This is recap of my social media world in 2016 and some of the incredible (weird) stats that go along with it. I incorporated a few ideas along the way about why each of these is important and why. With each social network you should have a clear reason of why you are there and what you are trying to accomplish there, right?
Let’s start with the website
In full disclosure, the main purpose of my website is to attract new clients via Organic SEO. I also use my website to incubate those visitors until they are ready to buy and when they are ready, to accept their orders in a simple and easy manner.
I tend to get around 50,000 visitors a year (or a little over 4 grand a month).
I’m ok with that. I’m not sure what happened to the data in 2013 but I’m pretty sure that’s a bug in the accounting. No worries.
Looking at my individual blog posts
Right up at the top, AN OPEN LETTER TO MY GRADUATING DAUGHTER remains at the top post yet again. It was posted back in 2011 when my Daughter graduated high school and has nothing to do with business. It’s popularity naturally peaks every year in May.
It has nothing to do with my main goal for this website, adds nothing to my organic SEO, but I’m so proud of her and proud of the letter my wife wrote that I can’t bear to remove it.
On the business side of posts and pages I’m glad to see my main landing pages like “Custom WordPress Websites” are ranking well. When it comes to my sales funnel, those people that hit that page are ready to buy. They are shopping around for prices and features and the page gives them both.
When it comes to posts, I use those to attract the potential client that isn’t quite ready to pull the trigger just yet. I want to provide valuable information that might help them solve a problem. Hopefully they’ll get the answer they needed and see me as an authority / expert in that field.
In that vein, my lead generating posts are long tail in nature. That means there are many How To style and it’s the culmination of ALL of them and not just a few that matter. I’m never trying to write a blog post and hit it out of the park – so to say.
Of course with all my blog posts, I ultimately want them to sign up for my incubation system. For those that didn’t know, that’s my newsletter.
This year I decided to go once a week for the publication of the newsletter. No matter how many posts I had during the week, subscribers are only going to get a single weekly issue in their inbox. This change reduced my unsubscribes dramatically.
On the data side, I like my open rates and my click thru rates. For those familiar with direct marketing these are good numbers. Remember, this is just a way for me to stay top of mind with people until they are ready to act, that’s all. If they get my newsletter and choose not to open it, I’m fine with that, as long as they don’t chose to unsubscribe.
At 894 current videos you might say I do a heck of a lot of videos. the truth is that most of them are private and unlisted for clients. If you have a question on how to do something, often times I’ll do a quick screen capture video and personally show you how.
Of the public videos I’ve done, it’s the “How To” styled ones that garner the most views.
My goal on YouTube isn’t to be a personality or star. I also stopped monetizing my videos in 2016. I literally made $4.26 in all of 2015. That’s all.
That first video is from way back in 2011 and it’s still getting the hits. In all of my public Youtube videos, there’s also a companion blog post that goes along with it. I put that link at the top of the video description.
This is surprising… Most of my video are viewed on YouTube (see playback locations) yet the traffic is coming from external sources. That’s me creating a video and then embedding it in a blog post but the reader of the post when they hit the play button are going to YouTube to watch it.
I noticed I do that myself on my smart phone. Even if the site is mobile responsive, I click to view the embedded video on YouTube so that I can expand it in full screen. Does that explain it? Not quite.
Looking at the devices in YouTube Analytics it would suggest otherwise. Mobile is way way down on the list!
So I’m not sure why but it is what it is.
Facebook Pages have great analytics. The truth be told I get much more value from my profile (at least when it was active) than my Page. I really don’t push my Page like it could be used. That said – here’s some data on my FB Page.
I currently have around 4,000 people who like my Page. Page Likes are dead. Some might argue that FB Pages are dead with the reduced reach they organically have. The truth is, that if you have a FB Page and you want someone to see what you’ve posted there you have to PAY. It’s as simple as that.
For the Record: I don’t boost any of my posts nor do I run FB ad Campaigns for those posts. I will run ads from time to time that lead back to targeted lead capture pages (as dark posts) but that’s very different from boosting your posts.
If you don’t boost a post, or don’t run ads you’ll see a view rate of around 1%. Seriously. Here’s a post that answers a common WordPress question, unboosted on my page with 4,000 ‘Likers” it had an organic reach of 44 people!
The most important post I did was my post on why I was leaving my FB Profile. There’s some irony in there, eh?
As for my FB Audience I know my target demographic pretty well. I play to that 35 to 64 year old small business owner.
The nice thing that I found was in the post reach, as dismal as it was, is split 50 50 with people who actually like my page and those that haven’t! When you are thinking organic reach, that’s a great number!
Twitter is dead right? It’s just a place to broadcast your latest post or MLM links, right? When I left my FB Profile I started spending a little more time in the vast wasteland that’s Twitter.
