Does Twitter Drive Traffic to Your Website Blog?

by Sherryl Perry on May 11, 2012

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Last month, I decided to drastically reduce the amount of time that I spend on Twitter by: not strategically looking for content to share and cutting down on the number of RTs (re-tweets) for my followers.

Instead, I subscribed to more Twitter feeds in my dlvr.it account. That way, I was adding more automatic tweets while spending less time monitoring my Twitter stream and RT’ing.  Well, the month is up and here are the results from my Google Analytics.

The Experiment with my Twitter Strategy

I decided to experiment with Twitter because it wasn’t my number one source of referral traffic any longer. However, that number really only tells part of the picture. It measures the traffic that comes directly from the Twitter link but it doesn’t track if it sends the person to another social media site that ultimately redirects them to my blog. (Did I mention that my experiment may have flaws?) Still, I think I attained some valuable insight. Here’s how it worked:

What I continued to do daily:

  • I thanked everyone who RT’d for me and said “You’re welcome” to those who thanked me.
  • I looked at the profiles of anyone who started following me and followed back people I recognized (from interactions on my blog or other sites).
  • I applied my “8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking Sites” strategy to the rest of the people who followed me.
  • I tweeted interesting posts from blogs that I was visiting and sharing on other sites (but I did not actively seek out content).

What I stopped doing daily:

  • I did not RT for people who had RT’d for me. (In months prior, I would often look at the Twitter stream of people who had tweeted for me and RT for them.)
  • I did not RT for new followers. (This is something that I would occasionally do if I noticed that the person is in my niche and has a significant following.)
  • I did not read articles that were delivered to me in summary fashion with the intent of finding quality content to share. (Previously, I had tweeted posts that I had delivered in Scoop.It, Summify and ClickBrief.)

The Statistical Data from Google Analytics

The screenshots below show a 2-month comparison of my website traffic. Now, granted I am not driving a lot of traffic in general and the amount of traffic will seem insignificant in comparison to some blogs. Still the numbers tell a story that I hope to learn from. (Anyone reading this could easily run a similar test on Twitter or any other strategy that they are interested in testing.)

Statistics for All Traffic to My Website:

Overall, I had a 5% decrease in the total number of visits to my site. (The month prior, I had a 5% increase.)

A 5% Decrease in my Traffic from All Sources

A 5% Decrease in my Traffic from All Sources

Statistics for Referral Traffic to My Website:

Looking at my traffic from all referral sources, you can see that my total percentage of visits from referral traffic dropped 28%. (The length of the average visit increased 25%.)

 

A 28% Decrease in Overall Visits from All Referral Traffic

A 28% Decrease in Overall Visits from All Referral Traffic

When I look solely at my referral traffic from Twitter, you can see that the total number of visits dropped by 38%. (The average time spent by people who came from Twitter increased by 90%.)

A 38% Decrease in Twitter Referral Traffic

My Conclusions:

As I looked deeper into what was happening with my referral traffic, I noticed drastic drops on other sites where I had not altered my strategy. I had made no significant changes to my participation on BizSugar.com, yet I received 89.54% less traffic from them during my experiment with Twitter and 79.25% less traffic from smallbiztrends.com (a sister site to BizSugar). I also hadn’t changed my strategy for Blokube.com or BlogEngage.com and that traffic dropped by 75% and 67%.

The conclusion I derive from that is that my participation on Twitter must be related in some way to the referral traffic that I lost. When I stopped RT’ing tweets that came from those sites, was I costing myself “votes”? Were fewer people RT’ing for me because I RT’d less for them? (I’m sure that this was true. I had a lot fewer RTs to thank people for.)

So what are your thoughts? Have you run a similar experiment on either Twitter or another social media site? When you look at the stats that I’ve shared, do you have additional insight that I’m missing? How do you manage your time on sites like Twitter?

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

albin thomas
Twitter:
July 22, 2014 at 5:49 am

I adore your style of writing.
What has helped bring me consistent (and sometimes a lot of traffic depending on the post) is my automatic feeds to a couple of sites that publish my posts that are pertinent to their readers. I just downloaded HubSpot’s newest report on gaining backlinks. I think that’s the way to go.
albin thomas recently posted..How to get Free Automatic Backlinks to pull high traffic for Blog and Website without any signupsMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for the kind words Albin! I get backlinks from some of the CommentLuv enabled blogs that I frequent. Honestly, I’m a little nervous about backlinks ever since Google hit so many bloggers with manual web spam actions due to unnatural links.

