When I published 5 Ways to Make Every Blog Post Count two days ago, I knew it’d get retweeted. In fact, I believe I said this:
And it did. But I didn’t get more traffic than I normally do – for a lot of reasons. Specific to the post; I knew it was linkbait, but it was helpful as well. I truly intended to write a useful post, and I’ll be referring to it several times in upcoming work. However, as effective as the title was at getting a few extra mentions from people who don’t normally interact with my stuff, there are some reasons I’m less concerned with the effect the article – and the title – had on Twitter.
1. Not all of my traffic comes from social media.
A decreasing amount, in fact, comes from Twitter. Yet I have more followers now than I have in the past, and I’m actively working on writing better headlines. So what’s happening to the traffic that’s supposed to come with tweets?
2. Twitter is for conversation.
While a lot of people use Twitter for sending links back and forth, and information traffic control, I’ve had a better time using it as an ongoing chat. I’m a chat person, not a forum person, so this works for me. I don’t use twitter for sharing, but this might change, as my habits change; with any platform, there are bound to be reasons to use the tool one way more than another, but leaving yourself open to change is a good idea.
3. Twitter is not the only network I care about.
Lots of people consider Twitter the penultimate location for networking. However, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even other blogs, also have a lot of power. Considering I spend most of my time using Twitter for conversation, rather than linking, I’d be happier with blog comments, reactions, or other kinds of interaction than just sending another headline into the broader stream.
4. Not every post needs to be read by everyone.
Maybe you already knew how to make each blog post work harder for you. Just like you already know how to measure the effectiveness of tweets – if that’s the case, you’re not going to care what I have to say. You don’t need it. Instead, you could be reading about being awesome somewhere else. Any of this means that one more post on single-blog-post efficiency is just going to float by, and you’re not going to click. And that’s fine.
5. It’s just another list!
There are so many lists! Yes, it’s effective as linkbait, but more importantly if a list doesn’t contain actionable information (or at least informative entertainment), passing it on won’t help anyone. Granted, I do hope this list is helpful – but speaking broadly about link tweeting in general, passing nothing but links without the benefit of meta conversation or commentary only provides so much benefit to your followers. Tell me why it’s important, in a tweet, or don’t endorse it.
6. Linkbait retweets don’t work anyway.
Yes, the link mentioned above got retweeted – the trouble is that I know – and you do too, let’s be honest – that most of the time people bump articles with good titles, but don’t read the article itself. Whether it’s the headline, the tweet wrapping the link, or the person sending the tweet – there are lots of reasons to hit the “Me Too” button that don’t involve appropriately curating and endorsing things you pass on. And that’s ok. But it doesn’t make me care more about Twitter than I do already.
7. Getting a retweet isn’t my highest measurement of value in social media.
It’s really not!
There are many ways you can encourage reactions in social media, and gain traffic or further conversation. Things like:
- Retweets (mediatrope: Me Too Button)
- Facebook likes or comments
- Comments on the blog post itself, or
- Even better off site blog reactions
… All contribute to a blog post’s effectiveness as a communication tool, beyond being just another publication. It’s up to you, as a content creator, to know – and appropriately rank – which of these is most important to your own measurements of value, and acceptance of success where you find it.
If we don’t decide on what matters before we hit publish, hindsight cannot help is.