We are mining ProBlogger content this week for super-useful information to kick-start your blogging year with gusto. Today we encourage you to take stock of your social media habits – are they working for you? What can you do better? How can you harness this amazing technology to drive more quality traffic to your blog? Darren shows us the ropes.
This post “What Content Works Where? Smarter Traffic (and Revenue) Building Through Social Media” first appeared in January 2013.
Every time we publish a post on social media here at ProBlogger, readers comment that social media takes so much time—how can they get smarter about it? Today I wanted to give you a quick way to get a better handle on your social media activities, in about five minutes, using nothing more than your site stats (I’m using Google Analytics). You don’t need to get any software or be using a certain tool to share your content. This is just a short, quick technique that anyone can use—social media newbie or superstar.
Is your social media “working”?
First, let’s look at the question we’re trying to answer here. Most of us want to know that we’re getting some return on investment on social media, but we also want to improve our work within each network, so that our communications are more targeted, and our returns keep improving. So the broad question, “Is social media really working for me?” or “Is it worth my time?” are probably better refined to:
- How much traffic am I getting from social media?
- What’s that doing for my bottom line?
- How can I improve on those figures?
That first question is very easily answered; any stats package will tell you how many unique visitors and pageveiws your blog is getting through social channels. It’ll also tell you what percentage of your traffic overall comes from those sources. You can easily extrapolate that to an actual (if approximate) ROI provided you have an idea of the value you get from, say, each ad impression on your blog. Divide that by the number of hours you spend each month or week on social media and you’ll know exactly how much money you’re making for your time right now. It’ll be harder to track the ongoing, growing value of that time expenditure in less tangible terms, like what it’s doing for authority-building within your niche. But this is a start. Similarly, if you have a special promotion you’ve been plugging through social media, you should be able to track how much traffic it’s sending to your landing page. And if it’s a dedicated landing page for social media traffic, you’ll be able to clearly see how well that traffic’s converting. But what about the last question: How can I improve those figures? The answer lies in looking a little more closely at what, specifically, is pulling the traffic through from each network.
If you’re not sure how your social networks are performing when it comes to generating traffic, you might be surprised to look at your stats. Here are the most popular URLs on ProBlogger for the last month, for Twitter:
- 40 Cool Things to Do with Your Posts After You Hit Publish
- Ramit Sethi Exposed: How He Earns Millions Blogging
- Neil Patel’s Guide to Writing Popular Blog Posts
- Grow Your Blog Business: The Earn Millions in Your Flip-flops Framework [Case Study]
- How to Make $30,000 a Year Blogging.
And here are the most popular for Facebook:
- 15 Bloggers to Watch in 2013
- 40 Cool Things to Do with Your Posts After You Hit Publish
- Are You Wasting Time Guest Posting?
- Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? 7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging
- 20 Linkbaiting Techniques.
What stands out to me here, above all else, is the potential for older content (like that last post in the Facebook list, which was from 2006!) to get traffic through reshares. Obviously, with all your stats at your fingertips, you can go much further than the top five, but this snapshot gives a fairly clear picture of the differences between the content that appeals to the users of different networks. Even at a glance, we might make some hypotheses based on these results:
- Twitter users in this space prefer case studies and personal advice that comes with a sense of authority.
- Facebook users in this space like list posts.
- The most popular topics on Twitter seem to be about making money blogging.
- The most popular topics on Facebook are about blog promotion techniques.
So of course, the next step is to test those hypotheses. I could go back into the stats archive to see if those statements are true over, say, the last six months. And I could test those statements using articles I have queued up for the next week or month. There seems to be a bit of a dichotomy between headlines that work well on each network, so I could try different headlines on different types of posts and see how that goes. But it’s also important to remember that reshares aren’t just about headlines—they’re also about content. So rather than just coming up with some great direct, list-style headlines for list posts in an effort to boost traffic from Facebook, I could see try other types of headlines on some list posts, and see how they perform on that network. In this way I can narrow down how important the headline is on each social network, as well as which types of content are likely to do well.