I’ll have to check out HubSpot’s newest report. They’re a respected resource. So, thanks for that tip!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Safe Are Your Backlinks? #FridayFindsMy Profile

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Russ March 17, 2013 at 12:02 am

This is some really good information and you know what? We ran a somewhat similar study! We work with stock newsletter sites in helping them get more visitors and email signups and we’ve learned that too many of them rely on automated twitter direct messages to drive website traffic and they aren’t that effective. We did a study on it. We also found that engaging your followers about website content via tweets goes a long way in directing traffic – nobody likes being left out of the party!

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
March 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Hi Russ,
I have never tested Twitter direct messages to drive traffic to my sign-up sheet. So, although your experiment isn’t scientific, I did find it interesting. (I had variables in my experiment too.) Personally, I find DMs a nuisance and I don’t read them. I feel so strongly about this, I can’t imagine implementing them into my Twitter strategy – unless someone were to be able convince me else wise.

BTW – Normally, I don’t allow links in the comments but I made an exception for this one. (I really don’t want people leaving links in the comments. That’s what CommentLuv is for. 🙂 )
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Use Facebook Fan Gate to Get New LikesMy Profile

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Russ May 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

Sherryl, thank you so much for the feedback. I would like to ask why you believe our study was not scientific? We created a hypothesis and a measurement plan, leveraged a control group and a treatment group, and tested the hypothesis using a t-test.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm

No offense intended Russ. When you said “a somewhat similar study”, I wrongly assumed that your study was unscientific like mine. I didn’t realize that you went through such lengths. When I run these little social media experiments on my blog, I try to control the variables but social media is so difficult to measure that I always take the results with a grain of salt. (Sort of the way I feel about my Klout score. :)) Thanks for the additional info.

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Russ May 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

No offense ever taken, Sherryl. I’ve become a fan of your site and I thought you may have had some insights that spoke to our study not being scientific. Looking forward to your future posts.

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Paulo Barroso
Twitter:
November 28, 2012 at 10:26 am

Guys & Gals – I am afraid is bad news from me regarding traffic from Twitter –

I have been testing so many different twitter techniques for the past 2 years – I believe I could write a book on the subject 😉

My findings are that Twitter has no commercial use for my business (I run a SEO/Traffic to websites business)

Don’t get me wrong – it’s very good to drive a surge of visitors to your site – but I find Twitter traffic not be what I call Level 1 Traffic… level 1 traffic is BUYERS traffic…

In the end of the day you can have hundreds of twitter related traffic visitors to your site, but if they are not buying any of your product and services, what good is that to you?

And that is the conclusion i have come to so far about my Twitter findings…

I have tested it extensively with my 10 twitter accounts over several niches.

I can easy get close to 500 UNIQUE clicks to all of them combined, and I just can’t convert that traffic to sales of even opt-ins (I do use squeeze pages).

That’s my findings on this matter.

Would love to hear from someone who’s having success in marketing with Twitter.

Paulo
Paulo Barroso recently posted..Welcome to Traffic GuyMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Paulo,
I appreciate your taking the time to share your findings with us. Conversions are what’s important. I don’t believe Twitter helps me with conversions but I do believe it helps build top-of-mind awareness and helps me to build relationships with other people who do end up using my services.

When I think of someone who attributes part of their success to Twitter, John Paul Aguiar comes to my mind. I’ve been following him for a long time and even have an affiliate link to his “Twitter Dummy” book. If you don’t already know John and want to check him out on Twitter @JohnAguiar.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are You Using Google AdWords for Pay Per Click Advertising?My Profile

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David November 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

From my Google Analytics metrics, search engines drive much more traffic to my website compared to social media where Facebook beats Twitter. As for backlinks, Google Webmaster Tools metrics show many links from Google+, fewer from Facebook and very few from Twitter.

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Carrie
Twitter:
July 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I think Twitter definitely generates traffic for your site. Just imagine the massive links involved in a link alone is enough to tell that Twitter definitely builds up backlinks and thus generate more traffic for your site.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hi Carrie,
Twitter does not drive traffic for everyone. That’s why I always advocate for growing your twitter following strategically and tracking your results. One of the biggest problems with social media is that it’s very easy to spend an awful lot of time and not achieve the results that you’re expecting. It’s very important to look at your analytics and review where your traffic is coming from. Then, adjust your strategy accordingly.

Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Content Writing: The Most Formidable Online Marketing StrategyMy Profile

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Carrie
Twitter:
August 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hi Sherryl,
Thanks for the reply. I’m not very familiar with social networking SEO strategies – the ones I’m familiar with are blog and forums. I definitely agree that keeping track of your result is a good way to start and maintain your progress.
Is there any articles/tools you would recommend for social networking SEO strategies?

