Social Media Sunday: Facebook v. Twitter

It’s no secret around this place that we spent the winter and spring invading Facebook with our WordPress army. That’s been a success, but a somewhat costly one. I’ve spent the last ten days or so taking stock, figuring out what we’ve accomplished, and deciding where to go from here.social media

From July through November of last year, Sourcerer averaged 11.6 Facebook referrals per month and Part Time Monster averaged 20.2. During that time, I was barely using Facebook at all — just publicizing to some pages and using PMs and groups to chat with a dozen or so bloggers — and Diana was mostly using it the way non-bloggy folks use it. From December through May 12, Sourcerer averaged 71.2 Facebook referrals per month and Part Time Monster averaged 88.2.

Now, those are huge increases but they are tiny numbers. Since our pages have been doing exactly what they’ve always done this whole time, I am assuming the increase is coming from our personal timelines and shares in blogging groups.

If I’d gone big on Facebook for nearly six months hoping for a huge traffic increase, I’d be disappointed. But that’s not what it was about. It was about two things.

  1. Making friends with enough bloggers to make posting a status update on my personal timeline worth the time it takes to compose one, and
  2. getting connected with contributors and collaborators so I didn’t have to do planning stuff on the front pages of the blogs and ask people to visit and read.

That’s been a success, and has made the whole thing worthwhile to me.

Now here’s the rub. I’ve neglected Twitter this whole time. I’ve publicized links and shared and retweeted things from @Sourcererblog as I could. But I’ve barely looked at my personal account and have been lousy about answering notifications for the last few months. And Twitter is STILL outperforming Facebook in the referral department.Twitter-icon-the-bird

I’m adjusting my priorities. I’m friends with plenty of bloggers on Facebook now and happy to be friends with more, but I’m not actively looking at this point and not joining more groups. I’m using Facebook to keep up with the bloggers and groups I already know and getting back to the business of blogging.

I just figure, for the amount of time I’ve sunk specifically into various link-sharing activities over the last five months, the return isn’t that great. Not when a fairly modest Twitter following that I have given almost no engagement to over that period of time is just as happy to click my links as they’ve always been. The conversations are great on Facebook, my friends over there are awesome, and a lot of coordination is going on in Facebook groups, but the sharing of the links, in particular, seems like an inefficient use of time.

So, a goodly portion of my Facebook time is reallocated to Twitter and to the blogosphere. I addition to not doing a good job with my Twitter notifications, I’ve also not been great about hitting my WordPress reader nor about visiting commenters lately. That has to change.

Here’s my plan through October.

  • Keep delivering the content.
  • Grow on Twitter, get more engaged, and do a better job encouraging my followers over there to get to know one another.
  • Remain active in the Facebook groups, share things on my timeline, answer my threads, and do just enough keep up over there until I get the Twitter sorted.
  • Once the Twitter is straightened out, go back to Facebook and form a group. The invitations to that group will originate on my timeline. I’d hoped to be setting up a group next month, but I’m not experienced enough with administering groups, nor do I have a clear enough idea of what my friends would want to feel like that’s a smart use of my time and energy just now.
  • Once the Facebook group is up and stable with 40+ members, have a serious conversation about StumbleUpon. I’m already Stumbling a few things now then and to build up a history.

In the meantime, I’m setting up my Twitter accounts to tweet around the clock at two hour intervals and I’m checking my notifications over there at least every other day. Here’s where I am with @Sourcererblog on Twitter right this minute.

twitter_S_05_15

That spike in the middle is the increase from my last big push in the fall. It’s an increase of 2,000 followers over a two-month period, and I know exactly how that is done. Note that even though I’ve not been actively growing this account since November, nor paying much attention to it, it’s still trending up. Since I shifted to Facebook at the beginning of December, I’ve seen a net increase of 800 followers without even trying.

Now I know what publicizing my links, sharing to hashtags for others on the weekends with a following of 5K, and doing minimal engagement are worth. I want to see what ramping up the engagement and getting smart about sharing our own links will do for the blog. And I want to know what it’s like to manage a Twitter following of 15K. I’m curious.

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36 thoughts on “Social Media Sunday: Facebook v. Twitter

  1. I enjoyed reading this article. I would say a better social media option would be Instagram. As Instagram is the cream of the crop when it comes to the amount of people are using it. I wish you luck with your goals! Enjoy your day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I am hearing good things about Instagram, have friends who use it, and take good photos, but don’t have time to start fresh on another network and learn from scratch right now unless it’s a network like StumbleUpon or Reddit that I know for a fact is good for views in the thousands for one share. I’m at the point where I have to leverage what I’ve got and ride out the year.

