Many experts have been saying that you should not just jump on the bandwagon for every new social network that comes along. There is some truth to this reasoning, but you need to understand a few things about which network you jump onto.
(1) You won’t know until you try
If you just stick to Facebook because you are doing okay with Facebook, you might be missing the boat. First of all, every time you try a new social network, you evolve along your leaning curve, and expand your thinking. If you were doing well on Facebook before, you might start doing amazingly after you try one or two other networks just because your thought process could have improved. You won’t know if your business does well on Stumbleupon if you never try it. Also, if you try it early in your social media evolution, try it again when you have a little more experience. You might do better the second time around.
(2) Some social networks are better for your general industry
After looking around on many social media sites, I have come to the conclusion that there are many social networks that are good for talking about social media marketing, travel, news, and other topics of more general interest. The problem is that when you have a more specific specialty, many networks don’t have many individuals on the network. On a brighter note, sometimes small communities tend to be warmer. I am now using Google+ where there are very few Realtors. I post articles on Real Estate groups, and my articles get a lot of traffic despite how small the groups are. So, don’t judge a network by its size. Try it out and see what the results are like! I will say that in general, Facebook has the largest collection of active users worldwide, so if you have a specialty niche, Facebook might be a way to drive a lot of traffic to your site and blog, especially if you are smart how you use the PPC program!
(3) Some networks get you traffic right away while others don’t
Through years of trying different things and trying to figure out the mystery of social media, I have learned several things. There are certain networks where you can get tons of quality clicks really easily and other networks where you can’t get clicks unless you build up your following. I recommend starting on Google+ first, and post on lots of communities. This is a fast way to get thousands of quality clicks per month coming to your blog! Twitter is the easiest social media network to manage, but I would try it last as getting big results on Twitter only happens after a year or more of paying your dues building your network.
To use Twitter effectively as a way to boost your blog traffic, you really need 20,000 followers minimum to make a significant dent in your traffic. Twitter is a great way to get long term traffic if you are willing to invest in building your network which requires daily work.
Twitter’s PPC can get you lots of clicks. But, the quality of the blog clicks I got was really bad, averaging several seconds, while organic clicks averaged around two minutes. Google rewards me generously for “quality clicks,” but, doesn’t care one way or the other about quickie clicks. Twitter PPC was not a way for my business to expand quickly, although the bill was high. Organic Twitter has done nice things for my optimization, but takes time.
Facebook also takes time to build your network. Your posts may not even be seen by your followers with the current algorithm. However, if you have a loyal following (I am lucky to have this,) you can get a healthy amount of clicks to your blog. We have about 5000 followers and get about 300 clicks a month to our blog which are quality clicks (duration averaging over two minutes.)
Facebook PPC is also a great tool, but only works well with your most popular posts. Facebook PPC makes you pay based on your exposure, not your results. So, figure out what the top most popular 2% of your blog articles are and promote them regularly on Facebook PPC. You will get lots of clicks and get new followers!
I am frustrated at how time consuming it is to get followers on Google+. It takes me at least six times as long to get a follower on Google+ than it does on Twitter. I’m not even sure what the value of a Google+ follower is in terms of click traffic. However, I will say that as someone just starting out, I am getting about 50 clicks per day posting on Communities which is amazing. My total clicks from Twitter to my blog was 50 per month a few months ago, so 50 clicks a day is highly welcomed. I might be able to find a way to make that 200 clicks a day if I can grow a few more neurons in my head! I don’t know what the benefit of having a huge Google+ following is, but you can get tons of fast clicks posting on communities, so don’t overlook this network as it offers immediate results at no cost.
Linked In’s performance is similar to Google+. You can get immediate clicks posting on their groups. Their groups in business oriented specialties tend to be larger than Google+, so post away, and watch your clicks come in. The quality of a Linked In click is excellent in my experience since the users are often serious business types.
(4) Some networks are growing in momentum while others are shrinking.
Social media networks are moving targets. You can’t assign a permanent judgement to any social media network. First of all their algorithms change over time. Next, their usership can grow or shrink as other social media networks become popular or get phased out. Additionally, your skill at using a particular network tends to grow over time if you are always trying to improve. So, when you take notes assigning scores to the various different networks, have an expiration date of a year after you assign the score. In a year, the playing field could be very different!
(5) Once you have mastered all of the bigger networks…
I am not sure if focusing and sticking to a single social media network is the right approach. But, here is my train of thought. If you have tried all of the networks, built a following in each, and have taken metrics as to how much effort is involved in getting quality clicks (clicks with a duration of more than a minute could be a definition of a quality click,) then it is time to make a decision.
You might find that on Facebook you can get a high volume of cost effective clicks using the PPC program. That has been my experience, but only on my most popular blog entries.
You might find that Twitter offers you the most time-efficient quality clicks, but only after your network has exceeded 30,000 which is not so easy to build.
You might find that Google+ offers you thousands of clicks your first week publishing on communities, but doesn’t match up to the time-efficiency that a mature Twitter community does.
Basically, you can’t make an informed decision of which social network is best until you have mastered them all, or at least tried them all. If you find that one network offers you overwhelmingly more clicks per hour or dollar spent than the others: then, and only then it might be time to disregard the other networks and focus on that one! If you find a way to get cheap, quality clicks, milk it for what its worth, and let me in on your secret!