Blog Traffic Battle- Facebook vs. Everything Else

Testing the Engagement of My Social Audience

I have a decent amount of Twitter followers which occasionally mention and Re-Tweet me, decent connections on LinkedIn, decent circles on Google+ and a decent number of Facebook friends, but how engaged are they really? Once answered, then the question is where are they engaged? Facebook is consistently touted as the most powerful way to drive traffic to most content, is it powerful enough to beat the 3 next biggest networks combined? I conducted a little experiment to answer these questions, posting content across my big 4 networks to see what and where would click through.

I post stuff everywhere all the time, but I’ve never measured the power of my network to drive traffic to my blog, which doesn’t really have a previous audience, for which I was able to contain a relatively constant variable;  0-5 views a day for the last two months.

Twitter Profile Stats

Twitter Profile Stats

In order to test this I posted what I consider to be a very engaging blog post of mine about how to get job interviews out of college. I assumed my social audience should be quite engaged with this as it includes hundreds of college age students and unemployed. I posted the blog link on my Twitter, Linkedin and Google + and waited an hour. 18 views.

Then I posted it on my Facebook profile and a newer page called #AggieLife, then waited an hour more. I conducted this test 9:30am-11:30am, which is one of the slower times of the day for all social networks (peaks being before 8am and around 11pm) but my hypothesis was I would see more engagement from two posts on Facebook than 1 post each on my Twitter/Linkedin/Google+.

My hypothesis was supported! Within about an hour after posting on Facebook,  56 views

By 3pm, 72 views.

Referrer analytics showed 36 from Facebook and 8 from Twitter, 2 from LinkedIn, a couple other miscellaneous accounting for only 48 views. This shows that WordPress analytics do not capture all referrers, since there was consistent traffic of 0-5 views a day on my blog for the last two months.

Facebook Profile Stats

Facebook Profile Stats

Aside from analytics, I can only assume most of my Twitter traffic disappeared quickly because my Tweet by then was likely pushed below viewing range in most feeds. When I posted on Facebook the views were more sustained than Twitter, coming in consistently throughout the hour, whereas Twitter spiked quickly and died.

I’ll look at conducting a future study to see how sharing content on multiple related Facebook pages drives traffic, such as the #Aggielife page I mentioned. I am working on building large followings via Facebook pages,  such as #yolo, for there may be incredible, even monetizable marketing power in pages to drive traffic and views, which is very valuable to a digital marketer like me studying how to seed viral content.

Blog Traffic from Social

Blog Traffic from Social

 

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10 Prophecies for Google’s Project Glass

I could be wrong, but with the limited knowledge I have, I see Project Glass as the largest pendulum shift in technology since the Apple II in 77′, which inaugurated the use of in-home computers by mainstream consumers. These are my predictions for Google’s Project Glass.

1. It will have a larger impact on the world socially and economically than the iPad did, which is difficult to fathom.

2. It will eventually serve as the missing link to autonomous driving and other every-day life functions.

3. It will become the most central piece of technology for humans on the planet.

4. It will eventually lead to a technology that is directed solely through thoughts, leaving the need for glasses and voice navigation behind. This is will cause a great moral debate when released to the consumer market.

5. It will take Google from tens of billions to hundreds of billions of dollars in yearly revenue.

6. It will  dramatically increase both the funding and the quality of Google’s information infrastructure, such as Google Maps, Google Search, Google +, iOS, etc…

7. It will grow scale and use of Google+ that will rival even Facebook.

8. It will spawn copied concepts from every technology company, but nearly all of them will critically lack the infrastructure to actually compete with Google in the smart-glasses market.

9. It will create a major culture shift, changing the fundamental way humans socially interact with each other. Some will believe it will destroy human relationships while others will see it as a quantum leap in human advancement and quality of life.

10. It will integrate with home functions and comprehensive entertainment selections and direction.

The things that Project Glass can and will do are astounding, I can only imagine that the geniuses at Google right now are covering white board after white board with the thousands of integrations and applications that will come about. It’s incredible to me how Google’s platforms build upon each other, as if they were planned from the start. Could Google possibly have known from the start that a video uploading site, youtube, would eventually spawn channel-specific personalities worth millions? Could Google have possibly known that Google Maps would be used for military science, consumers finding businesses and even a platform for autonomous driving?

Either Google directors are geniuses beyond comprehension, or they are incredible at adapting to change and developing on-the-fly, short-term strategies that interweave unlike anything the world has seen before. It’s interesting that Google’s dozens of products dwarf Apple in sheer scale, yet Apple’s decisions to focus on a handful of products like the iPad and iTunes have been more lucrative, as if Apple was the king of tech business and Google was the king of tech innovation. Apple hits its targets more often than Google, for example, Google Buzz, but it doesn’t fire as often. I hope Project Glass is a wild success and Google gets the long overdue, incredible revenue and attention that Apple has received for it’s devices and software.