      Thanks for the tip, though! I love talking about this stuff.

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      • Definitely! Keep in mind that Facebook bought out Instagram and now leads over both Facebook and Twitter. At the end of the day however, social media is social media so go out and be social!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks!

          Traffic to a website, is the unspoken part of this conversation. I don’t want to build a huge Instagram account. I don’t especially want to build a huge account anywhere. I just want to have friends wherever I go on the internet and one other thing.

          Traffic to a website is the one other thing I want. The instagram has to bring traffic to a website, or it’s not worth much, in the long run, unless the account itself can be monetized, or unless it’s good for getting people to either produce content or share stuff.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Getting to 2500 is the hard part, and getting to 500 is the most difficult phase of that. Once you’re at 2500, you can follow 250 accounts at a go. And the trick to building a big following is following a bunch of people. Once I get a little more set up with the scheduling and see what the referrals are like, I’m unfollowing everyone who isn’t following (Haven’t unfollowed anyone except problem people in months), and loading up. I can follow almost 600 accounts over a period of several days at this point if I do it right.

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      • Lol yea. I’m trying to keep my following vs being followed number equal. I don’t follow back certain accounts like those that sell followers etc… but I’ve been lucky with my latest bunch of follows. After a month or so I un-follow the non-followers and I immediately un-follow the un-followers. There is nothing that initiates me more than being un-followed after having followed. I’ve got 1000 more to go until I reach the 2500 mark, I’m taking it slow looking at the accounts before I follow them. It takes a while to get there. 🙂 And of-cause I also value engagement on all my social media accounts. To me it is not about followers, but active readers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, the more followers you have, the larger your pool of active-readers-once-you-hook-them is. Is how I look at it. But you are right. Not about the follower count. I stopped at 5K in November because that was all I could manage and I had other fish to fry.

          I don’t wait a month when I’m doing managed growth. When I am doing that, I am unfollowing the unfollowers every ten days.

          And you have to learn to make split-second decisions based on the profile description and the art to follow the volume of accounts it takes to get above 10K and be willing to weed out the ones you decide you don’t want to see later.

          I also don’t follow the people who sell followers. I used to block them. I’ve blocked probably 1500. They just won’t stop. It’s a never-ending flood, so I just pretend they aren’t there.

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    • The only one I am active in at the moment that I can share is 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. That’s a group dedicated to doing monthly posts about compassion, all on the same day. I don’t pay much attention to the Facebook group, but I’m an admin, running point for them on Twitter, and pitching in as best I can with social media advice. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000Speak/

      If you are looking specifically for writers who blog, you might try the Insecure Writers’ Support group. I am a member, but not active. I have a few friends who are involved, and I trust the people who run it to maintain a good group. It’s got about 2400 members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

      The rest are secret groups. This blog is run out of a secret group (just go and mouse over the bylines category and you’ll see why we need a secret facebook group for contributors). I run a small one and am a member of a larger one that I have privileges to add members to, but can only do that for bloggers I know well.

      Facebook groups come in all shapes and sizes, and all levels of access. I am hoping eventually to form a non-secret blogging group of my own on Facebook, but just not there yet.

      If you’d asked me this a month ago, I’d have been able to point you to two more, but one was taken over and dismantled by one of the admins, and I’ve left the other for personal reasons over the last couple of weeks. The Blogging-Oriented Facebook landscape is a bit chaotic.

      Find a large, stable group and make a few friends there, or else get a few bloggers together and form one of your own, is my advice.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Most of the people who blog here and many other bloggers, I interact with on all three networks. Facebook is tricky, because people do personal stuff there and friend family & colleagues. I’ve got the privacy settings screwed down tight on Facebook. No one sees my whole friends list but me, and most of the other stuff that you can display is also hidden, but anyone can send me a friend request, and most of what I post there is public at this point.

          The trick is, if you’re going to allow people you know only from the internet to be your friends, you have to pay attention to how they use the Facebook, be sensitive, and not interact with their personal stuff unless you are good friends. Also: Protect your own personal privacy.

          Lots of bloggers have pages, which allows you to avoid the timeline altogether if you’re just wanting to share their stuff, and I have a few friends who have personal accounts just for blogging.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually tend to prefer Facebook for my deeper interactions, but maintain a presence on Twitter. For me, Twitter just seems to be more ads than actual connection. I’m not complaining about the exposure it gives, just stating that there doesn’t seem to be much direct interaction there.

