About 95% of PainScience.com traffic comes from Google searches and always has. 95% of the rest comes from Facebook, and 95% of that comes from other people sharing links on their timeline or in discussions — there’s an entire planet full of people who have found my content in various ways (like Google search), and they send me readers by the thousands. So Facebook referrals are dwarfed by Google search, and Facebook referrals dwarf everything else, like Twitter. Total traffic from Facebook is about 7,000 readers per month, give or take several thousand in any given month.
There is no correlation at all between my passion for posting and the traffic I get from Facebook. 😞
Some of the worst months are the months when I was the most active… and vice versa! A handful of impressive months were all due to individual posts that went viral (and who knows why, of course — there’s no obvious reason for any of them). But even the very best months — just a couple spikes above 15,000 over the last three years — are just blips that barely register against the background of a million visitors from Google search.
Conclusion: active posting to Facebook and Twitter is an incredibly shitty value for me. It does not generate a meaningful amount of traffic to PainScience.com, even when I get lucky and a post goes viral.
I think I can put an end to my long-term indecisiveness about the value of social media to my business: it’s a good networking took, but it’s lousy for advertising. I am sure that it’s possible to build an audience via Facebook, but it’s clearly a case of “do it right, or don’t bother,” and clearly I cannot afford whatever “right” is, not if several hours per week of earnestly crafting posts and “engaging” with commenters isn’t enough.
So that’s a wrap: I will continue posting to my Facebook and Twitter accounts occasionally and erratically, mainly for networking reasons, but never again with the goal of actually trying to increase my audience.