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Rick Peterson
Twitter:
June 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

Yeah! I totally agree with you. Twitter can really drive traffic to your website. I like how you share your ideas to us and I like your ideas.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you appreciate my ideas Rick.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Should Be A Habit Not A HeadacheMy Profile

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Sanjib Saha
Twitter:
May 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Hello
Twitter definitely increases traffic and is perfect for business specially blogging. Tweets and retweets increases the number of visitors. Well i use twitter and have seen a great increase in number of visitors. It also helps in building followers and builds a good relationship with other bloggers and blogs.
Sanjib

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hi Sanjib,
I’m still a fan of Twitter and it was my number one source of referral traffic for the first year. I don’t believe Twitter has fallen from number one so much as that I’ve developed other sources of traffic such as through SEO. I’ve found that as my blogging skills and knowledge has progressed other pieces of the puzzle have been coming together too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to join the conversation. I read your comment on Steve Hippel’s guest post (about SEO) and I appreciate your feedback.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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AMS Imaging
Twitter:
May 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Interesting results! Thanks for spending the time to test your tactics. I believe its all about consistency if you find something that works keep at it. If you hit a plateau try something additional rather than trying to replace what has proven to work for you in the past.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I think it’s important to look at the total picture and analyze whether or not a tactic is meeting our objectives. For me, Twitter is no longer my top source of referral traffic. Since time is money, I wanted to test whether or not it was worth my time to continue what I was doing. What I discovered opened my eyes when I realized that it was negatively affecting other referral traffic. My Twitter strategy definitely needs some tweaking.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a PluginMy Profile

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Kay Lorraine
Twitter:
May 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Sherryl, it is clear to me that I am way out of my element on this tech stuff. I am doing nothing right. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t really understand Twitter and never did. I believe that I am going to contact you privately and see if I can hire you to teach me which end is up. Is that OK?

Kay in Hawaii

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Kay, you are such a wonderful writer. I think your tweets would be a lot of fun to read. Definitely contact me. I’d be glad to see if I could help you. You’re off to a good start already.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Patricia
Twitter:
May 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

Twitter is the best tool for branding, but has a huge contribution to drive traffics. It is also a great tool to promote events, special offer, and business announcements as well.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Patricia, I agree that Twitter can be very effective in promoting events and special offers. Businesses such as Dell create special landing pages to correspond to their Twitter campaigns. The pages they create are built specifically for that tweet. It will feature one product, with the advertised price and the buy-now button. There’s also a clear end date for the promotion. After the promotion is over, they update the page to reflect the deal is over and if you missed it, you can see exactly what the offer was. This is definitely a strategy that small business owners can implement as well.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

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Elena Anne May 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I’ve never actually did some test such as this before. However, I personally think that to be able to get traffic from twitter to your website, you have to exchange favors even though your followers and the people that you follow didn’t ask you to RT their tweets.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I think Twitter helps to build awareness of your blog Elena. Interesting post titles can entice people to click on the link and visit your site. Then, if your content delivers, it’s very possible that the person will become a regular reader. I tweet regularly for several bloggers because their posts add value to my followers. Many of them find my content valuable too and they RT for me. To me, Twitter is about engaging in conversation and sharing good content.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

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margaux p May 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Hi Jeannette,

Thanks for this informative post, this just made me realize how important it is to rely on Social Media Experts when managing the SM Network of my small business. I think I will now try exploring Social Gratitude to manage my sites… I am not an expert so I guess I am already experiencing this it’s just that I may not know.

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Bethany Lee
Twitter:
May 19, 2012 at 7:08 am

Hi Sheryl, thanks for the thoughtful and thorough post on your Twitter experiment. I have not used Twitter as much as I would like to, and so it was interesting to see the impact Twitter had on your stats. I have never done any experiments like this, but if anything, this made me want to do more with Twitter.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hi Bethany,
One of the things that I like about Twitter is that the 140 character limit does save me a lot of time. (Make sure to leave enough room so that when someone retweets your tweets that there’s room for “RT @YourUserName). I think the key is to have a strategy and be careful about following everyone who follows you. It’s very easy to end up with a lot of followers who may be spammers. We’ve all heard horror stories of people who have ended up deleting their Twitter accounts and starting over because they were getting so much spam. Good luck! (I’m following you now.)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Bethany
Twitter:
May 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Interesting post Sherryl, I’ve only just started using Twitter so it’s interesting to see some real stats from someone who has experience of this platform. I think the problem I have at the moment is trying to keep up with all the different social media platforms and the best way to get the most out of them. Thanks for doing the experiment.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hi Bethany,
I think most of us have the same problem trying to keep up with multiple social media platforms. I think the best solution is to figure out which sites your potential clients and customers participate on and then establish a presence there. That’s easier said than done but one thing I did (when I first started blogging) was to figure out who was successful in my niche. Then, I took a look at what sites they had the strongest presence on. If they are successful finding clients/customers there, than that could be a good place for you to be too.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Gain More Social Media Audience Through Photo SharingMy Profile

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Vanessa
Twitter:
May 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Great post Sherryl!