As I mentioned, this kind of analysis doesn’t take long—a five-minute review once a week (or, more likely for me, once a month!) will give me the information I need. This information can help me shape my content to attract more users from each network, but it can also help me to devise information products or offers that best suit each network’s users. This can, again, help me optimize clickthroughs and conversions from those sources. The more I get to know the data over time, the more effectively I can communicate to users of each network about things that interest them, and in ways that impact them. This can help me to build broad rapport but also to do market research, make valuable relationships, and more. Not bad for a five-minute review! Of course, there’s a lot more you can do around social media tracking and assessment. But as I explained at the outset of this post, I wanted to show all those bloggers who think social media takes too much time that getting quantitative answers about the return on that investment isn’t hard or time-consuming. And neither is making use of that information to make your social networking even more productive. What sorts of social media traffic and revenue tracking do you do? Let us know in the comments.
I try to track my results on social media as long as it doesn’t interview in my work for promotion.
Tracking is important and on the tracking you do, it will bring in the necessary changes for progress.
Facebook tracking is something I have been serious about for the last month.
Facebook page likes have been my latest study and I am tracking those results closely.
When studying a process, the analysis needs to be top-notch.
Great idea! I think we could all spend a little more time tracking social media. So much to be learned from the results!
Yeah you are right…Thanks for this post…
Measuring and re-assessing is key when using social. Social media need not take that long a time if you work it intelligently. Great tips here.
You’re absolutely right. It does get easier!
I would say you have done a good job mining Pro blogger with the article “40 Cool Things to Do with Your Posts After You Hit Publish”, many of us are always looking for things to get the word out about are articles but most probably fall short or in the range of 5 to 10 things we can think of.
I just found this site a year so I love it when you dig out old post that you think will be helpful to a newbie like me! I have been so focus on churning out new content that I forgot that there some great stuff I have already I think its time to dive back into the treasure and see what comes up!
You’ll be surprised! Especially if it is an “evergreen” post, where it’s always useful to someone.
Definitely good advice. I spent a good portion of 2013 learning how to “engage” better on social media and get it to return results by way of traffic to my site. I’m going to continue to “hone” this down in 2014! Have a great year!
I think we all will try that too! Thanks and have a great 2014 yourself :)
Love your advice, Stacey! Too often we get stuck onto doing the same thing repeatedly and we forget to check what works and what not. People’s behaviour changes and not to mention technology keeps us on our toes as well.
Thanks for sharing your great tips!
Ah yes, even I’m guilty of that!
Thanks For Sharing This Kind of Advice.
Awesome article!! The content of “40 Cool Things to Do with Your Posts After You Hit Publish” is very informative.
One thing I’ve noticed that sites forget about when it comes to social media is to occasionally make sure your links to your social media profiles from your blog or website are not broken! This doesn’t happen often but I’ve run into more than one site where I tried to reach out via their Twitter button and it sent me to a dead link for whatever reason. If you change your Twitter @ name – make sure you update those links!
oh yes, so true!
Just to inform you that inside this article there is a broken link.
List# 2. Ramit Sethi Exposed: How He Earns Millions Blogging
All links are very helpful. Thanks.
Link has been fixed
You’re right, the start of a new year is a great time to get a handle on your social media marketing (and any other aspect of your business that needs some attention).
ROI is key, yet an area where too many small business owners in particular fly a bit by the seat of their pants, This is partially due to the greater difficulty with direct measurement of social media ROI. That being said, examining your social media marketing strategy (a defined strategy is important), procedures, and implementing proper tracking, will deliver an upgrade for most marketers.
Great point about leveraging older content that’s still relevant. Don’t forget those old posts. here are many a gem in your blog just waiting to be discovered by a new audience. Don’t let them down! Repurposing and re-promoting existing content is a fantastic way to quickly and easily boost your ROI. After all, you already own the content, why not get more out of it.
Precisely what we’re doing here today! ;-)
Must be good advice, haha
i have long facebook friend list but traffic for my each post is very low.what should i do so that flood of traffic come to my website and ultimately increase my earning
Thanks Author. A good writer.
Have a great 2014 Problogger.net !
Thanks for sharing. I monitor my google analytics stats on a weekly basis. For me Disqus & Pinterest are the biggest traffic drivers to my site.
Hi Stacey. I have had mixed results with social media in 2013. There are specific niches that have “followings” (say, craft for instance) and you can build up a great Twitter and Facebook following and engagement with those groups. Pinterest is also great for promoting a site that has visual elements (worked well for a “home accessories” site of mine.
I need to push more though in 2014, especially in terms of understanding the return on investment in social media.
I think we could all push a little more this year. Good luck!
Definitely guidance. I invested a large amount of 2013 studying how to “engage” better on public networking and get it to come back outcomes by way of visitors to my website. I’m going to keep “hone” this down in 2014! Have an excellent year!
