do like and find occasional but worthwhile engagement on it. I'll miss your presence.

    I'll have to try out tumblr after hearing you sing its praises.

    By the way, have you tried LinkedIn? I find some good engagement there, although it does tend to be about writing.