Very helpful. Appreciate you taking the time to experiment with traffic and more importantly provide that data back to us.

I have noticed depending on the niche dictates what kind of traffic or engagement you can get from your followers, friends, pins, etc. Think the different social media outlets have their place.

In my experience, it comes down to knowing how your users/readers/customer is using these outlets and what you are wanting to accomplish.

Glad to have found your blog! 😉

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Hi Vanessa,
I agree with you that different social media outlets do have their place. I realize that it’s important to not spend too much time on any one of them. On the other hand, I think it’s important to maintain some level of presence on three or four of the major ones if you can.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Vanessa
Twitter:
May 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

You are correct. Time management is huge with these social networks. Have heard from enough women that have to pull themselves away from FB & Pinterest or designate time slots for their use…Takes time away from them actually building their business!

Thanks again.

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Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
May 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hi Sherryl: Interesting observations.

As you know, I love Twitter and have made many amazing connections via that site. It works for me, but I don’t spend a huge amount of time there. I do thank for RT’s and mentions and do reciprocate follows from areas of interest.

And Twitter has definitely brought traffic to my blogs. But I’d say the LI groups such as BHB are the key traffic drivers for me. Am spending an increasing amount on Pinterest and will see where that takes me.
Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..guest post by Jim Kukral: use crowdsourcing to fund your next creative projectMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi Doreen,
That’s great that LinkedIn is working so well for you. LinkedIn is my favorite social networking site because you can really build meaningful relationships there. The 140 character limit on Twitter does not lend itself well to that. Pinterest sounds like a good fit for you because of your photography. That will be interesting to keep an eye on.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Gain More Social Media Audience Through Photo SharingMy Profile

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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

When I first read your post I needed some time to think about how I would respond. Being recently from the corporate world my first thoughts were your sample time was too short. In order to get a true picture I believe you need to see what happens in a longer period of time. Whenever a new technique, direction or venture is launched, there is always a dip. What is important to watch is what happens after the dip. Just my thoughts.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I’m from the corporate world too Susan and I agree with you that normally a month would not be long enough but for well over a year my traffic from BizSugar has been steadily increasing every month. It’s also been my #1 source of referral traffic for months. I’m convinced that the drop in traffic is due to my lack of participation on Twitter.

What I’ve decided to do is modify this strategy by making a conscious effort to RT for those bloggers who I regularly connect with on BizSugar, BlogEngage, Blokube and Twitter. That’s the only change I’ll make. (I’ll refer to this as stage two.) However, Leora brought up a good point about the timing as far as the holidays are concerned and summer. We have a 3-day weekend coming up at the end of this month quickly followed by summer.

I did mention that this experiment had flaws. 🙂 The good news is that the bloggers who I intend to RT for are pretty hard core and they’re likely to make every effort to continue sharing content without taking a serious amount of time off. We’ll see.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
December 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Update: I have been working pretty hard on my twitter activity based on some of the things you posted about. It has made a difference in my overall traffic. It isn’t as obvious at first but it’s building nicely along with new followers. With all that said, I think I with you on the keeping the pressure on.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for the update Susan. That’s great that Twitter is making a difference. My referral traffic from Twitter had decreased drastically and I switched gears a little. I had taken a serious look at my Twitter traffic and people were coming to my posts but not staying long enough to possibly read it. So, I took a closer look at my strategy at about the same time that I was invited to a Triberr tribe that closely matched my target reader. I joined it and my referral traffic has really spiked from Twitter again. I need to analyze it more carefully and then I’ll probably write another post about it. I’m not exactly sure when that will happen though – probably after the holidays.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Set up Google Authorship & the Rel=Author TagMy Profile

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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
December 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

It’s funny you should mention Triberr because that is where I engage the most and it’s with Tribes that match my blog content and interest. I would be interested in what your analysis says once you had the time to review your overall results. 🙂

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Leora
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 5:43 am

Without doing the numbers like you have, I can *feel* when I am more involved in social media or not. But if I were presenting to a company, stats like yours could be quite useful in presenting to the boss.

