Social Media Sunday: On The Scheduling Madness

Just hammering out an update on the scheduling madness. If you you got a link in for the blog party before I left the comment saying I was visiting and did not receive a comment from me, let me know. Seriously I did my best to visit them all, but I was in the zone and might have made a random oversight, and I am trying to get better at this thing. I’ve scheduled Tweets of all the links to go out between now and Wednesday and tagged authors if I could find Twitter accounts for them.

Just looking at what I got this week from Twitter. Twelve scheduled tweets a day isn’t worth the work that goes into maintaining that pace, until I get a lot better at composing Tweets, so I’ve easing off.

The new schedule:TwitterSuzie

  • Monday-Friday: Four afternoon tweets at two hour intervals between 1 pm and 7 pm Eastern.
  • Saturdays: Six tweets beginning at 10 am Eastern and ending around 7 pm.
  • Sundays: Six tweets beginning at 5 am Eastern and ending around 7 pm.
  • Sometimes, the links come to this blog. Sometimes they go to everyone else. Boom or bust.

With the number of tweets I still have piled up, I should be able to maintain this schedule indefinitely. I’ve got @Sourcererblog scheduled through Friday, June 5 as of this minute. It’s a mixture of links, photos, videos, shoutouts, and random stuff like Twitter-wanking and quotes from the TV Tropes Evil Overlord List.

Something I am finding: referrals go up when you get on Twitter and engage with people. We’ve done better here this week for Twitter referrals than we’ve done in a while, but not so much better for me to justify managing an around-the clock queue, and the referrals are really only up during the times I’ve actually been active on Twitter.

I’ve got my unfollowers cleaned up and am planning to delete my lists and revamp the Tweetdeck setup so I’m tweeting entirely from mentions, notifications, and hashtags soon. I know a prodigious number of good hashtags at this point, and nearly everyone who’s really interacting with me on Twitter has at least one they use often, so I can probably just keep up with most of you that way and with a couple of private lists I have for close friends and contributors.

This is an ongoing process, so will take a while, but eventually I’ll have a lighter schedule for @justgeneo and it will be for tweeting #weekendcoffeeshare, #1000Speak, and #atozchallenge links to various other hashtags.

Have a great week!

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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Stats: The #GeekPastiche A to Z Reflection

A-to-Z+Reflection+[2015]+-+Lg

Last year my reflection focused on basic lessons I learned as a first-timer. It was too long and posted too late, because I barely survived the 2014 Challenge and it took me a month to get back into my normal routine. This year’s reflection is about things we did right here at Sourcerer, things I’ll do differently if I blog A to Z next year, and what A to Z did for our numbers in April.

Continue reading

A Brief Bit of Wankery: StumbleUpon

stumbleuponI’m not doing a preview today because I am hard at it loading drafts and writing. Let’s do this instead. Part Time Monster’s latest Top Ten Tuesday has been viewed 820 times since Diana published it.  Just under 600 of those views have come since Thursday and came from StumbleUpon.

Yesterday was Part Time Monster’s best day ever. Previous best day: Friday. Because of StumbleUpon. This is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of traffic from StumbleUpon. If you open an incognito window and google “Is Batman Marvel,” you will find a post from this very blog in the top five (maybe in the top three) and it’s StumbleUpon that put it there.

To whomever is periodically stumbling our posts: Thanks! I’ve seen a few referrals here and there at all three of our blogs over the past few weeks, so I know someone is doing it. I appreciate you keeping up with our blogs and sharing things you like very much. And I appreciate the shares that bring four views just as much as the ones that bring 400.

For those of you who have joined us since I cut back on the social media blogging on Sundays here, this is my basic scheme.worlddomination

  • Keep up with as many blogs as I can, make friends, and connect with them on all the networks we have in common.
  • Figure out how to build an effective presence on networks other than WordPress and use those other networks to find readers for our blogs.
  • Diana and I more or less have the social media divided up between us and we’re looking to build one strong account on as many networks as possible.
  • In the beginning, I played around with nine or ten different networks (very time-consuming), figured out which ones were best for the sort of blogging we do, prioritized them, and started focusing on the ones that looked like the best bets.
  • I spent most of last year focusing on Twitter, and our Twitter accounts have been very valuable for meeting people and building recognition in the blogosphere.
  • In November I declared the Twitter good enough to serve and decided to go hard at Facebook this year.
  • The Facebook is coming along nicely, and if things keep going well for us there, I’ll be ready to call it serviceable for blogging purposes by summer, check in on Fridays and Sundays, and do likes and shares from my phone the rest of the week.

Unless I see a couple of thousand hits in a very short amount of time from either Reddit or Tumblr over the next few months to change my mind, StumbleUpon has to be next. In fact, I’ve already said as much.

I’m not ready to jump back in there just yet, because April is coming. But soon. Here is why. After the Google, the WordPress reader, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s the next top source of referrals, and it’s the only one I’ve seen that brings the traffic in huge spikes.

So, as I do periodically, I am inviting anyone who has useful presence there or knows StumbleUpon tricks to chime in here. Figuring out a network through a combination of research and trial-and-error is difficult and time-consuming. I’d love it of someone who’s already figured out StumbleUpon and written about it would share their posts with me.

And I’ll add that every big traffic spike I’ve personally seen from StumbleUpon had these two things in common:

  1. Was likely Stumbled either to the Books or Comics tags.
  2. Included either one piece of can’t-miss art that displayed well when it was Stumbled, or a short, too-good-to-resist video.

Have a great week, and don’t forget about #SundayBlogShare!