Three Social Media Experiments

Recently, a handful of really smart people that I follow online have been sharing metrics about what works and what hasn’t worked with social media and blogging. They’ve asked questions and provided answers:

  • Does increased engagement on Twitter increase Twitter followers and does that translate to more people subscribed to your blog?
  • What is the value of a blog post?
  • Can you share something exclusively on Facebook and will that increase engagement on Facebook?

Increased Twitter Enagement

The first experiment was conducted by Mack Collier (@mackcollier). Mack is a fairly active guy on Twitter, but he made a concentrated effort to not only increase his activity but to increase it at specific times and in specific ways. He wrote a post sharing his results – “How Twitter increased my blog’s traffic by 300% in one week.

Some highlights:

  • There’s momentum in increased engagement. Things that Mack did earlier in the week (RTing other people’s posts, thanking them for RTs of his posts) paid off later in the week when they RTed his posts and pointed others to his blog.
  • Often, the spike in followers or new blog traffic would occur after someone RTed his post – not necessarily from his initial tweet. One of his posts during the week was RTed by Mashable, which definitely helped increase his numbers.
  • He had an almost 900% increase in email subscribers.

Value of a Blog Post

The second post of note was from Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra). She wrote a blog post titled “13 Truths about Social Media Measurement“, did some awesome measurement and shared those measurement results in another post titled “Analyzing the Value of a Blog Post“.

What she learned:

  • People like blog posts with lists
  • In addition to tracking mentions of your name, you also need to be tracking the URL and other keywords. Several of the tweets about her blog post did not include her Twitter handle and would have been missed if that’s all she was tracking.
  • Amber spent about an hour writing the post, but if she were to translate the ROI of the post into potential speaking engagements, consulting work, etc. the ROI would be around 1700%.

Amber works for Radian6 and used some of their nifty tools to help track the blog and its potential reach, but most of the things she tracked could be tracked using the free tools that are available.

The Facebook Experiment

Danny Brown (@dannybrown) wrote an ebook — “7 Ways to Market Your Business on Facebook“. The key to this experiment was that in order to get access to the download link to get yourself a copy of the ebook, you needed to click on the “Like” button and become a fan of Danny’s Facebook page. Part of the experiment was that he asked others not to share the specific link to the ebook, but if they were going to share to point others to his Facebook page. In addition to talking about the ebook on Facebook, he also wrote a blog post announcing the ebook and tweeted about it.

Key metrics:

  • Danny saw a 245% increase in the number of subscribed fans on his page in just one week.
  • While the incentive went away once you downloaded the ebook, there were only a handful of people that unsubscribed from his page.
  • A very large majority of people actually honored Danny’s request to only give people the Facebook link and not share the direct link to the ebook (There were over 350 downloads of the ebook and only 13 went directly to the download link.)

These three experiments show the importance of good content and working to actively engage with people interested in that content. All three bloggers showed increased numbers on their blog and their other social networks.

  • Mack Collier

    Hey Sue, thanks for the mention! Good to see us experimenting with this tools, best way to learn, eh? 😉

  • sue_anne

    Experimentation is absolutely the best way to learn, and what I like about all three of these is that they were fairly simple in their setup and would be easy for any business to replicate and do something similar.