One comment on how other factors might be in play: there might be seasonal changes as well going on that can effect the numbers. For example, one of my clients writes about playgrounds. Her stats in general (and by this I mean website as opposed to Twitter) always go down in the winter months. Could be that in July people are less on Twitter than in March?
Leora recently posted..Blogging Workshop: Add Your InputMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

That’s a great point Leoraw. Living in the Northeast (of the United States), I know for a fact that most of us are online more in the winter. Our planting season is fairly short here. So, as soon as the danger of a killing frost has passed, a lot of us run outside to plant.

I do intend to tweak this experiment but now you have me thinking of Memorial Day and a lot of people are taking vacation now. That definitely will have an impact. Since I’ve known from the start that this experiment has flaws, I’m going to just implement a few tweaks (to try to get my BizSugar traffic back up) and track it anyways. Actually, the tracking isn’t time consuming. What took the most time was writing this post! 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

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Anny May 16, 2012 at 4:34 am

Hmmm… an interesting experiment 🙂 Btw, I also use ScoopIt for finding smth to Tweet

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi Anny,
I really like Scoop.It. I’m just starting to get in the habit of scooping though.

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Anny May 17, 2012 at 2:34 am

Sherryl, good luck with your ScoopIt 🙂 I’m subscribed to several good photography-related topics which help me greatly
Anny recently posted..5 Quick Tips to Creating an E-commerce Website that SellsMy Profile

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Linda Trep May 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I’ve had twitter traffic go up since last month. I had been more consitent tweeting and retweeting and keeping up with conversations with my followers. I guess that’s how I’ve gotten more traffic

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi Linda,
The key to the increase in your website traffic may be “keeping up with conversations”. Regardless of which tools we use (like Twitter), it really does come down to building meaningful relationships online. People do business with people they trust. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

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Steve
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

That’s really interesting to see Sherryl.
I have to confess I still haven’t got on the twitter bandwagon properly. I have become less obsessed with high traffic levels and more obsessed with where the traffic that drives revenue comes from.
My conclusion, well you would expect me to say it I suppose but the bulk of my paying clients and affiliate sales comes from the search engines.
Steve recently posted..SEO Is Important No Matter How Much Traffic You HaveMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi Steve,
I still haven’t created a product. So, it’s more difficult for me to track conversions. At this point, I am interested in traffic from multiple sources. Since my interactions (on all social media) are pretty much only about business, I believe the vast majority of the people who follow me are either small biz owners or have hopes to be. (I feel that those who aren’t will get bored with me quickly.) BTW – Good luck with your small business website club!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Steve
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I think you are in a great position to create a product Sherryl. I have to admit, it’s hard going but it’s really satisfying. Haven’t made my millions yet but I’m getting superb feedback. That alone makes all the hard work worth it.
I had a couple off seasoned bloggers join. That made me nervous I can tell you. I really should start putting myself about more though. It can only help.
Steve recently posted..SEO Is Important No Matter How Much Traffic You HaveMy Profile

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Sian Phillips
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

That’s really interesting stats Sherryl. Twitter is all about engagement for me and possibly if people weren’t seeing you interact so much they therefore didn’t interact on the other sites – I really wouldn’t know though. Food for thought. 🙂 Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com
Sian Phillips recently posted..Waterford Festival of Food – My Weekend of Amazing FoodMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Hi Sian,
That may be part of the reason for the drop in traffic. There is a core group who I interact with on BizSugar, Blokube and BlogEngage. I was still sharing their content directly from their sites but the key may very well be that I wasn’t RT’ing their tweets. You have me thinking that rather than going back to my original strategy, I could continue my experiment and add back RT’ing for a select group of bloggers who I regularly interact with (on those three sites). Thanks for your input! I think I”m going to try that.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Sian Phillips
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’d be very interested in hearing the results of this further experiment Sherryl
Sian Phillips recently posted..Waterford Festival of Food – My Weekend of Amazing FoodMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

Sian, I’ll write a follow-up article when I have new results to share. I’m not changing anything for now but when I do, I’ll keep track of it.

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Niall Devitt
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Great analysis and it’s very interesting that spending less time on Twitter may have had a direct impact on to the referral traffic that you lost. Thanks for sharing, Niall
Niall Devitt recently posted..Build An Old Fashioned Business Community, But Do It Online!My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hi Niall,
I was very surprised by the drop in traffic to BizSugar, Blokube and BlogEngage. I don’t believe that I changed anything else that I was doing on those sites. I haven’t gone back to my original Twitter strategy yet but when I do, I’ll track this again to find out if the numbers come back up.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Eli May 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Twitter and Facebook has its own techniques.No doubt both are large network and referring sites.Referring is done for some reason.The reason to be referred must be identified and worked out

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Eli,
To me, both Twitter and Facebook are good for building awareness and it makes it easy for people to share. Most of the shares that I see come from people who I have connected with and shared for them.

Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Does Twitter Drive Traffic to Your Website Blog?My Profile

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Adrienne
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

That was interesting Sherry!

Twitter and Facebook are my two top referral sites so I’m not going to go and play with that.

I don’t necessarily seek people out on Twitter but I always share tweets from my blog readers and a lot of them come to my site having found my content on Twitter. I guess it helps that I have a lot of people sharing my tweets so eventually some people just get curious.

Now if I start having a conversation with someone on Twitter I’ll go check out their site, leave a comment and share their content as well. But that’s about the extent of my use on Twitter itself. Not bad for being #1 and #2 for referral traffic.

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Adrienne recently posted..Why Your Blog May Be Losing Rank In GoogleMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Hi Adrienne,
It sounds like your Twitter strategy is serving you well. For at least the first year or year and a half after I launched my blog, Twitter was responsible for roughly 1/3 of all of my traffic. Before I ran this experiment, it had fallen to about the 7th source of referral traffic. So, it wasn’t much of a risk to experiment with it. If I could just figure out how to reduce my time on Twitter while restoring my referrals from my other sites, I’d be very happy.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

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Catarina
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

Really interesting analysis Sherryl! Seems I have to start paying more attention to Twitter. For some reason the last month or so I just stopped thanking people for following me and re-tweeted. Probably need to pay more attention to Twitter again.
Catarina recently posted..Is a world without borders possible?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Catarina,
That’s interesting that you mention thanking people for following you. That’s one thing that I have never done. Were you thanking them with direct messages, personal tweets or one tweet to several people? I wonder how common that practice is and who else does that. I’ve never noticed people thanking me for the follow unless they’re offering me an enticement to visit their blog or follow them on Facebook. (I usually ignore those requests.)

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Catarina
Twitter:
May 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Yes Sherryl. Just wrote thanks for the follow. Sometimes added something like “Read my international articles on http://….

The interesting thing is that I invite 1 out of 1,000 to follow me the rest contact me. But when I follow them back I frequently get a thanks for the follow tweet from them. That’s odd isn’t it? They should write thanks for following me back…

Get lot’s of suggestions of the likes you mention and ignore 99.9 out of them.
Catarina recently posted..Is a world without borders possible?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thanks Catarina. I can’t help but wonder how many of those thanks are automated and there’s no easy way to distinguish the fact that they followed you first.

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Ashvini
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 5:10 am

Hi Sherryl,

That is cool analysis. I had my ups and down with twitter. What I have seen is that tweet is like a shot in the arm. The person who gets your tweet is jolted into seeing your name and then acknowledging your presence. He or she probably will see your profile and visit your blog/ site.
Do it often and they would become your acquaintances/friends . Previously I followed 2000 people and saw that there was not much conversation happening. Once I reduced my follow to 50, the conversations increased and so did the blog visibility. That I was able to interact with fewer people raised the quality of interaction. To me that was more worthwhile than just the number of visitors. I had more visitors when I followed 2000 people but then not many repeat ones.
I think your strategies are on the mark and in the end quality of audience matters than quantity.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience Ashvini. I’m sure others here will find it valuable. You’re helping to prove that it’s not about the numbers. How many people someone is following along with the number of their followers, the number of tweets they have made and their profile are all factors that I take into consideration when I make the decision whether or not to follow someone. I’m a firm believer in having a strategy for participating on social media sites as well as all of the tactics that I take to promote my blog/business. Thanks for weighing in on this. I appreciate your input and knowing that you (along with others) feel that I’m on the right track.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

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Mitch Mitchell
Twitter:
May 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I can’t say I did it the way you did it, but it was part of an overall test some months ago. For a week I decided not to put out anything new on Twitter except for my original posts, which were automated to be posted once they went live. I didn’t write anything original and didn’t get into any conversations unless someone decided to write me first in which case I responded because I thought that was the thing to do.

Truthfully, traffic dropped, but what was kind of depressing is that it was like no one even noticed I was gone. To me, it proved that unless you’re out there engaging on your own that there’s so much going on it will be easy to overlook any of us. Not sure I want to go quite that route yet.
Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Don’t Lie About Your HealthMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

That is true Mitch. No one did seem to notice that I was tweeting less. Of course, the people I’m truly connected with would not have noticed because I was still tweeting for them, reading, commenting and interacting where I could. Those are natural relationships that I try to maintain.

What really surprised me was the impact on BizSugar. For that reason alone, I will go back to tweeting more content. Otherwise, the fact that the length of an average visit was so much longer would be indication that visits from Twitter don’t really result in the right “traffic”. Ideally, I could figure out what sort of tweets are driving traffic to the other social networking sites and focus on that.