Did you know Twitter had analytics? If you read my blog you would. 😉
According to Twitter, in the last 28 days an amazing 554 people checked out my profile. When it comes to engagement I only had 32 mentions. I’m mostly listening and searching Twitter to look for engagement points and let me tell you – they are few and far between!
During the last 28 days my Top Tweet earned 311 impressions (I don’t know what that actually means) and 4 engagements (I’m thinking those are shares or clicks).
— Mike Mueller (@MikeMueller) December 7, 2016
As for Demographics, they somewhat mirror the same I have in my FB Page.
I’ve never paid for followers so my growth has been organic. I’m currently following 13,900 people and have 13,600 following back. I tend to add a a follower a day in a natural way.
For The Record: I do automate some of my tweets. I have a plugin on my site that tweets an old blog post 3 times a day. Does it really add much value? I don’t think so. All of those tweets star with “No Way! I wrote that?“. I’m not sure if I’ll continue that in 2017.
If Twitter closed tomorrow I don’t think I would really miss it. Would you?
Now here’s one place that is going to be very different from everything else. Unlike every other social media network, I don’t use Instagram for business. Not at all.
I started using Instagram only because my bicycle network, Strava was pulling in the Instagram images you took while riding. I would take a picture each ride and upload it to Instagram. I would also push those images out to FB and Twitter.
I started getting comments and likes on those images in Instagram and if they were bike people I would follow them back. Along the way I found some of my non bicycle friends were taking some great pictures too so I started following them.
The funny thing is that when my ‘business demographic’ discovered the platform they naturally followed me. That demographic is your typical real estate agent, aged 35 to 55 who takes pictures of their listings. I didn’t want to see that in my feed so I don’t follow those people back.
Since I mentioned it I might as well go into a little detail. It’s a geo app that records your rides but it’s also so much more. It’s a social network for us bicycle types. We have group discussions, we trash talk each other, and we generally build a cycling community. I don’t get on my bike without first turing the app on.
Since it tracks my every move I can track most everything. I can tell you how many miles I have on my chain or tires. I can tell you how fast I did a certain segment was and if it was fastest time or if it was the fastest time for everyone using the app. It’s also at this time of the year that I look back to see how many miles I did.
In 2015 I did almost the exact same as I did in 2014. Just over 2,000 miles in 158 rides.
This year for some reason I scaled back my riding quite a bit. You might say I cut it in half!
That’s not good. I’m going to have to pick up the pace for 2017. Part of it was due to a few training accidents and recovery time but that happens every year. Hey, is that a New Years Resolution? EEK!
Did you think I would forget about Linkedin?
Well, the truth is that I almost did. Seriously, I think everyone should have a rocking good Linkedin Profile. From there, you might find some good groups that are not full of spammers but they are few and far between.
Demographics? I have 5,000 connections on Linkedin. I’m guessing they are just like my following on FB and Twitter. For the life of me I don’t know why I’m so heavy in the music industry. The most interesting thing about this graphic is the traffic source. It’s just one. It’s Google.
That’s why I’ve always said you better have a rocking good Profile on Linkedin.
Wrapping it all up
I’ll close with this. One of my friends interviewed another one of my friends. You can read the whole interview at “A Conversation with Metric Junkie Gahlord Dewald“.
Nothing could be more true. In my case I plan on doing a lot more blogging for Organic SEO. My newsletter isn’t going to change. I think the once a week publish schedule is right in the wheelhouse of most of my readers. If anything I’ll make the calls to action within my posts and pages (and newsletter) a little more overt.
In YouTube I’ll continue with what I’ve been doing with maybe a few more videos for the public.
I’ll probably go back to using my Facebook Profile in the coming year. I’ll still have the FB Page but will always push the same content to my Profile where it get’s MUCH more organic reach.
On Twitter, I’ll still keep on looking for meaningful conversations. It’s tough but I’ll keep on trying. I’ll still keep broadcasting all my posts as well as tweeting some of the content I find interesting.
Sorry, but I’m keeping Instagram for just my cyclist friends. For me, it’s not ever going to be a lead generator. (hint: it shouldn’t be for you either)
For me, Linkedin is still that ‘red headed step child’ of social media. What to do with it? I’m going to treat it just like Twitter. The big difference, and this is huge, is that it shows up in Google Search Results.
So that’s a look back at my social media world. I’d be interested in yours in the same style starting with the thought of what your website goals are. Can you put that in a single paragraph?
BONUS: One of the things I will start doing in 2017 is long posts. Numerous research articles have found out that long posts (over 1,500 words) rank higher than shorter posts. If you’ve been following along it was ok for your posts to be 350 words or so. I’ll still do the 350+ posts but expect to see more of these longer (2,275 for this one) style posts in the future! I’m all about Organic SEO and this and the https:// are going to help that.
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.