Noise Annoys – Questioning the value of social media? Part. 2

Facebook - Wasting people's lives since 2004

Previously I wrote a blog post as I was astonished by some results I’d been getting whilst making changes to my website. For much of the last few years I’d probably spent more time on social media than I had writing content. I’m not sure why as I’ve never, ever wished for any kind of career in social media, in fact the whole idea of it fills me with dread. Maybe I was feeling needy, maybe I was in search of something, who knows…?

The whole concept of this study came about as I was concerned that many websites are now making whole stories out of a comment or quote just to get a visit to the site. NME is the worst culprit with many news stories nothing more than one sentence. Quantity over quality seemed to be the remit.

Earlier this year I withdrew from posting on Facebook completely and moved to a new Twitter account that was run solely by myself. It goes without saying that starting again would result in less followers. Pretty quickly I amassed just over 2,000 followers on Twitter as I advertised the new account on my website but ineviatebly Facebook is a big fat zero as I am not active on there.

Now my confusion previously was the fact that after a few months I noticed I had far less social media followers and yet visits to the site were up. To see if this is some kind of fluke I carried on monitoring. Essentially this year I have been blogging as opposed to posting on social media and hits to the website compared to the previous year have increased as follows:

  • Total increase of traffic is up 59.91%
  • Organic search is up 67.54%
  • Social traffic is up 36.3%
  • Direct traffic is up 66.20%
  • Link backs are up 64.70%
  • Bounce rate is down 1.4%
  • Average session duration is up by 18.36%

Now surely any idiot could say that if you post more on your website visits to it will inevitably increase, really? Only if you are posting content people want to read otherwise how will they find it?

But I still had one more question, what happens if you carry on blogging but withdraw from social media completely. During July 2015 I didn’t share any links and traffic was down 22.22% compared to the previous month. So at last we are beginning to find out the true value of social media for my site, obviously social traffic showed a higher drop in traffic and this was down by 28.15%.

However this doesn’t really give the full value as things fluctuate on a monthly basis, so lets look at July 2014 in comparison. Visits to the site were still up 61% and even stranger, visits to the site via social media were up 323% compared to the same time last year! A 323% increase via social media but that’s impossible as I didn’t post anything on there! But what’s to stop other people sharing content online?

So in summary, if you run a website and want people to see it, get off Facebook and Twitter and get blogging… it sounds obvious but all those hours you spend browsing on there is literally time wasted, post occasionally but all those extra followers and RTs on some random comment are an absolute waste of your time. It lulls you into a false sense of security that somehow you are really busy when in fact you are achieving nothing unless your sole aim is to feel liked.

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