When I look at creating a social media platform, I avoid at all costs going for a cookie cutter strategy. There are “experts” out there doing analysis of data they have received from their top end companies which are backed by whole teams designed to create content, respond to social media interactions, design the perfect social media account. This is great if you have those teams and that money.
ChurchMag does not. They have me, a small budget that we haven’t even come up with all of the line items yet, only 3.5 hours a week of my time that I talked about in the previous article in this series.
In this article, I will share with you first what changes I have already been making. Further, I want to explore some qualitative results and quantitative data that is influencing where we will be transitioning this month within our social media platform. Finally, I will share my two cents in frustration that has been experienced so far with social media.
What I Have Been Doing
The last three months of using social media has been fun. I limited myself specifically to Twitter because in my experience, Facebook is an assumed platform because of it’s vast potential, YouTube we are currently still new at, and Pinterest is a whole beast that I feel like is still developing but too amazingly powerful to be ignored.
Twitter though, that has an interesting piece to it with feeds flowing too fast to read if you follow more than a few hundred active accounts. Further, you have so much capacity for volume in how frequently you can post and not feel like you are doing too much yet so limited in the 140 characters of a single tweet.
So my goal for the three months was to first improve our account. We were following a lot of terrible and inappropriate accounts? Why? My best guess is that they followed us and some time before Eric bought ChurchMag, it was setup to auto-follow them back. That’s cleaned up and I met Eric’s challenge to get the follower count below 1,000 people. It’s still too many to read through daily, but it is much better.
Content wise, I have been reading the tweets of those we follow and re-tweeting thought leaders, inspiring posts, and stuff that is just plain fun and cool. We want to continue to be social, which means we engage with you guys and so we want to share what we post.
Finally, I have been getting a rolling Rolodex of content to post, including posts informing our followers that you can get paid to contribute to our site, bringing up past episodes of our podcast, letting you guys know about other social media platforms, and even that you can sign up for our newsletter or join us on the Minecraft server. We have matured this to a more specific plan that we will share in the next article of this series.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
With three months of dedicated content posting for Twitter, I then wanted to see what the numbers say. I am not one to blindly post and assume it is working nor will I just accept the words of people who claim to be social media experience on best tips for posting. I want to know what is and is not working and move forward with it. The first stat to note is the click through rate for the blog, so I took to our Google Analytics and was shocked by what I saw. (I so want to mock Buzzfeed, and you’ll never believe what happens next, but I was honestly shocked.)
Here are the percentages for our click-throughs solely from social media from January 1 to March 31:
- Facebook – 44%
- Pinterest – 30%
- Twitter – 22%
- LinkedIn – 2%
- Google+ – 1%
It should be noted that this is me making a huge investment only on Twitter, yet without a single extra bit of effort Facebook and Pinterest is just killing it. That right there means there needs to be a focus on social media.
But let’s fight a small lie here:
Social media is more than just click throughs and reach. It is about making personal connections with people as well as improving your brand.
Just because the statistics above say we could be doing more with Facebook and Pinterest does not automatically mean to dump Twitter. More now than ever before, we have found new staff writers through these personal connections that simply could not be done on the other two social networks.
But changes do need to be made.
Social Media Is Frustrating
This is my small portion of the blog article where I get to vent and share my opinion.
It is frustrating to note that automation can do so well where curating content and making intentional connections with people goes unrewarded. I regularly push for people to be authentic, transparent, and uniquely insightful online which is what I wanted to engage in and reward with ChuchMag, but a bot posting on social media was getting the clicks so much better.
Does that mean I failed? No.
But does it hurt all the same? Yeah.
I’ll stand by my thoughts to be you and keep the social in social media. Further, I will constantly push for people not to blog just to earn a buck, that cheapens the craft. But I have to be fair and honest, it does work. And you need the traffic to get the advertisements to get the money to pay the hosting costs to long-term share those authentic and creative thoughts.
- Where do you stand on this?
- Is evidence-based approaches something you do regularly?
- Is there a need to learn how to do this?