You have social media buttons on your website.You placed it there so that people can share your content on social networking sites.People also add Social follow widgets like Facebook like box,Twitter follow button or Google Plus follow button.But do you know
- Which social site brings you the most traffic?
- Which social button your visitors interact with the most?
- Which social button is wastage of space?
- Which content is shared the most on which platform?
- Which content is not yet shared on which social media network?
- Which follow widget visitor is using the most?
If you know answer to all the questions mentioned above then you are doing good.You are tracking social media usage statistics of your website.Many of us have social media buttons placed on our website.We create profiles on social networks for content promotion.But we do not track the return on investment of time and effort on different platform or all platforms combined.
Tracking social media usage statistics of your website is very important.Now we will see how answers to above questions will help you optimize your social media strategy.
Which social site brings you the most traffic?
You can use Google Analytics reports to know which social media website is leader in bringing traffic to your website.The information is present in Social sub option under Acquisition option of Google Analytics dashboard.Select duration of a year or more.Selecting longer duration will help you get better insight into performance of different social sites over a period of time.
You can take top three or five sites.After creating the list you can then focus more on these sites.You can see what you are currently doing on these sites and how can you improve on it.So it will help to review your strategy.You can fine tune your strategy.For example this year top social sites for my website were Facebook,Reddit,Google Plus,Twitter and then YouTube.So my focus should be more on these sites.Also other sites which are not performing well but have potential can be worked on like Pinterest and StumbleUpon or LInkedin.
Which social button your visitors interact with the most?
Knowing answer to this question helps you decide which buttons you should keep on your website.Google Analytics provides information about Google plus button only but it can be used to track Twitter and Facebook as well.Facebook also provides insights of Facebook social widget performance on your website.You can read this post for more details.I prefer Facebook insights over Google Analytics for tracking Facebook page performance and performance of your website on Facebook.
Third party services like AddThis or ShareThis show social media buttons usage analytics in their reports.So if you are using them on your website then you need not worry about statistics.There is no need to consult Google Analytics or other similar analytics.You can read this post for other Google Analytics alternatives and features they provide.Also tracking actions on widgets by visitors will help you understand which button is not working.You can replace that button with some other button or you can remove the button altogether.Using lots of buttons is not good idea because of reasons mentioned in this post.
Which content is shared the most on which platform?
Not every post of the website is shared equally.Some are popular in social networks some are not.On this website there are posts with zero social shares also there are posts with thousands of social shares.Some posts are popular on a particular social site some are popular on other.Few of my pages are popular in Google Plus while some are on Facebook.
Recently I download social shares statistics for each post of this website.To my surprise some posts were never shared on Social sites.I have not shared them as well.This was not good.At least I should be sharing the posts once on social sites.That might have given necessary visibility to the posts.Sharing it once might have triggered some more social actions.
I compiled list of posts with no social shares.Then I started sharing them as per my planned social sharing schedule and content category.You can know more about social sharing schedule and content category on Social Sharing tips and guide post.You can also plan your next content based on social share history of your previous post.You can read the post and identify the reasons it is doing good socially.
You can get social share count for all your posts using SharedCount service.Sharedcount is free for thousand pages or requests per day.You can upload list of your page URL in shared count and get the data in downloadable format.
I am using this SharedCount with good effect on this website.The data it provides is very useful.It provides count of Facebook likes,Facebook shares,Facebook comments,Twitter tweets,Google plus ones,Pinterest pins,Linkedin Shares and StumbleUpon stumbles.
In case your post is not shared on any one of above sites then you can share it on that platform.Sharing the content on that platform will give necessary exposure to the content.
Which social follow widget is performing better?
Facebook like Box,Twitter Follow widget,Google plus one follow button and YouTube follow widget are top social media follow widgets used by Blogger and Business alike.You can keep all four on your page and let visitors decide on which social network they want to be friend with you.There is nothing wrong in placing all four of them.I have kept all of them on this site.There was a time I was not using single one on this site.
But there are website promoting only one or couple of their profiles.Now which profile you should promote depends on many factors.The performance of that social networking site as mentioned in first step.Time you spend on that social networking site interacting with people.If you are active on the site then only it makes sense to promote the profile.
I have good number of followers on Twitter (more than 1,000 followers) but traffic brought by Twitter is not too good.So I do not promote Twitter profile too much.I like to promote Facebook profile.For every post shared on Facebook I get decent traffic back.Also Google plus one works well.Sharing a post on Google plus bring some Google plus ones and comments.Having Google plus ones lifts the post in search ranking.So I promote Google plus profile more than Twitter profile.
Having said that it is easy to find website having only Twitter follow button on them.They promote their Twitter profile more than other profiles.So you should measure which social network works for you and promote that one.For this you can follow simple method of rotation and tracking.
For example at start of the month track number of followers you have on that social network.Then for a complete month focus on that social network and see impact of that in numbers.Here by focusing I mean placing the widget on your website only.You can then repeat the same approach for other social sites.Note from Google Analytics you can get total visits in that month.
Now divide number of followers you got by total visits that month.This will give rough idea of widget performance.You can do this for all widgets you want to place on your website.Note this is not very accurate and reading will only be approximate.But this will help you know visitor inclination.You can then promote most successful social profile followed by next ones.
There is no need to use any paid software or outsource social media efforts for your website.You can use free tools or simple tricks mentioned in this post.Google Analytics,Facebook Insights,AddThis,ShareThis and SocialCount can be used effectively to get answers to most of the questions we asked earlier.Having answers to these questions will help you plan your social venture more effectively.
This will also help increase your social presence and reap maximum benefit from it.These things will be sufficient for most of the websites and blogs.But if you are running a company website then you can consider using slightly better approach.