Yesterday, Shelby discussed her experiments as “Shelby the social media scientist.” I found her results regarding posting video to Twitter and Path to be most interesting. I haven’t posted much video to social media but this makes me want to give it a try. Also, as a guy who has not changed his Twitter avatar in a couple of years, I admire her courage to change her avatar on ten networks twice in a three-day period just to gauge the reaction. Most of all I like that her current avatar now more closely represents her current look. (Also, I did take the picture …)
Taking a break from the blog
Shelby’s blog post got me wondering if I had done any social media experimentation recently. Back in late March, I took a Hiatus from my personal blog for almost a month and in hindsight that was an experiment of sorts.
Time and quality content matter: I’ve been writing on JimRaffel.com for almost seven years now and was surprised that traffic on the site did not take too bad of a hit during the hiatus. In fact, traffic only declined by 20 percent over the 30-day period. I attribute this to there being enough blog posts on the site with content that performs favorably with search engines like Google.
Stay active in the social space: During the hiatus, I remained active on social media networks where the site is listed in my profiles. So even though I was not generating new content, I was continuing to meet new people who wanted to “check me out.” That’s what I do when I meet someone interesting in the social space. I read their profile and check out the sites they list in those profiles.
Find balance: By looking at the traffic statistics for those 30 days I did not publish new content, I was able to learn something about the content I want to now produce. During the break, the best performing blog posts on the site had to do with htc EVO batteries and iPhone 4S turn-by-turn navigation. Yet the tagline on my blog is businessman, writer and public speaker. There is a bit of a disconnect between those statistics and how I want to be viewed online. While I’m not saying I’ll never write another post about the gadgets I love, it will be fewer and further between. I’ll be writing about business, writing and public speaking. That’s the traffic I really want to see on my blog.
Mix it up a bit
What Shelby’s post and my own unintended experiment reminded me of is that you have to mix thing up frequently. This is especially true if you aren’t happy with the result you are achieving. It’s as simple as measuring the current state, mixing it up and measuring again. Then look at the before and after measurements to figure out which approach to the situation is best.