Here’s my annual look at my current social network usage.
I shuttered the blog’s Facebook page in late 2018, and not reopened it since. At this point, Facebook is used for my personal account and to follow family/relatives/online friends who won’t use anything else. (Otherwise I’d consider ditching Facebook completely.) This time, the very long list of reasons against using Facebook more than likely ensure the page stays permanently closed.
Twitter continues to be my main social network. Despite its problems, it’s less annoying than Facebook, and more mainstream than some of the others below.
I’ve also shuttered, but not deleted, my Instagram page. Given it didn’t see much use, and its ties to Facebook, it’s pretty expendable. I’ve also avoided installing the Facebook and Instagram apps on my devices. I’ve mostly been using Twitter for photo sharing.
Late last year, I tried giving Pinterest another go, figuring another try’s the charm. Not so much; my usage faltered quickly, so I’ve pretty much shuttered (though not deleted) my Pinterest page. While my Pinterest page still gets some traffic, using it feels more like another blog-related chore than something fun or a major traffic source. There’s also that I want to draw people to my blog based on what I write, not on the graphics I use.
Mastodon / Pixelfed
I still have these two federated social networks. However, my usage of both has slacked off a lot lately. Not helping is the lack of a Pixelfed app (pinning the website to my iPhone screen isn’t the same), plus the fact very few people/sites I follow are on Mastodon. Mastodon is still in the blog’s sidebar for now; however, I can’t say if it’ll still be there this time in 2021.
LinkedIn isn’t listed in my blog’s sidebar, as it draws virtually no traffic. However, I still occasionally use it for networking and job search purposes. That said, I’ve yet to find actual work through LinkedIn.
How much blog traffic do I get from social networks?
Looking over site statistics in Matomo, the past three months of data (from December 2, 2019 to March 2, 2020) show social media traffic is 3% of overall site traffic. (The majority, at 85%, is search engine traffic, i.e. Google searches.) The individual shares of social network traffic:
- Twitter: 68%
- Facebook: 24%
- Pinterest: 7%
- YouTube: 1%
- Instagram: <1%
For the past year (March 2, 2019 to March 2, 2020), social media traffic still made up 3% of overall site traffic. (Search engine traffic came in at 83%.) The individual shares of social network traffic:
- Twitter: 54%
- Facebook: 37%
- Pinterest: 6%
- Reddit: 2%
- Mastodon: <1%
- Other: 1%
Unsurprisingly, Twitter and Facebook make up the vast majority of social network traffic (at over 90%), with everything else pulling in less than 10% combined. Out of the latter, Pinterest still makes up most of that. Reddit also sees an occasional spike, though it’s a social network I’ve long since abandoned. Mastodon, unsurprisingly, doesn’t pull in much traffic. Finally, I’m not sure why YouTube saw a brief spike, though my own YouTube page still exists (albeit inactive; mostly a remnant of when I once used the late Google+).
Overall, the sidebar’s social networks are down to just Twitter and Mastodon as of this writing. Facebook and LinkedIn also see occasional personal usage, and Mastodon/Pixelfed are still lingering, but otherwise, that’s about it. Of course, the blog also has an RSS feed and an email subscription option.