Community building 101. Share with your community. Be active. Reply to them. All that good, juicy, presumably brain-stimulating-happy-juices stuff. That’s what gets people to click through to your site. That’s what makes or breaks you.
The Little Engagement Lie
Until… it doesn’t. And that theory doesn’t work.
I rarely look at my stats because they’re quite meaningless for my blog. I don’t have advertisers and that brief period of sponsored posts dried up years ago thanks to over commercialisation of the space and one company taking over the business that used to go direct to bloggers. So stats don’t mean anything or have any implication for me. I do have both Jetpack and google analytics because it’s what you’re “supposed” to have installed. I never check google analytics because as if I can be assed to log into a different gmail account. So I go by the rough details in Jetpack. Yes, I’m sure the stats nerds have a preference on which is “better” and so on. The thing is a) I don’t care and b) comparing like with like month to month still gives some vague sense of what is going on, and a vague sense is still more than I require and c) I’m trained as a qualitative researcher, so stats don’t hold much value to me.
Where my social clicks come from
I’m most active on twitter out of all social media platforms. Very few of my clicks come from there. I think there’s less hierarchy and the benefit of chronology so people see you more as equals and less as “influencers”.
I updated my bio on social media the other year to say I can’t even influence an ant. I think this is an accurate representation of me.
Most of my clicks come from Pinterest. I’m hit and miss “engaged” on Pinterest. I tend to go for a few weeks (maybe a month) of checking in and pinning once a day, then ignoring it for a few months. I put “engaged” in inverted commas as I’ve never found it much of a platform for commenting and finding people (at least on the platform itself, I have found many blogs via it) and I use engaged in this context to mean “actively using” the platform.
The next platform I get clicks from is Facebook. I rarely share links in Facebook groups, and practically never on my personal profile, so I assume that it has to come from my Facebook Page. The thing is, I rarely do anything engaging on my Facebook page. Most of it is auto scheduled posts from SocialBee (I bought a lifetime licence when it was on AppSumo) and posts I share from Instagram. I basically hate Facebook pages because I find them clunky, irritating and lacking in value any time I put any effort into the page(s) I have. And yet somehow, this platform I mostly ignore is the social media platform that gives me the second highest amount of clicks. Go figure.
Especially go figure when you log into my Facebook page and you see that the auto shared posts get 1-4 views (if the Facebook view stats are correct). So no one is seeing them but people regularly click on them?
I’m sure it could be dug into further. But seeing as Facebook Pages annoy me as a platform, that’s just not going to happen. And I’m certainly not spending more time on Facebook Pages to see if it “grows”, especially as “growth” is not an identified need for this blog. If you have one take away from this post, it’s that the rules and theories are fine places to start, but don’t assume they are fixed. By all means, try things, but don’t forget to evaluate and see if they remain true for you and your blog and your preferences and your situation.
14 Replies to “The Little Engagement Lie”
I gave up on caring about stats or influencing or engagement ages ago. Though I must say ‘engagement’ is still important to me at some level or otherwise – what’s the point of it all? My social media platform of choice – the one I enjoy the most – is Instagram. I’m pretty clueless as to analytics ands ways and means to get my blog seen more and I can’t be bothered hurting my brain to learn that stuff. I have no idea what my current stats are as I haven’t looked in ages. As long as someone reads what I write and I get a bit of engagement I’m ok with the world. LOL
Engagement itself is important – I just found it ironic in that within the “use social media to drive traffic to your blog” strategy I get the most clicks from a platform I’ve all but abandoned!
This was interesting to read and I tend to agree with you.
There are so many theories about engagement and algorithms out there, and so many blogging experts espousing their preference that to be honest I just tune out! I look at my stats as an interesting group of numbers but they don’t influence what I wrote or share in any way. I am slapdash with my social media and don’t favour one over any other. True engagement is when people find my posts from wherever and actually read and leave a comment. I love knowing that my words have been found and I have no grand delusion that I will ever be classed as an influencer or be the new ‘it’. I write and share because I enjoy the personal challenge of it and it helps me feel productive and part of a community. But hey, that’s just me! #lifethisweek
I think a lot of people still get very stuck in rules without considering if the rules add value or guidance to them.
