At one time, ‘hip’ humans learned to shake, rattle and roll; now we learn to tweet, stumble and ping our way through life. That’s because if you want to have a successful blog or website in today’s internet, you absolutely must leverage Social Media to bring more readers to your site. You’ve got to tweet, stumble and ping!
Since we started Life As A Human, every night at midnight EST, Chris, Kerry and I meet up in a Skype session to ensure that the latest posts are launching properly. We check the thumbnails, the feature box and ensure that things are linking properly. The system is now running automated tasks very well but we really wanted to be sure that everything was running smoothly.
Once the articles are published, we use a variety of Social Media mechanisms to spread the word. While there are many, I want to talk about three in particular: Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon. By an enormous margin, StumbleUpon is the most effective at driving traffic to the articles. Why is that?
First of all, for those of you not familiar with Social Media tools, here is a brief description of each one, as provided by Wikipedia. Part of the answer to why StumbleUpon is so effective is found in its description, which reveals a significant differentiation to Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers.
Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, and school or college.
StumbleUpon is an Internet community that allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos. It is a personalized recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles … StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user’s ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests.
Note: StumbleUpon is a personalized recommendation engine … that’s the differentiator!
Now, I am not about to share our entire Social Media marketing strategy with everyone, but in a nutshell, the “tip” of it is this:
- To use Twitter, we log into our accounts, find the Life As A Human posts and ‘re-tweet’ them to our followers.
- To use Facebook, we log into our accounts and make a post there for each article.
- To use StumbleUpon, we surf to the bottom of the article at lifeasahuman.com, click on “share”, StumbleUpon, give it a thumbs-up and enter the tags (categories) that the article fits in.
While none of these three steps is difficult, it takes much less time to stumble than it does to re-tweet or post something at Facebook. Within minutes of our articles posting, we have seen 200 – 300 referrals from StumbleUpon versus two or three from Twitter and Facebook.
In fact, here are some numbers that will surprise a great many of you. Since launching on February 1, we have had many tens of thousands of referrals. Of those referrals …
StumbleUpon represents – 73%
Facebook represents – 6%
Twitter represents – 4.50%
It is also interesting to note that, collectively, we have thousands of followers and friends in Twitter and Facebook but very few in StumbleUpon. If you were to do an ROI (Return On Investment) calculation for time spent to referrals gained, the StumbleUpon number would be … well … enormous!
The Other Side of the Story
There are two sides to everything and StumbleUpon is no exception to that rule. While it drives a ton of referrals, you must be sure to properly ‘tag’ the thumbs-ups. If you don’t get that right, stumblers will pass right by your web site. So you get a page view, but they didn’t stay long and so your ‘visit duration’ (Average Time on Site) statistics will suffer. If you want to stumble a Life As A Human post (of course we wouldn’t mind that at all!), be sure to add ‘weblogs’ to the tags.
Conversely, readers who are referred to you from Twitter or Facebook are more likely to read the article in full and hopefully re-tweet it. Moreover, because of their ‘social networking’ natures, they present a much better way to create a buzz for you in the long run. Excitement is always a good thing! Also, for all you Twitter and Facebook fans out there, this is by no means a knock on either of them. I am simply presenting facts about their traffic driving capabilities, not their usefulness as tools to build and maintain relationships. That’s where they really shine!
So what does all of this have to do with your life as a human? Probably not that much, but many of you are bloggers and hopefully this will give you ideas on how to better leverage some very powerful mechanisms to bring more readers to your sites.
Read Part 2: Tweet, Stumble and Ping: A Follow Up
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