A lot of bloggers spend a fair amount of time trying to grow vanity metrics like their Facebook fans and Twitter followers. But, we must ask the basic question… “Does it matter anymore?”
In this episode, we’ll discuss some basic statistics. Just what is the average organic reach of a post on Facebook? What is the average click-through rate on a tweet? And given these metrics, is this really where our time is best spent?
How should you deal with the issue of your fanbase on social media? Need you worry much about the size?
So let’s talk about Facebook Page Likes and Twitter Followers and basically any of these vanity metrics that many people think about, here today at Coffee Break Blogging.
The big question we are going to ask ourselves here is:
How Much Does Our Follower Count Really Matter?
Now here, right now we are talking about various topics having to do with building our traffic. And the truth is that many bloggers out there are still ranking pretty high the importance of Facebook fans and Twitter followers and how much traffic that they receive. And so they put a lot of focus on that. They really try really hard to get lots of people to connect with them on Facebook or to follow them on Twitter.
The first thing that I want to do is I want to put a few stats in front of you. We are going to specifically look at the organic reach and actual performance of these two social networks; Facebook and Twitter.
Now if you are not familiar with “organic reach”; all that means is that the amount of people based on percentage, typically, that you will reach when you post something on Facebook and you reach them for free. So organic means you are not paying for it. So if you have one thousand people who are connected to you on Facebook, and let us just off the top of my head say 100 people see your update, that will be a 10% organic reach. Now you can always bump it up higher than that by paying for it but we are talking about non-paid here.
So here are a few analytics; a few average statistics that I found from a report put out by an analytics firm called Locowise… And they said that link posts on Facebook on average get an 18% organic reach. So on average if you have a link post; let’s say to your blog or something like that, then you would have about 18% of the people who you are connected with will actually see that post, okay? Now, video posts on average get about 9% organic reach. A text post also likewise gets about 9% organic reach. And then photos are about a 7% organic reach. And then interestingly, is that it drops as the size of your page grows. So as your Facebook page gets more and more people connecting to it, these numbers go down.
Now I don’t want you to read into this by saying “Well, if link posts are getting the best organic reach, I am now going to post nothing but link posts.” That is not the way to look at it. At the end of the day, all these organic reach business comes down to the Edge Rank algorithm. Edge Rank is Facebook’s way to filtering out noise. Now in the last episode we talked all about User Experience and User Engagement when it comes to SEO of our blogs. Well, in the world of Facebook, that is the exact problem that Facebook is trying to deal with. They are using various signals as a way of demonstrating do people who are seeing your updates actually want to see them.
So if people are not generally reacting to the types of things you are putting out there, your organic reach is going to drop. So, these figures that I just gave you from Locowise, they are averages. But I also want you to understand that they do go up and down depending on your habits. If you got a Facebook page with 10,000 fans and you are just link dropping constantly you are not going to get an 18% organic reach on that despite what Locowise says because you are just link dropping and adding no value to your page, okay?
Now the reason why I gave you those statistics was just to show you how far your updates get. And a lot of newbies have expected that “Well, if 1000 people are following me on Facebook then it is kind of like Twitter. I’ll post and those 1000 people will see it and they either click or they don’t.” Well, that is just not the case. Actually, most people who are connected to you will literally not even see your update.
Now, Twitter is a different thing. They don’t have any Edge Rank algorithm, they don’t hide updates from people. It is basically a big fire hose. So it has a very, very high noise ratio. So the big thing that we are looking at there, are… Are people actually reacting? Are they clicking on our tweets? Well, according to some data that I found, the average clickthrough ratio; at least with this particular report that I saw, on Twitter was 1.64%. So you put out a tweet and 1.64% of people might actually act upon it. Not a very high number and I can also tell you that.
I don’t know what the actual number is off the top of my head but it is on par like probably lower than that. And in fact, the same exact study says that users with more than 10k followers tend to have an even lower clickthrough rate. They said 0.45% clickthrough rate. And I will just tell you off the top of my head that that’s probably in the neighborhood of what I get on mine because I do have at least as of now, I probably have in the neighborhood of 15k followers on Twitter because I don’t put a lot of attention on the darn thing. I do send things on it but I don’t try to grow my followers and it shows. So I get about 15k people following me on Twitter and if I post something out there, it is probably about in that neighborhood, right about a half of percent.
So… Is That Really Where We Should Be Focusing?
