Social media does not work for me. I may have figured out why.
Social Media Drives No Traffic to Website
My social networking efforts are a failure, delivering near-zero visitors to my website. While it’s easy to build a modest following on Twitter, for instance, those same followers consistently ignore my tweets about posts and pages on my website. No visits, no retweets, no likes. In fact, they ignore ALL my tweets, most of which have nothing to do with website posts. Everything I tweet must be utterly boring. (Why do I have any followers, at all?)
Then I noticed that timelines are always filled with status updates from the same 20 people. Doesn’t my niece post anymore? What happened to John Fugelsang? I finally learned that Twitter and Facebook timelines are no longer chronological. These networks are dishing out the updates they think will interest me most. (Why do I bother to follow people?)
I’m a small fry. Neither do my followers see updates from me in their timelines.
The Search Engine Is Your Friend
It was after I published the “2018 Progressive Candidates” page in January, that this social limbo really caught my attention. The “Candidates” piece is rather long, and lends itself to internal linking and constant updating. Search engines love all that. Google blessed my site with a significant new flow of traffic. By contrast, although I actively promoted the same piece on Twitter, website analytics reveal that Twitter only refers viewers to my website on rare occasions.
Interestingly enough, Facebook refers a steady dribble of visitors. While I tend to avoid it (the cluttered format drives me batty), folks seem to prefer sharing to Facebook over Twitter.
There are many factors in play, but I’ll tell website owners one thing. Next to your canine pal, the search engine is your best friend.
My New Social Media Plan
Understandably, social networks must monetize their applications. They adjust algorithms in favor of paying customers. Other than being part of an audience that such sponsors buy, I have no role to play. What about synergy? The thrill of a stimulating exchange? Or something as basic as quid pro quo? It won’t happen while Facebook and Twitter are pushing friends into obscurity. Now, I may be spoiled by the wonderfully interactive blogger community at WordPress.com, but I think these big social media outfits need to do better by average users.
Dear Readers, how does social media work for you? Does it improve your website traffic? Do you make meaningful connections? Does it distract you from more productive work?
Here’s my new social media plan: sparing sharing — until circumstances warrant increased activity. My networks are organized with a view to future branding of The Chester Chronicles. Each social network contributes, in a varied way, to that purpose.
Facebook – Pleasant Vanilla
Flipboard – Website Management
Google+ – Hanging with Chester
Pinterest – Quotes and Memes
Tumbler – Dogs in Lit & Film
Twitter – Canine News & Views
Twitter – Dogeared Lit
Twitter – Progressive Graffiti
But is it even possible for small players to successfully conduct a social branding campaign? It may be, some day, if and when social media algorithms become more democratic.
Spare the Share