Social Media SMACK-DOWN: Facebook v. Twitter

Social Media and reblogging test zone….beware

This is test. One of the bells and whistles that fell off when I moved from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog on HostGator.com is that Re-blog no longer works. It APPEARS to work, but the article gets reblogged to my old site on WP even though all traffic gets redirected to my new blog. So if I reblogged an article of yours, you get an an invalid link. I am testing a plug-in called PressForward that lets you collect good stuff via RSS feeds. Google it if you don’t know what they are. Please check out Gene’O’s social media smack-down post below.

Originally publshed on Sourcerer

social media garden

Grow your social media garden

It’s no secret around this place that we spent the winter and spring invading Facebook with our WordPress army. That’s been a success, but a somewhat costly one. I’ve spent the last ten days or so taking stock, figuring out what we’ve accomplished, and deciding where to go from here.

From July through November of last year, Sourcerer averaged 11.6 Facebook referrals per month and Part Time Monster averaged 20.2. During that time, I was barely using Facebook at all — just publicizing to some pages and using PMs and groups to chat with a dozen or so bloggers — and Diana was mostly using it the way non-bloggy folks use it. From December through May 12, Sourcerer averaged 71.2 Facebook referrals per month and Part Time Monster averaged 88.2.

Now, those are huge increases but they are tiny numbers. Since our pages have been doing exactly what they’ve always done this whole time, I am assuming the increase is coming from our personal timelines and shares in blogging groups.

If I’d gone big on Facebook for nearly six months hoping for a huge traffic increase, I’d be disappointed. But that’s not what it was about. It was about two things.

  1. Making friends with enough bloggers to make posting a status update on my personal timeline worth the time it takes to compose one, and
  2. getting connected with contributors and collaborators so I didn’t have to do planning stuff on the front pages of the blogs and ask people to visit and read.

That’s been a success, and has made the whole thing worthwhile to me.

Social Media: Twitter

Social Media: Twitter

Now here’s the rub. I’ve neglected Twitter this whole time. I’ve publicized links and shared and retweeted things from @Sourcererblog as I could. But I’ve barely looked at my personal account and have been lousy about answering notifications for the last few months. And Twitter is STILL outperforming Facebook in the referral department.

I’m adjusting my priorities. I’m friends with plenty of bloggers on Facebook now and happy to be friends with more, but I’m not actively looking at this point and not joining more groups. I’m using Facebook to keep up with the bloggers and groups I already know and getting back to the business of blogging.

I just figure, for the amount of time I’ve sunk specifically into various link-sharing activities over the last five months, the return isn’t that great. Not when a fairly modest Twitter following that I have given almost no engagement to over that period of time is just as happy to click my links as they’ve always been. The conversations are great on Facebook, my friends over there are awesome, and a lot of coordination is going on in Facebook groups, but the sharing of the links, in particular, seems like an inefficient use of time.

So, a goodly portion of my Facebook time is reallocated to Twitter and to the blogosphere. I addition to not doing a good job with my Twitter notifications, I’ve also not been great about hitting my WordPress reader nor about visiting commenters lately. That has to change.

Here’s my plan through October.

  • Keep delivering the content.
  • Grow on social media on Twitter, get more engaged, and do a better job encouraging my followers over there to get to know one another.
  • Remain active in the Facebook groups, share things on my timeline, answer my threads, and do just enough keep up over there until I get the Twitter sorted.
  • Once the Twitter is straightened out, go back to Facebook and form a group. The invitations to that group will originate on my timeline. I’d hoped to be setting up a group next month, but I’m not experienced enough with administering groups, nor do I have a clear enough idea of what my friends would want to feel like that’s a smart use of my time and energy just now.
  • Once the Facebook group is up and stable with 40+ members, have a serious conversation about StumbleUpon. I’m already Stumbling a few things now then and to build up a history.

In the meantime, I’m setting up my Twitter accounts to tweet around the clock at two hour intervals and I’m checking my notifications over there at least every other day. Here’s where I am with @Sourcererblog on Twitter right this minute.

twitter_S_05_15

That spike in the middle is the increase from my last big push in the fall. It’s an increase of 2,000 4followers over a two-month period, and I know exactly how that is done. Note that even though I’ve not been actively growing this account since November, nor paying much attention to it, it’s still trending up. Since I shifted to Facebook at the beginning of December, I’ve seen a net increase of 800 followers without even trying.