And so with numbers like these; this organic reach problem with Facebook and the really low engagement rate on Twitter because of the high degree of noise; you do have to ask yourself, “Is this really where we should be focusing? Should we spend a lot of time trying to grow our fan base on Facebook? Or trying to grow our followers?” Or maybe we should spend some time on things that are a little bit more important; a little bit more leverageable.
And we also have to consider a very important fact here and that is that you can pay to reach anybody that you want and you are going to have a higher reach while you do it.
So take the world of Facebook. I don’t have to have people connected to my Facebook page for me to reach them. I can put a Facebook ad on there, give Facebook a couple of bucks; whatever that might cost and I can reach anybody that I want with a much higher degree of targeting than if I were to just simply use the organic reach of my Facebook page. And not only that, I am going to get better reach because generally speaking, Facebook is now a paid to play world. If you want to get your message out that is a form of marketing. And Facebook wants marketers to pay for it. Quite frankly, that is the kind of the way it should be, anyway.
So when you consider the fact that I can pay to reach anybody that I want, you have to really question whether it is worth putting a lot of time into your Facebook page. I don’t really need it, to be honest with you. Same goes for Twitter. I can use Twitter ads and I can put my message in front of anybody that I want. If I wanted to target somebody else’s followers and put my tweet in front of their followers, I can do that. All I got to do is be willing to flow a few bucks over Twitter’s direction. And so, do they really need to follow me? Absolutely not! They don’t need to follow me at all for me to reach them on Twitter.
So at the end of the day, follower counts are a form of social proof. I mean they do make you look good, if you got a large follower count it makes you look like a badass, it makes you look popular; it makes you look famous; great. But it does not necessarily translate over into real marketing results. So I would argue that it doesn’t worth a heck of a lot of focus.
Look At The Leverage
Here is what I do with regard to my social accounts. I invite people to follow me over there but I do not engage in any unnatural method to increase my numbers. And I don’t recommend you do that either. Don’t do any weird, fancy tactics to try to get more Twitter followers or more Facebook fans. Do not run any weird contests and say “You have to enter by liking me on Facebook” or any of this crap because you are going to get really untargeted people following you there. It messes up your organic reach with Facebook if you do that. I don’t care if you got 5k fans. If you bought them through Fiverr or something, you have a crappy Facebook page; you are not going to reach anybody with that thing.
And the same goes with Twitter. It is not hard if you are willing to engage in shadiness to go out and rack up a Twitter account with 20k followers. It isn’t that difficult, okay? The thing is if you do it those ways like buying followers and doing the auto-follow and unfollow game and all those crap people do; you are going to have a nice little number there but at the end of the day you are not going to reach that many people because they really won’t give a crap about what you say.
So you want to look at your social profiles as another touch point for your community. But it is not the primary thing. You want to have a race course that you own here. You want to own this particular thing. You want to have them in your world. And that means you want them to get them on to your email lists, your share; if you are going to do social it will be more beneficial if you get them to a Facebook group that you own. Then they don’t worry about saying they are trying to get them to your Facebook page, at least with a Facebook group if you post something in there they are going to get a notification; with a Facebook page they don’t.
And so, you really got to look at leverage here. Really look at where your time is best spent. At the end of the day, I don’t think you should spend a lot of time trying to increase your followers. Just let it happen. Invite people to follow you over there, or join your email list, which is a much, much important thing to do. You know, maybe in your Welcome email you invite them to follow you over on Twitter. But don’t engage in any shenanigans to try to get them to do it because it doesn’t matter that much. It really doesn’t matter that much, okay?
I want to end off by reminding you of the big upcoming Webinar on Blog Monetization and you can find this at blogmonetizationwebinar.com. At the end of the day this episode is talking about how to build up traffic and we have talked about now Using Social Media Organically in order to increase your traffic. But I mentioned here in brief the idea that you can pay to reach anybody and you absolutely can.
Now what we are going to be talking about at blogmonetizationwebinar.com has everything to do with your building to be able to do that. Because if your first reaction is “I don’t want to pay to reach anybody on Facebook; I don’t want to spend money” if that is your first reaction then I invite you to re-think that a little bit. And part of re-thinking that is that you have got to have the ability to make some money from the money that you put in to it. And that has everything to do with what we are going to be talking about on that big webinar at blogmonetizationwebinar.com.
So it is a completely free webinar that I am going to be doing. I want you to come over, save your seat and be there live. We are not going to do any replays anymore or anything like that so you do need to come and join us when the webinar is actually happening and you are going to find it a very valuable hour of your time. Okay?
Thanks a lot for being here! I’ll see you next time!