A full “The Real Meaning of MPH” Case Study Coming Soon.

Be excited for some great insights and I’ll look forward to your suggestions.

Decisions I’ve Made Using Analytics and/or Data

An IBM study showed that professionals that tended to make data based decisions were exponentially more successful than those that made decisions based on intuition. The following are a few successful decisions I’ve made in my career based on analytics. I included an unsuccessful decision I made based on intuition to support the data-based conclusion of IBM in the study. 

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Google Analytics, Social Monitoring Tools and Salesforce.com- The Web IQ Quiz (www.webiqquiz.com)

 Content/UX Design:

 After deciding a scoreboard would increase traffic on a quiz I was helping build for IQ Agency we decided scores should come in around 70% correct. This was an intuitive decision because data didn’t exist to solve the problem. To prove our intuitive decision we had a few dozen, exclusive ad agency professionals take the quiz and found the percent correct was far too low. We removed some difficult questions and made others easier. In a test with a new group we reached our 70% range we had hoped for. The appropriate design of difficulty contributed to the virality of the quiz, as many users would brag about their scores and challenge others. Had the elite users (also high influencers) scored less than 80% they would have likely been embarrassed to post their score which would have lost the project tens of thousands of page views.

Promo campaign/launch:

Allocating my efforts

In monitoring a variety of data I was able to make quick decisions as my marketing campaign unfolded day by day. In the first few days Google Analytics data showed sharpest increases coming from tweets posted by web celebrities I had pitched the project to which caused me to allocate more of my time to reaching celebrities. Within a few days of social monitoring on Social Mention, Vistamix and Radian6 I realized the quiz was spreading through celebrities organically, posted by dozens of celebrities (30k+ followers) a day. Google Analytics showed that sites such as 20kaido.com in Japan had picked up and featured the quiz on their publications as a result of celebrity posting on Twitter. Because of this I decided to allocate more efforts on media pitches to publications such as CMO.com and Egotists in multiple cities. When publications such as these did feature the quiz, I saw a huge jump in traffic. Eventually, even publication features became organic, from that point I started submitting the quiz to content sites such as StumbleUpon. Three weeks after launch, Twitter went from generating 80% of traffic to 2%. As that channel was saturated with posts regarding the quiz I used data to further drive traffic via new channels. I was also able to monitor traffic jumps based on times of the day to chose when to post new content and prize promotions with the Windows Phone 7’s we acquired through a sponsorship we pitched to Microsoft.  

Email Marketing using SalesForce.com Mass Email and other tools:

Through a connection from our CEO, we acquired an email list of 60,000 brand managers. Rather than trusting a subject line we thought would be engaging enough for high click through percentage, we decided to perform a test sample of 3,000, emailing three subject lines, one to each thousand. I say “we,” because I collaborated with IQ’s marketing director on this process. Subject lines were (1) ‘The 20-year-old you check out every day’ (2) ‘Celebrate the Web’s 20th Birthday’ and (3) ‘I thought you might find this interesting,’ listed in order of what we thought would be the most successful. Ironically, #3 showed 7% click-through with the best soft bounce rate. Good thing we hadn’t trusted our instincts! Average email yields in marketing are 3% or less. The most vague subject line we had come up with, which had originally be designed as a constant variable actually became our most successful subject line.  

Google Analytics Tools Utilized

Measure Traffic and Top Content

130,000 Unique page views in three weeks, avg. dwell time of 5 min, 20% bounce rate

Map Overlay, Goals and Funnels

Conversion rates by country and state

Mined data to build info-graphics to prolong life of the product story, newsworthiness 

Traffic Sources

5% Organic Google Search- SEO not a worthwhile investment

Highest traffic came for first two days from Twitter and email

Most significant traffic jumps initially were from celebrity Tweets like Robert Scoble

Then from publications- Egotists, CSS-Tricks, Kaido, CMO.com

Then from content sharing sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit

Intelligence

Quick summaries of change in traffic

Advanced Segments

People that find it through a certain channel from a certain region

*What I will use to understand differences in behaviors of global traffic to DAA products

Ticket Leap Event Marketing Analytics- Cache Valley Clash

Choosing advertising channels based on previous returns

After planning and promoting a sporting event to which 1,300 attended, I analyzed data from online ticket sales showing where customers heard about the event. I organized the lists in excel and using pie graphs, was able to determine that the most effective channels in order were (1) WOM Referral (2) Radio (3) Fliers (4) Facebook and (5) Posters among others. Then I divided the number of introductions per channel by dollars spent on those channels. Radio, at $1,300 was the most expensive. Without analyzing data I would have intuitively invested more money for the next event in radio, however, by determining reach per dollar I found that radio was actually one of the least efficient channels on which to advertise per dollar. There was no data to determine what drove WOM Referral, so I intuitively decided a combination of many channels was important to reach a variety of people. I invested more funds into print and Facebook advertising. 