Now I know what publicizing my links, sharing to hashtags for others on the weekends with a following of 5K, and doing minimal engagement are worth. I want to see what ramping up the engagement and getting smart about sharing our own links will do for the blog. And I want to know what it’s like to manage a Twitter following of 15K. I’m curious.

Please hop over to Sourcerer Blog to leave a comment.

 

10 thoughts on “Social Media SMACK-DOWN: Facebook v. Twitter

  1. Gene'O

    Hmm. Interesting. One of the problems I have interacting with self-hosted WP blogs is that I can’t reblog them at all. It is less a problem now than it was when I first started and reblogs were a part of my normal routine to keep my blog moving. In my experience, the following is true of reblogs

    1. People don’t pay much attention to them and they aren’t very good for referring readers to other blogs.

    2. But, they are good for building good will and expressing positive regard. And they get you an update with the click of a button, which is valuable sometimes in and of itself.

    I see one problem with this app: It’s not truncated the post at all. It’s basically an auto-blogging tool. I don’t mind it with this post because I care more about this one getting read than I do about where it’s read, and you did ask first, but there’s really no incentive for anyone to click the link to Sourcerer there. A lot of bloggers will be irritated with the whole post being replicated, and it might even penalize posts in Google searches (which also doesn’t matter with this one, it’s never getting into a big Google search no matter what I do, but if you’d chosen one of my handful of posts that get search traffic every day, I’d not be happy about it).

    Great experiment, though, and I’d love to find a way for wordpress.org blogs and wp.com blogs to reblog one another. Would love it.

    Reply
    1. Alex Hurst

      Agree with Gene’o, here. The lack of truncating the post will be a pretty big blow to traffic on the intended blog.

      A second note: Reblogs, the ability to be Freshly Pressed, and being included in the site’s massive Reader are all unavailable to self-hosted blogs. Just keep that in mind, though I’m sure you may have noticed that your native traffic has dropped off.

      Reply
      1. Gene'O

        Sourcerer will never move off WordPress.com. I might do a new thing, and bring a lot of people along, and play the self-hosting game, but not with Sourcerer.

        A WP.com blog with ten contributors and a large twitter account is valuable, in and of itself, even though it can never really earn.

        We’re going for the large Twitter account this summer.

        As far as the substance of this conversation, thank you for agreeing. Reproducing entire posts in you own space is not good practice, and I do my best to steer my friends away from that.

        Reply
        1. shawngriffith Post author

          That’s a good point Gene’O. I’ll have to manually edit any posts that I “re-blog” to mimic the WP reblog button. This has most definitely been a learning experience 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts!

        2. Gene'O

          Haha. I keep forgetting that I have to check back for comments from you now because you aren’t sending me WordPress notifications any more.

          The reblog you did today is way better, and closing the comments on reblogs is smart (in my experience, reblogs get few comments, anyway).

          I only learned recently that search engines penalize copied content, but apparently, they do.

          The reason I had an idea how bloggers would feel about it is because there are sites that do nothing but scan WordPress tags and copy entire posts on a schedule, and it’s happened to Diana a couple of times, so it’s something we’ve discussed with quite a few other bloggers. Bit of a focus group, there.

        3. shawngriffith Post author

          That’s good to know. The PressForward plug-in that am using will pull from multiple RSS feeds and allows multiple people to to vote and comment on an article or move it draft. I had to manually edit the post, but it wasn’t that bad. I will be opening the code next week to tinker with a reblog option. Feel free to throw questions y’all are considering my way and I’ll be happy to toss in my $0.02. You have my email address

    2. shawngriffith Post author

      Thanks for the comments Gene’O. I agree that I don’t like that part about not truncating. I can manually edit the post or maybe make a code change to the plug-in since it has GNU license. Guess it’s time to brush off my coding skills 🙂 When I get it working, I’ll let you know. Thanks for letting me experiment.

      Reply
  2. barbtaub

    Somehow I can’t read.your posts.because on my browser (Silk for Kindle Fire) the “subscribe now” and “share” pop ups cover up the text. (Can’t even see most of this comment to tell if it’s misspelled)

    Reply
    1. shawngriffith Post author

      Thanks Barb, I’ll see if there is a setting where I can turn off subscribe popup for smaller screens. I did test it on my iphone and everthing behaved nicely. I appreciate the feedback.

      Reply

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