our first look at the analytics
There was a lot of activity on our blog since we first started to network the link last Sunday. There have been more than 200 people and organizations that started to follow us, including people at the London School of Economics and a university Foreign Affairs group. A major corporate social responsibility news site is running a blog entry about our project in the next few days, and a reporter from a Univision affiliate contacted us to do a story about the project during the videotaping in Honduras later this week.
Linked In forums were by far the most effective posts in bringing people to the site, accounting for about 63% of the traffic…more than Facebook and Twitter combined. However, Facebook produced about 75% of the “share” activity, with Twitter producing around 13%. The convenient “share” buttons on the WordPress platform produced hits on just about every social media venue there is: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and Digg. Although, most of the shares occurred outside of the WordPress platform, i.e., they were shared from someone’s Facebook or Twitter posts, for example. Two different people pinned it on Pinterest; one was a lady in Taiwan whose pin received 10 “likes.” Not significant in numbers, but interesting. I wouldn’t have seen this as our forum. Pinterest seems to be still evolving as far as what users do with it. Becoming adept at creating a presence in Pinterest is quickly becoming a very valuable skill for social media people. It’s almost assuredly “the next big thing.”
We also got about a dozen hits from Google and Bing. Inclusion on these search engines is a function of the WordPress account. We’re strengthening our tags to increase visibility on these search engines. Any SEO experts out there have any thoughts on this?
Linked In is extremely effective
Linked In discussion forums definitely proved to be the place to engage in actual social networking…that is, Linked In provided more one-on-one discourse, more finely profiled contacts, an opportunity to connect with the top influencers in that particular community, and more hits to the site. It was invaluable in getting the link out there initially, and started producing follows and hits within minutes of posting. This is a critical lesson in audience engagement, and is a component where many organizational social media strategies come up short; you need to connect to an extensive community of personal contacts. This is the most time-consuming element in your strategy, but has the biggest payoff in relevant distribution. To use Linked In effectively, you need to determine who you want as an audience, find the groups that reflect that audience, and then become a contributor to that group’s conversation. As a group member, you have access to the profiles of the other members. Scan this list and start connecting with people that you think would have interest in your message.
We posted in about 20 Linked In forums last Sunday night and Monday morning, and got hundreds of hits immediately. One thing to note: Linked In postings typically generated hits or comments for only about a day and half after posting, whereas Facebook could generate them for up to three days…at least for us. On Monday we were the top influencing discussion on the USAID forum, and have been the top influencing discussion on The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women forum since it’s posted. Here’s a few comments:
“Good luck! I will be following the project with excitement! I think social media is a great tool in raising awareness.”
“I think this is a great project and should merit attention by the more traditional academic spheres.”
“Great work. We look forward to connecting our youth, from the isolated communities of the U.S., to the youth of Honduras as they both create a place in the world for themselves and for their communities.”
Another thing to consider about Linked In…this is a “professional” connection platform where less personal information is available. Frankly, I’d rather conduct a dialog where people have posted their CV, rather than pictures of family or party photos.
So…the first week? Not bad. Particularly as all of this activity was generated by one initial post describing what we’re going to be doing. Live media from Honduras will start later this week. Thanks to all who have followed our site! We hope that you’ll follow our activity in El Progreso, and invite your colleagues to benefit from the insight of this transparent process.