Anatomy of a Traffic Surge from Various Social Networks

I’ll be analyzing referral traffic patterns for the three large social networks I get most of my traffic from: Facebook, Reddit and Pinterest. I don’t have much  traffic from Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon, or BuzzFeed so you’ll have to look elsewhere to find those traffic patterns.

All graphs used cover the same exact time scale, Sep 1 2013 to Feb 24 2014.

Facebook Traffic Anatomy

My Facebook referrals deliver a massive amount of traffic which tapers off to to a small traffic trickle after a day or two. It’s hard to see on this graph, but the slow period after my spike of 10,000 visitors at the end of 2013 is about 100 visitors a day. That’s a decay of around 99%.


Graph represents ~10% of total traffic for this time period.

Reddit Traffic



Graph represents ~2.5% of total traffic from this time period.

Reddit traffic seems to decay at about the same rate and amount. Both Facebook and Reddit feature similarly time-sensitive news feeds which is why their traffic patterns are so similar. But Pinterest works a little bit differently…

Why I Love Pinterest

Pinterest delivers a surge of traffic that stays put which is why I’ve been focusing more and more on promoting there.


Graph represents ~19% of total traffic for this time period.

Unlike the other social networks above, Pinterest isn’t time sensitive. A post on Pinterest propagates from user to user, so every time it gets “pinned” it’s published fresh to each new pinner’s network. Rather than taking a couple days, decay takes months and at least for me, has leveled off to a full 25% of its initial traffic spike. That’s 25 times better for long-term traffic than either Facebook or Reddit.

Finally we can Analyze some Data for Facebook Friday!


It’s not as if I couldn’t have run some numbers before, but the more data I can get on the efficacy of Facebook Fridays the better.

I started this mad experiment on July 19th, according to the post I made here the day I committed to this social media plan. That’s only 9 weeks ago!!! Holy moly, it feels like so much longer than that.

At the time I had 206 subscribers on the facebook page – called likes in Facebook’s proprietary lingo. It’s growth, but it doesn’t seem too much faster than normal. Recent history would suggest that my assumption is probably wrong but I’ll run those numbers another time.

The numbers to run this time are traffic numbers. How about some charts? Referral Traffic

These are ONLY the figures for traffic coming from the Facebook black box. Black box because you can’t tell which page on Facebook the visits are coming from. Each data point is 1 week.

The highlighted point is the first week of Facebook Friday. Data goes back to March or so for comparison.

facebook-frydayReal hard to tease out useful data from this isn’t it? This is the annotation that Taran left to mark that spike in early June.


Exactly. No way to tell where the traffic is coming from. I’m reasonably sure that the more recent spikes are my doing – but how to be sure?

I have no choice but to close on an unsatisfying note of ambiguity.

It’s sure nice to have Fridays off from writing for search engines though.


Making Facebook Friday a Little Bigger

Last week I hit my first post with over 1000 impressions. Hopefully I’ll hit this more regularly which will prove that Facebook Friday is working… I think.

Facebook Fridays are a nice break from the normal routine of writing, writing, writing interesting and search optimized content every day.

Now that the habit is established I think I’ll start integrating other social medias like twitter and reddit and pinterest to the regime. I signed up for Hootsuite today which I’m not entirely sure will be useful but maybe I will play around with it a little and see what I can discover from it.

First the ordinary facebook stuff.

  • Sep 13 Flood Prep
  • Sep 14 Moonshine
  • Sep 15 Vacuum Cleaner
  • Sep 16 Unstick Buckets
  • Sep 17 Moving Boxes
  • Sep 18 Bucket Dolly
  • Sep 19 Gamma Seal Lids

Then let’s post a couple things on Reddit without worrying about scheduling.

2 posts on reddit for sites in appropriate subreddit. I’ll repost something if it doesn’t go over well enough. (reddit is a huge traffic get if done properly, traffic quality has risen from poor to fair in recent years.)

And a nice crop of pictures on Pinterest while I’m at it. I tried crosslinking a Pin over to the facebook page with promises of daily updates!

No need to waste time on twitter… I have nothing clever to say 🙂

How about a nice cliche image related to increasing profits through engaging with social media?




Sep 6 Facebook Friday

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted about Facebook Fridays, but they’ve been getting done.

They didn’t seem to be paying off for the first few weeks, but we’ve hit some good posts so I still haven’t abandoned the project. I will be able to procure a chart and superimpose it onto my facebook data at some point in the future, maybe in another 4 weeks.

FB Like count is sitting at 264 for the facebook page and 574 for the main URL.

Pinterest as always is doing a better job driving traffic, with a lot less work. Maybe I should just get better at Pinterest instead of wasting time with Facebook.

Schedule this week:

  • Sep 6 Shelving
  • Sep 7 Potato Farm
  • Sep 8 Handle Repair
  • Sep 9 Sauerkraut
  • Sep 10 Collapsible
  • Sep 11 Dimensions
  • Sep 12 Ashtray

Edit October 2014: I got married the day after I posted this list. Hilarious in retrospect how it passed without mention and very “me.” We’re having a kid in a few months and I expect that new adventure to merit many posts on this finance blog as I discover and try out financial parenthacks.


Fridays are Facebook Days!

For the last few weeks I’ve been braining my brain on how to get more baseline traffic on FGI. I’ve been writing longer articles, submitting some of them to reddit again, and doing even more keyword research. For some reason ever since zend hacking day, my search traffic has stagnated. Earnings and overall traffic are still growing, but I know that without steady search traffic growth numbers, I won’t be able to grow this sapling to the size where it can shelter me.

Today I’ve decided to sacrifice one of my content days (there are currently 7 content days a week) to scheduling facebook posts over the next 7 days. I’ve already got pinterest down – it’s fun so I just post on there for every article – but I’ve hated doing facebook for a long time, so I have to force myself to do it if I’m going to do it.

So I’m going to start dedicating fridays to facebook. I’ll look forward to fridays because scheduling 7 facebook posts is actually a lot easier than researching and writing an article. I just did it and it took maybe 30 minutes, where an article can easily take 2 hours, give or take.

These are the posts I scheduled this friday. I probably won’t publish my posting schedule every week, but since I’m starting the program today I figured I would make note of it.

All posts are published using facebook’s newish “scheduling” feature, except for today’s post which was published instantly. All posts are are launched at noon, which is both when I wake up and when my website traffic has hit its daily plateau.

july 19 ash bucket
july 20 egg washer
july 21 end table
july 22 garden hose
july 23 freezer organizer
july 24 csa box
july 25 cut open 55 gal drum

The facebook page currently has 207 likes, which is significantly up over last time I checked which was when I topped 100. My website has 550 likes, but these likes are not “traffic” likes because they aren’t shared with friends (i don’t think) and they don’t subscribe a “liker” to posts in the future. I may very well change the homepage facebook button to like the facebook page instead depending on the results of this test.

7 posts, so I’ll have 7 little experiments to run against each other and see which sort of post gets the better response. Is it the picture? The blurb? Personal stories? Longer or shorter sentence? It could even be time of day for all I know. I won’t know until I test. fucking. everything.

Fridays are Facebook days!