As most people here are saying , what’s important is to not look at numbers but to connect with traffic that will result in meeting our goals. We can’t take the fact that no one noticed personally either. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Mitch.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 8 White Hat SEO Tips for E-Commerce WebsitesMy Profile

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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
May 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I am receiving a lot of traffic from twitter, and it’s increasing every week. It’s all because of Triberr. After joining the community and retweeting the best content, I’ve received so much help with retweets too. It rocks 🙂
Jens P. Berget recently posted..Online Intimacy – Entering The Comfort ZoneMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for the mention of Triberr Jens. I know a lot of people find Triberr to be a great resource. Personally, I haven’t found it to be as useful as others have. Having said that, I’m only a member of one tribe and I disbanded the only tribe that I was “chief” of. (We decided to automatically feed each others Twitter feeds into either TwitterFeed.com or Dlvr.It.) I did connect with Adrienne Smith on Triberr and I’ve connected with a couple of other people in her tribe but I’ve never been inclined to pursue more tribes. Maybe you (or someone else) can convince me that I’m missing a great opportunity that I just haven’t discovered yet.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Amit Shaw
Twitter:
May 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I wasn’t too active on twitter but from last 2 month i am too active and spending my time on twitter rather than Facebook. The Good news is i am getting double Traffic from Facebook 🙂
Its really cool but you have to make interaction ad RT Too 🙂
BTW Thanks for this case study article 🙂
Amit Shaw recently posted..Pinterest Pictures for Your Business: Images that Intrigue the ViewerMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Amit, Do you find that most of the people who you interact with are on both Twitter and Facebook? For me, a lot of them are but there’s also a group of people who I interact with on FB who I don’t believe are on Twitter at all. That group seems to be people who don’t have an Internet presence. For example, I’ve found that people who are thinking about launching a website or a blog aren’t usually active on Twitter but many of them are on FB even if it’s only for personal use.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Susan Oakes
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hi Sherryl,

I really like the way when you do something you track it. My initial thoughts are traffic is one thing conversion for whatever goal you have is the key and 1 month may not be long enough. One thing you can track for the social sites is for whatever you want them to do on your site is to track the paths they take to take. I am not sure about Google but with Get Clicky you can track it. If you want to know more just email me.

I know time was a factor for you so it might be worth considering adding back one variable at a time. Thanks for sharing your test Sherryl.
Susan Oakes recently posted..Avoid This Target Market Mistake Before It Is Too LateMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hi Susan,
You make an excellent point about conversions. It’s somewhat difficult for me to track conversions now because I haven’t created a product yet. (At this point, I’m using my blog mainly to build awareness of my skills and my consulting services.) I track a lot of anecdotal data to help determine how I’ve met and interacted with people. (Knowing where and how I’ve met people gives me great insight as to how clients found me.) I will definitely keep Clicky in mind. Thanks for the offer to email you. I appreciate it as always.

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Richard Newman
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Fascinating. The first time that anyone has shown me that Twitter may actually have some value. Thanks Sherryl.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

You’re welcome Richard. I think that (as long as you are providing quality content), if you share the content of other bloggers (who are in your niche), you’ll find that many of them will share your content too. Don’t just tweet. Leave meaningful comments and engage with other blogger. When you start seeing referral traffic from their site, you’ll know for sure that your strategy is working.

(Sorry for the delay in my reply. I took an unplanned mini-vacation to celebrate Mothers Day.)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Wow, you are a scientist! This is fascinating to me, and I so appreciate the effort you put into exploring this question. I often finding Twitter time-consuming and not personally that rewarding. But I have been told over and over how important it is to the social networking stream and success. Seems like your results support that it’s worth the effort. I know, of course, that preparing content ahead of time and having a calendar so you are not creating content on-the-spot all the time is valuable for preserving time (and sanity).

Great info. Thanks so much.

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hi Judy,
Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply but my sister and I took our 83-year old mom to Cape Cod and we ended up staying longer than planned. I did not trust the unsecured Internet access that was available. So, I used it as an excuse to take a blogging break. 🙂

I too know that preparing content ahead of time and having a calendar works but I have to admit that I honestly don’t do a very good job it it. I was hoping that cutting down on Twitter might save me time and that would help but (because of what happened to my BizSugar traffic), I’m going back to tweeting more. Thanks for letting me know you found my post interesting.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

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Tracy Anderson May 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

Sherryl,
Interesting test of the impact of Twitter on traffic. It would be really interesting to view the results if you repeat the test again in the future to see if it is repeated. Thanks for posting your results.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