Let us know how you go!
I worked on 31st and I worked on 1st. Definitely this year, I am going to put a lot of action and consistency regarding my online business. I am going for gold! Spend 2-3 weeks in planning and setting goals and I am going to achieve success.
i love the idea working smart and not hard. One mistake most of us make is working hard and failing to work smart as well. I do try to work smart when it comes to social media and i am getting a decent amount of traffic from it. What i do is automate every new post with socialoomps and spend some time to interact with my fan/followers so that everything doesn’t work on automation. By doing that i save the energy to share my post manually to every social network and use that energy to interact with my connection and run some free campaign. Thanks for writing this post as it has given me additional tip to work smarted.
I do try to work smart when it comes to social media and i am getting a decent amount of traffic from it. What i do is automate every new post with socialoomps and spend some time to interact with my fan/followers so that everything doesn’t work on automation. By doing that i save the energy to share my post manually to every social network and use that energy to interact with my connection and run some free campaign. Thanks for writing this post as it has given me additional tip to work smarted.
Thanks for the extra tips! I just started using twitter not to long ago for traffic. I have gotten good results so far.
Social Media off course is capable to generate visitors and leads for business but should be done cautiously else can do more harm than good. Thanks for your wonderful research have given me with some good insight. I strongly believe tracking and analyzing the performance of each share in social platform will help you to increase overall efficiency of any campaign.
Buffer is working pretty good for me for smartly sharing over social media. Although it’s not too good for blogging. We are rolling our own solution for smarter social media sharing with blogging in mind. Hope we can bring it out before May this year. It’ll be awesome.
social media didn’t giving me lots of visitors.facebook,twitter give my website only 10-20 visitors on post sharing.what should i do bring traffic flood on my website from social sites.
Absolutely right, I totally agree with you. Work smarter effects than work harder. So, we should smart work. And we should shake up in a new season.
Social media plays a very important role in providing you dedicated trafficand also maintain your links as well. Because as social media is open to all you will get your new readers from there.
Thanks for this much useful article.
Thank you for writing such an informative article. I do agree, that understanding how much of social media traffic is coming to your blog is a great way to understand which social medias you need to spend more time on. I will be using these tips immediately. Thanks.
Happy to read the article. Social sites are meant for social communication but today all of them are used for business. I am not skeptical, i see this as a way for customers to know/learn more about the products/services he/she is paying for which was not possible before.
Great post, I definitely need to rework my social media plan for 2014. Thanks for sharing.
I need social media information and I got it.I applied those steps on my blog and i got success.Thanks for sharing this information.
That first question is very easily answered; any stats package will tell you how many unique visitors and pageveiws your blog is getting through social channels. It’ll also tell you what percentage of your traffic overall comes from those sources.
That’s what my boss tells me everyday ;) I think that for smarter work, realiable tools are needed. I used to spend a lot of time on social media, taking care of stuff, it took a lot of time and wasn’t always efficient. But later I found and combined two tools – https://colibri.io and https://bufferapp.com and not only my work gives a better effect but also I can do more. That’s such a relief that there are tools which are cheap and effective in the same time.
Sir, I’m a newbie blogger. I’m getting decent visitors from Facebooka and G+, but failed to get traffic from twitter. Is getting readers from twitter is difficult?
Your information is good and informative, I agree with you mentioned information, social media is a good way to generate traffic to blog/website. We have to spend some few time in social media website to boost our website traffic, after reading your article, get more useful information. Thanks for sharing.
Great Article! i was in search of. it is very very important to get the social media tracked. the way you explained well help newbies like me a lot.
Thanks a lot for this great article.
Very interesting article here. I like the coverage of some basic social media principles that should be followed by anyone using the platform for commercial purposes. Above all, track track track, don’t let all your hard work be disputed due to lack of tracking!
So many of our clients don’t put enough effort into their social media campaigns. Then they come to us, complaining that no one is engaging with them online. It drives me nuts! Perhaps I should forward them all this article so that they can finally see how social media can actually have an impact.
When it comes to our own social media accounts, we do try to keep track of how our posts and the like are performing. This is a very important role held by a couple of team members and we receive weekly reports that outline what appears to be working and what doesn’t. Your article has given me a few areas where I think our ‘social media habits’ could, however, improve.
I think this reboot is still based on the content, consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns king when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your ideal customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text based content.
I’m a new blogger this year and I appreciate this post.
Lot’s of good info.