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    • That can be true, and also people tend to come and go somewhat erratically on Twitter, but it’s easy to find five minutes to retweet stuff. I know several people I met first through Twitter, though.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I distrust Tiberr. A Tiberr Tribe hit a hashtag I use to do a weekend thing pretty hard for several weeks on account of the (alpha?) hashtagging a headline that they retweeted.

          And we got nothing back in the way of engagement or interest. Just got our hashtag flooded with one link, over and over again. Finally had to go and find the person hashtagging the headline and ask them politely to not.

          Was a congenial conversation, I thought. I was not a jerk, and neither was she. I thought we settled things and were friends still. But she has not been back.

          You have to be smart if you’re gonna run a retweeting scheme. Otherwise, you just get your whole crew muted on Twitter and blacklists built in secret groups on Facebook.

          The one thing you don’t want to do is participate in anything that floods Twitter hashtags with a single link, or a single author.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, agreed. The group I’m active in are all writers in the same general genre, though most of our sub genres are different. We’re all mostly social with each other outside of Triberr.

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  3. Twitter is my go-to social network. I do go on Facebook but find I can get sucked into it for longer than I’d hoped. I also use Instagram but that’s really quick to use. It’s a great one for hashtags if you have a niche.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for insight Gene’O. I’ve spent some time getting my Twitter to 2500 and FB is around 110. I’m working on that one next. Might get into instagram this summer. Not sure yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interested to know where you find people to follow. I’ve tried following people on various lists but find the rate of response (return follows) quite low. What are your secrets?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s difficult. I got my first big batch of followers by following a blogger list a guy added me to and got maybe a 60 percent followback rate on that. But you are right, it’s hard and most lists are low-percentage.

      I’ve used the discovery feature with varying degrees of success, and followed by looking at a few peoples’ lists of followers. I’ve followed a lot of my sister’s followers, and picked up a lot of friends through Monday Blogs and Sunday Blog Share.

      One reason I stopped with the rapid growth when I got to 5,000 is that at the time it was getting hard for me to find good accounts to follow. It’s time-consuming.

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  6. Fabulous information and perspective. With all this social media attention, when do we writers find time to actually write? 🙂 Like many above, I find Facebook a timesuck and prefer not to get embroiled in it all. I get much more engagement, response and excitement using Twitter and Instagram.

    With the ever-constant changing algorithms to FB–and actually having just my FRIENDS as Friends–I just maintain regular posts to my writer’s page and occasional personal posts that aren’t too personal. I’m discovering ways to use Twitter and Instagram to drive blog traffic, and that’s even more exciting…especially if it works.

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    • Very cool. What I am learning with Facebook is that I can pretty much give up promoting off-site content there, unless I am willing to pay Facebook, or until I have time to take a page and put as much time into the page as I put into this blog. Good luck with the Instagram. I may try that one yet.

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      • Thanks. Instagram is visually fun and quick to catch up on. Oh, and it *always* posts Most Recent First; there is no other option. Real-time feed in its proper order. 🙂

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  7. Pingback: Social Media: Facebook .vs. Twitter Down Home Thoughts

  8. Looking forward to the conversation and group. I need to build my Twitter base, as Facebook isn’t doing great for referrals (I don’t share in groups very often… my last post was the first time! I think “NO SELF-PROMO” as a mantra in FB groups, including my own, has become habit.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. The contributor group for this blog, which is secret but an open secret, because why would Sourcerer contributors not have a secret Facebook group devoted to running the blog, and acknowledge that in public right?, has a file that specifically says it is ok to share self-promotional links and encourages everyone to do it.

      Know how many self-promotional links have been added to that file in the last four months? Zero.

      There is a lesson there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s hard to strike a balance. I’m very proud of our group for the REAL conversations going on, sometimes with over 200 comments, but the way we got there is axing promotion of any kind except for one day a month, where there’s a ‘go crazy’ thread. However, I’ve found that thread is more useful for getting ‘followers’ (if even passive followers) than it is for selling books. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

    • You have to be on those networks for publicizing the links to do any good. Be interacting, is what I mean. Otherwise, you are just shooting links out into the aether that almost no one clicks on.

      And honestly, Twitter is easier. Tweets take less time to compose, and have more click potential, than Facebook updates. Unless you have the time to set yourself up well on Facebook, or money to pay them, which most bloggers do not.

      Thanks so much for the visits today!

      Like

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