This was so interested to read. I’m amazed that there is another blogger out ther with similar thoughts to me about stats. I thought all bloggers obsessed over them. I really don’t care at all. If I would be lucky to look at my stats once every year. I started my blog for me and am continually amazed that anyone would bother to read it. Having my words read by even one person is enough gratification for me
There’s only a point to focusing on them if they relate to outcomes you need. If people are still going the paid ads type routes, then sure that’s important to “prove” yourself to advertisers. There are certainly times I wish I had more views in the hopes it would help me sell more books and things like that but at the same time, the strategies people use aren’t me at all and the most common positive feedback I get is that I’m not being like others… so I gotta keep doing what’s right for me.
I gave up on the stats and engagement! It’s so hit and miss I CBF. I’m not on Twitter anymore – it became too toxic for my liking and I deleted the app and haven’t logged in for months now. Pinterest is sporadic as well. Insta is where I am the most but I don’t think my blog gets hits from there. Ah well!
I like twitter the best. But I also make heavy use of block and mute buttons. But that’s the same for most social media – only way to keep it an enjoyable place.
Ah! Yes. I think I might be in a different situation. I only just recently started blogging (a couple of years ago) and I do want engagement, but on my blog. I have such a love-hate relationship with social media. I wish I could just delete instagram and be done with it. I don’t get much blog traffic from IG. I do get most of my click throughs from Facebook so I’m okay with having that be my social platform. But I don’t get any business from either social media platform. So really, what is the point in tending to both those platforms when I’d rather just be on my blog? Ugh. Good topic!
Oh blog engagement is still valuable to me – but I meant more from the perspective of the tactic of “engage on social media to get people to your blog”.
Ugh, it’s such a fraught topic isn’t it? I’m kinda relieved the Problogger days are over – when we felt we had to focus on that stuff. My blog stats are all over the place. They peak for personal posts rather than book reviews but are at least only 1/3 of what they were years ago. And I don’t get many referrals at all from social media.
The thing that grates for me a little is that it seems that publishing houses are increasingly favouring Instagrammers now rather than bloggers so I’m less likely to receive a book I request than someone who can stage a nice picture and write a few words about it. *sigh*
I miss the problogger days – the meeting people. By the end I wasn’t learning much but I’ve always been very take on what I needed and discard the rest, so I never felt pressure in that area. I think it’s pretty silly to focus on instagrammers rather than bloggers – very shallow outcomes and like all social media and literally what we are seeing this morning is the reminder that you don’t own or control SM and your blog is still something you can control.
A helpful and realistic view of how it is these days with engagement.
I so remember the courses, the get togethers, the SEO and blah blah so when nothing happened for me and I was losing all interesting in compliance I just blogged for me.
I needed to have an outlet when we first moved away from Sydney, something to occupy me. I like it now that I have what I call a small community of fellow bloggers who visit my link up and have conversations in the comments.
I like all the SM platforms but never stayed consistent with pinterest. One thing I did find when I tried to see if there was any interest in bloggers from US link ups was there was…in fact, very little connection.
Very content right now as is, with some new people coming on board as I have joined in with a caring link up from the US with similar views on connecting to mine.
Thank you so much for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week, the optional prompt is
8/51 Explore. 22 Feb. I hope to see you there and I wish you well for the week ahead. Denyse. #lifethisweek #linkup #Mondays https://www.denysewhelan.com.au
The US link ups are so boring. Their rules are often over the top – like “you have to comment on the three before you” …um no, I will comment where I can make a useful comment (and where it doesn’t require me to log in to comment, sorry lots of blogger blog users but that’s why I rarely comment on them, it’s annoying).