You’re welcome Tracy. I will be going back to my original strategy and I’ll report back. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this. I’m glad you found my article interesting.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

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Pete Goumas May 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi Sherryl,
Thankyou so much for sharing your experience. Twitter works for me but it needs my time and right approach to spread my words on twitter that results in traffic generation.
Pete Goumas recently posted..What Is MythologyMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

Hi Pete,
Thanks for letting me know that you liked my post. I think one of the most surprising things that I learned from this is that the change in my strategy resulted in a 25% increase in the length of the average visit. (That was from all traffic sources.) So, while the number of visitors dropped, people were staying longer. It will be interesting to see what happens when I go back to my old strategy and do a similar analysis.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..WordPress OpenHook 3 Plugin Broke my Thesis ThemeMy Profile

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Jackie
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 5:03 am

Interesting exercise Sherryl.

Testing is really difficult with social media unless you can better isolate the variables it can leave you with a lot of unconclusive evidence.

Most of my traffic comes directly from search. Twitter usually falls in the somewhere in the top ten or top twenty, depending on what strategies I’ve been using. What I am more interested in is conversions from the social media sites. I’ve yet to devise some testing for this using retargeting and tracking codes, but hey time…you know 😉

It will be interesting to see if you did return to your previous strategy if numbers will bounce back.

At the end of the day you’ve got to weigh the time invested against the revenue that it brings to your business. Traffic doesn’t have a lot of shine if its not converting, and I’ve found twitter to be low on the conversion factor so far.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

Hi Jackie,
I didn’t get too technical on this experiment. I knew it was flawed because of the variables but I did learn from it.

Most of my traffic comes directly from search now too. (It wasn’t always that way. In my early blogging days, Twitter was my top source of all traffic, not just referral.)

If you ever devise a way to test conversions from social media sites, please let me know! I do intend to return to my previous strategy. I really want that traffic from BizSugar back.

You are absolutely right about conversions being what’s important. That’s an excellent point and I’m grateful that you mentioned it. Since I work with clients and I’m not selling a product (yet), conversions are a little more difficult for me to track.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

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Jackie
Twitter:
May 12, 2012 at 12:57 am

Will do for sure Sherryl, when I stop letting time get the better of me 😉

Glad you added that “yet”….you produce great content, I’m sure any product you create will go like hotcakes 🙂

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Ray May 11, 2012 at 3:43 am

Sometimes I just need to take a break from sites like Twitter. It can be that I just don’t have as much time because I am working on a project. I usually come back to it eventually.
Ray recently posted..Are You Ticked Off About The Google Penguin UpdateMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hi Ray,
I try to be consistent in my participation on social media sites but I have to admit that I’m still not in the habit of checking Google+ and there’s a new Facebook group that I’m in that I know I should be more active in. I have the same issue as you do with time. Projects take priority.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

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Micah
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 2:18 am

Hmm that’s some interesting data. What I would be interested to see is whether or not your traffic would go back up if you returned to your old twitter strategy.

That would make the results a little more conclusive.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hi Micah,
I’m taking a couple of days off but I intend to go back to my original strategy. So, I’ll start tracking it again when I do and I’ll report back at some point. I’m really hoping that I can get my traffic at BizSugar back to where it was before.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

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Leo Dimilo
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 12:43 am

I actually am still trying to wrap my head around Twitter (what can I say? I’m a little late to the game). The last 8 months I have simply been retweeting content I find on the internet and being very selective with who I follow. As a result, I have networked with a couple people on there and have been recently expanding a social media campaign to include my own articles as well.

from >>>>>>>>>>>not a social media expert<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

That sounds like a great plan Leo. I think it’s really smart to be very selective in who you follow.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

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Jeannette Paladino blogging, branding
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

Sherryl — I admire your bravery. I know I get stuck doing the same things over and over. I have not conducted a similar experiment. Like you, my Twitter traffic dropped considerably in recent months and I don’t know why because I didn’t change anything I did.

What has helped bring me consistent (and sometimes a lot of traffic depending on the post) is my automatic feeds to a couple of sites that publish my posts that are pertinent to their readers. I just downloaded HubSpot’s newest report on gaining backlinks. I think that’s the way to go — and you do that by guest posting and leaving comments wherever you can on other sites.
Jeannette Paladino blogging, branding recently posted..Delta Needs a New Brand Name for “Economy Comfort” ClassMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hi Jeannette,
I wonder why your Twitter traffic dropped if you didn’t change anything you were doing. I wonder if anyone else here will report a similar experience.

Thanks for the tip on HubSpot’s report on gaining backlinks. I’ll definitely go over there and grab a copy. I’m always looking for more sites that I can automatically subscribe my RSS feed to!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

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