When I was asked to join a SXSW panel entitled “Prove it: Exploring Social Media ROI for business“, I thought “why don’t we eat our own dog food?”.
I proposed to the moderator, Keith Burtis, and the team ( Amber Naslund, Sue Murphy, Jay Berkowitz, CEO of 10 Golden Rules 10 Golden Rules Blog and Justin Levy) that we loosely collaborate on a mini social campaign to get some votes. We all initially tweeted the links to the SXSW panel picker but I also proposed we create some content (blog, video, slideshare …). The team chimed in with some great ideas and we proceeded to write some blog posts on the SM ROI subject and then promoted them through our networks on facebook, twitter, linkedin and so on.
Where did my traffic come from and how many people clicked on the panel picker outgoing link?
This is a very small experiment with a clear goal: get votes.
To learn from this, I also wanted know:
-which of my social networks drives the most traffic to my site for specific campaigns
-how does this compare to non social media traffic drivers
Keep in mind that the sample number is small (under a thousand visits in a couple of days) and this example is very specific to a particular situation. Before sharing the results, here are my personal reach numbers:
-Facebook: 258 connections (I try to keep this small)
-LinkedIn:516 connections (I mostly connect with people I know)
-Twitter: 1386 followers (prefer high quality followers)
An now, here are my sources of traffic from google analytics (approx %) on the days I posted and promoted my SM ROI blog post:
-direct (i.e. people go directly to favequest.com). 50%
-other blogs: 14% (mostly other people on panel + my other blogs)
-facebook: 3% (exclusively from me promoting through my status update)
LinkedIn (simple stats update) barely registered. @allain thought stumbleupon was going to win (didn’t even show up).
Ultimately, about 5% of the visitors voted.
DO NOT READ TOO MUCH INTO THESE NUMBERS and keep in mind that the sample size is small and very specific to my experiment. Nevertheless, I think the following observations are worth making:
-surprising small number via google (lots of possible reasons for that and worth investigating, focus on selecting keywords, better tags, better SEO … )
-our traffic spiked dramatically when the post was published
-communities you are active in will provide substantially more traffic (duh … I know) but it goes to show that being active in social networks can drive traffic to your site in an honest manner
-having the support of the community is absolutely HUGE (I attribute much of the traffic from twitter to retweets from my panel members and others, rather than just my direct followers)
-creating content that has value for that community pays off …. instant spike in traffic
-can sometimes be easy to correlate a social media action to a result … write a great post + support of key people and just watch your site traffic spike upl
-5% conversion (people clicking on SXSW panel picker link) was much lower than I expected but the reasons can vary significantly (didn’t put link in the right place etc … worth investigating)
-I can’t explain why such a large percentage is direct traffic. There was clearly a very sharp spike in our traffic when I launched the post and I didn’t promote it anywhere in the media?
The ultimate point of this post is to demonstrate a simple example where there is a clear goal (drive people to our SXSW panel picker to get votes), put together a specific campaign, launch and track what happens carefully. You may be able to determine what worked and what did not which will help you make better decisions in the future.
I’m also hoping you’ll share some of your own experiences and even data. I’m convinced social media is driving an increasing amount of high quality traffic but I want to PROVE IT!
Don’t forget to vote for our panel here: Prove it: Exploring Social Media ROI for business“. I’m watching you