Social Media is Your Short Game

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Social media is a really useful tool for promoting yourself and your brand. With some changes and improvements I’ve made over the last few weeks, social media now accounts for almost three quarters of the daily sessions coming into this blog.

Twitter alone accounts for nearly 60% of the incoming traffic now. I’ve upped my Twitter game substantially, and the results are readily apparent. This blog got more traffic from May 1 through May 15 than it got in all of April. That holds true whether you measure it by sessions or by pageviews. And I expect another big growth wave as I branch out into other social networks and study the right ways to optimize traffic from those sources.

But social media is your short game.

The traffic from social media is ephemeral. The traffic from social media has a high bounce rate (the visitors who only look at one page on your site). Most who come in from social media are one time visitors. Social media visitors are far less likely to leave comments on your actual blog – but far more likely to talk about it on social media, so there’s a trade-off! But worst of all, the traffic flow is here today and gone tomorrow. If you don’t keep active on the social media every day, that traffic comes to a halt. The picture below represents traffic from Twitter after one particular influencer retweeted a blog posting of mine last week.

TwitterTrafficFalloff

Note the large spike and then the quick fall-off afterward. That’s not a snapshot over a period of days – that’s over a period of hours. Now, keep in mind that Twitter is the shortest of short game. Even in social media terms, Twitter is ephemeral. The tweets are gone quickly. Facebook moves at a much slower pace. And Google+ seems to have a nice staying presence in Google’s actual search results. But in general, you need to understand that any given post on social media doesn’t stay around on people’s radar for very long.

This doesn’t in any way mean that you should be neglecting social media. This one retweet by one influencer brought in more sessions in one day than I got in most months in 2015 (when I wasn’t doing much to promote this blog). But the following day, traffic was back to very close to normal. To sustain the traffic, you have to keep hammering away at the social media every single day.

But the key point that I want to make is, social media is the short game and must be treated like it. Spend time on it, but don’t neglect your long game. What’s the long game, you ask? Come back next week and we’ll talk about that!

Russell Newquist

My name is Russell Newquist. I am a software engineer, a martial artist, an author, an editor, a businessman and a blogger. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, but I'm technically a high school dropout. I also think that everything in this paragraph is pretty close to meaningless. I work for a really great small company in Huntsville, Alabama building really cool software. I'm the owner and head instructor of Madison Martial Arts Academy, which I opened in 2013 less to make money and more because I just really enjoy a good martial arts workout with friends. I'm the editor in chief of Silver Empire and also one of the published authors there. And, of course, there is this blog - and all of its predecessors. There's no particular reason you should trust anything I say any more than any other source. So read it, read other stuff, and think for your damn self - if our society hasn't yet over-educated you to the point that you've forgotten how.

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