Estimating residential painting projects- Bountiful Painting

Mistakenly continuing to out-price other bids

By lowering bids on residential paint estimates in Bountiful, Utah, I was able to triple my booking rate in comparison to the local industry standard. Rather than analyzing profits on past projects, I made an intuitive decision to under bid projects, assuming I would find ways to cut costs, labor, and somehow turn acceptable profits. As I continued to ignore data readily available to me, I continued in minimal to neutral profits for a few weeks. Eventually, I realized the pattern I had established and based on that data, chose to start bidding high prices for projects. My booking rate dramatically fell, but my profits tripled and I was able to recover my losses and still gain satisfactory profit. Had I analyzed data sooner, I likely would have tripled profits for my efforts much sooner

Travnify- The Travis Chambers Brand

A slideshow representing my personal brand in a marketing context.

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4 Steps on how to get business interviews out of College

I’m a fresh undergraduate in Marketing facing the worst economy since the great depression, how am I going to get a real job with a real salary? I struggled the first few weeks I applied for jobs. Even worse, the holidays were quickly approaching, budgets were low, and hiring managers were mentally checking out more every day. Most of us know how to make  a great resume and cover letter, most of us know how to interview pretty well, most of us are ok at networking, but guess what? That’s not enough, not even for Donald Trump. With such insurmountable odds against me, I had to get resourceful. I now have interviews with Amazon, FranklinCovey and Neutron Interactive with only a few hours invested. Among a handful of approaches I used, here are four simple steps to land those interviews.

1. Identify your favorite companies and think big. Look for the ones that:

  • Are making a big splash in their respective industry, with a healthy client base.
  • Recently received funding. Millions of new dollars usually means dozens of new employees.                                                                                                     (Warning: A lot of companies post positions just to keep up appearances, that they’re growing even when they’re not. Sometimes they’ll put up a position for due process but are still going to hire a brother-in-law.)
  • Have multiple positions open, apply for two of them to increase your chances even if you aren’t perfectly qualified for one of them.

2. Don’t waste too much time submitting online applications.

  • LinkedIn is an incredible resource. Some online jobs are Tweeted out and posted on dozens of career sites which means hundreds of applicants. Your online application may never even get seen. Every job position has a person behind it. Look for connections you have to that company and person on LinkedIn, if you don’t have any, no sweat. All you need is a name. It may take time, but pour through until you find a HR director, hiring manager, recruiter, or any title similar to it. All you need is the name and Google search will take care of the rest.
  • Direct emails are surprisingly easy to find. Don’t waste your time with contact info websites, they want your money for doing little. Simply Google combinations of there first and last name with an @ sign and the company ____.com until you find them. Professionals’ email addresses are usually their first and last name separated by a period, for example, travis.chambers@thecompany.com

3. Call them

  • Online applications these days are shots in the dark, I wanted to ask if the “____” position is still open? If yes, “Great glad to hear it, well before I let you go could I ask if there’s anything in particular you’re looking for?” Two out of three of my soon-to-be interviewers offered me their direct email address for my resume and cover letter. If they don’t give you their direct email, find it. Don’t be pushy.
  • Now you’ve talked to them on the phone and know what they want. You’ll have the best luck mentioning someone you know, that they know, but only use it if it’s a positive relationship they have with that person.

4. Follow-up

  • Send a hand written card thanking the interviewer for their time and mention your enthusiasm about the position and company.

Now you’ve optimized the use of your time, made a direct relationship with the interviewer and know exactly what their looking for. From here, you call you mentors (or make some mentors if you don’t have any) and ask for advice on how to interview, what they may ask, and to role play a couple questions with you.

Good luck!

Prize Promotions, Terms and Conditions

While preparing to launch the Web IQ Quiz at IQ Agency in Atlanta, I researched countless ways to get people to start spreading the quiz. The number one solution was to conduct a prize promotion. I pulled a few strings and a couple weeks later we had 6 donated Windows Phone 7’s coming in the mail. We slapped the WP7 logo all over the quiz and started tweeting out how people could go about winning a Windows Phone. Here’s the inherent problem with prize promotions, or as they’re often called by government, sweepstakes. It’s very easy and very convenient for a company to garner thousands, even millions of new customers and millions in almost free advertising while just pocketing the grand prize. Think about it, how often do you actually hear back about who won the prize? We see it in the lottery all the time, but that is because the lottery must drive that public interest and prove that people really do win. However, other companies launch brand new sweepstakes that no one has ever heard of before, they are a one time use promotion, and it’s very easy for a company to not follow through.

Here are some rules when making a sweepstakes, provided by Olshan Grundman LLP.

-You cannot require participants to purchase something to enter

-You must follow consideration, meaning you follow through with the advertised promise, whether it’s monetary or non-monetary.

-All sweepstakes must have official rules, established before the sweepstakes. The rules cannot change during the promotion.

-Records of the sweepstakes winner must be retained for four years.

Try your hand at the http://webiqquiz.com/