A detailed statistical analysis of one blog post

by Mack Collier

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FBstatsTwo areas I stress to companies that want to work with me on their social media efforts is that we aggressively monitor all relevant online chatter about them/their competitors/their industry, and that we aggressively track all relevant statistics from their social media efforts.  I wanted to take a look at an example of the latter with this post.

Yesterday’s post Five Reasons No One Likes You On Twitter ended up being massively popular and drove a record level of traffic here.  But I wanted to walk you through some of the stats from this post, to show you that;

1 – It’s important to track stats associated with your social media efforts

2 – It’s important not to get bogged down in tracking TOO MUCH

Now my general goal for this site is to create content that others can find value in.  I can get more specific and say that I judge this by:

1 – How often the post is shared via links, retweets, etc.

2 – How many comments it receives

3 – How many people contact me, which opens the dialogue for my potentially working with them.

Here’s some stats from this site and the Five Reasons post from yesterday:

Total site visitors – 1,635

Total pageviews Five Reasons post – 3,431

Total retweets – 162

RSS readers increased from 91 to 122 yesterday

Ok, those are broad figures, and all are well above avg, to be sure.  It also suggests that Twitter was a huge reason for the spike in vistors and pageviews.

Next, let’s look at referring sites:

twitter.com – 633 visits

facebook.com – 46 visits

fastwonderblog.com – 12 visits

plurk.com – 8 visits

As we suspected, Twitter was the driving force in the popularity of this post.  But I noticed two things I wasn’t expecting.  First, Facebook sent 46 visitors, even though I didn’t promote the post on Facebook, as I did on Twitter.  This is a good reminder to start doing that, and when I link to this post on Twitter after it goes live, I’ll also send it to Facebook as well.  Second, I noticed that I got some referrals from fastwonderblog.com.  I checked out their site, and sure enough, Dawn had linked to my post, in this post she wrote.  I read her post, liked it, and just tweeted it to my 9K followers.  But if I hadn’t been tracking my referrals, I might not have realized that Dawn had linked to my post (Google Blog Search hadn’t picked up on the link as when I was writing this post).

Finally, I noted a handful of referrals from Plurk. If that number had been higher, as it was with referrals from Facebook, it might suggest that I need to spend more time on Plurk, but for such a low number, it probably doesn’t warrant more time there, yet.  But I should still pay attention, if the number of referrals from Plurk starts increasing, it could be a sign that I need to spend some time there.

It’s vital that you track your blog’s referrals very closely, to not only tell you who is linking to you, but also it gives you a great idea of which social sites are sending you traffic.  This information can help you determine where you should be spending your time, moving forward.

Now for comments. So far, the post has 17 comments in about a day.  That’s excellent by my standards. And the conversation in the comments is very robust, with everyone offering their opinions and how they use Twitter.  A big success here.

Finally, I had one person email me about this post. This sounds disappointing, but I get almost no emails from my posts.  And with this post, I specifically asked people to email me, and added a link to do so.  So getting one email is a sign that maybe I should do this more often, or can at least do some more experimenting with this.  BTW, if you’d rather comment via email, please do so 😉

So in closing, the post is a success by the three standards I wanted, to create a post that would be shared, that would be commented on, and that would prompt emails from readers.  By looking at the stats more closely, I can see how to improve each of these efforts, and get a better idea of how my readers are interacting with my blog.  Don’t underestimate the importance of closely tracking your stats, it might seem passive, but understanding what is happening can really help you maximize your social media efforts, moving forward.

UPDATE: I meant to include this in the post, but the stats about the post itself came from Google Analytics, the stat about the increase in RSS readers was from Feedburner, and the stat on the number of RTs was from Tweetmeme.

Dawn Foster July 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Oops, I also realized I had a typo in your name in my post :)

Interesting analysis on your post. It’s always fun to dig into the details to see what people are saying about a post.

Mack Collier July 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for reading and the link, Dawn! And don’t worry about the name, half the people think my name is ‘Mark’ 😉

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