Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wicked Wednesday - reviewing the numbers



I always find it interesting to hear how other authors are doing on social media. Do they focus on one or two sites or a bunch of them? How many hours do they put in? What are their marketing tactics? To give you an idea of what I do, here are my numbers from last year.

Start of 2015:
Facebook: 332
Twitter: 4796
Blog: 523 (GFC)
Newsletter: 18

Last year, I had my first books published with my publisher. This brought me to a new audience. Did it help on social media? I don't know. I'll break each of the four main tools I use down individually.

End of 2015:
Facebook: 409

I don't use Facebook (FB) much for promoting. I post maybe three times a week on my author page. (Mostly I use my personal page to put up pictures of my kid and cat!) I'm not a big fan of FB. My numbers did go up. They rose with my giveaways at the beginning of 2015 when one of the entries was to like my page.

Twitter: 6101

I made the most changes to how I handle Twitter. I promote my books less - only two or three times a day. I used to do it at least a half dozen times. I interact with people more, talking about all sorts of things beyond books. This has helped and has made Twitter more enjoyable to me. I unfollowed all the inactive followers, the spammers, the bots, and the ones just selling stuff. I'm following less people than are following me.

Blog: 522

I always say my blog is my number one tool. I still believe it even though it doesn't seem the number has changed much at all. I can only go by the number on GFC. It has gone up to 528 and dropped to 519 over the year. It's stable. I do know I have new readers following in other ways because they comment. Sometimes people will do so on the blog, but they also email and comment via Twitter or Goodreads. I always do my best to return comments on the blogs of people who comment on mine.

Newsletter: 156

This is the biggest jump. The one that made me most excited. I know exactly where over 120 of these new subscribers came from too. Back in September, the marvelous Graeme Ing posted 35 free ebooks on his blog and the response was astounding. Here's the post in case you want to get yourself some awesome free ebooks! Within the first week, I had over 50 new subscribers. If you have a newsletter, you know it's super tough to get people to sign up for it. I offer a free ebook to new subscribers, but that alone didn't draw in a lot of readers. Graeme's post was the key.

My 2015 review and sales numbers were, well, not even worth reporting. Not a good year. Except I still don't know how my Paramours series has done since they came out in the final quarter, and my publisher has no sales ratings on their site. That check will come to me in a few weeks.

2016 will be a fun year to watch the numbers. I hope to start releasing my newest series, Totem, and it will sing to the 13th Floor fans. (I do wish I kept track of my numbers in 2013 when I was releasing those books!) I'm going to try a few different marketing strategies that don't involve me wearing myself down every time I release one of the books.

Do you keep track of your numbers? What tactics do you use for your social media tools?

24 comments:

  1. Wow, so many followers! Those stats are especially impressive for the newsletter. Congrats! :D

    I always jot down art progress stats and such, but for some reason, I never thought to do the same for social media. I'm with you when it comes to FB; I've never really cared for it all that much. I do have a FB page for my webcomic, though, in case any of my readers like to keep up with updates that way. Twitter and my blog are a lot more fun, since I feel like it's easier to interact with people that way.

    And I'm really looking forward to your Totem series! Best of luck marketing it this year!

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  2. Hi Christine - thanks for the breakdown for your numbers - helps us understand what's what. The followers in blogger are restricted now to Blogger blogs - and recently they unscrambled things a bit and a few people lost some - I lost about 8 ... who I've no idea!

    The A-Z can add to that number ... but with WP not allowing people to comment on blogger blogs, unless one has a google account, also I noted that some mentioned if we have/use Chrome to comment on blogger blogs then it is ok.

    I'm not technically wizzardy at all .. but I did open a WP account so I can comment on those blogs ...

    Good luck with the new series and your Newsletter has certainly helped ... cheers Hilary

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  3. Right now people are using other means besides GFC to follow, which is a bit of a bummer, as they are harder to determine now.
    Need your secret for Twitter - would like my numbers to jump that fast.
    That's awesome about the newsletter. I think it's too late for me to have my own newsletter, but that gives me hope for the IWSG newsletter we will be launching soon.

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  4. Those are impressive numbers! Your hard work really shows.

    I had a big drop in my blog followers at the end of last year, and my Twitter followers drop and grow by 5 every few days. But mostly, I don't pay attention to it. Which is, possibly, why I never sell any books, either. :)

    I hope to learn from your fine example! :)

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  5. That's an impressive jump in the numbers! I don't really pay attention to my numbers too much, but I do know I lost 4 blog followers recently. I have no idea who they were but I'm not too worried about it.

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  6. Thanks for sharing all this! I have my blog, and I'm on Goodreads as both an author and a reader. I keep an eye on my numbers, but I don't track them as well as I should/could.

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  7. I'm waiting for my name to become a household word...but I don't pay attention to my 'numbers'

    :)

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  8. Heather, I agree that Twitter and blogs are more fun than FB. Thanks!

    Hilary, thank you. I noticed that drop too. Sometimes I have trouble commenting on WP pages as well.

    Alex, Twitter is pretty easy, if you interact lots. And you're the king of blogging. That IS your number tool! :)

    M.J., my numbers in social media don't relate to sales at all. I have no idea how to help those stats!

    Sarah, I usually don't pay too much attention, but recording it at the beginning and end of the year is easy enough.

    Madeline, I know folks that track them monthly even weekly! That's too much for me.

    Mac, that would be so nice!

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  9. Wow! I wish I had as many blog and Twitter followers as you do.

    Watching numbers can be fun and stressful. I hope to build my numbers but I's still be behind you with my blog and Twitter. For some reason I can't get more followers on my blog although it is my main tool. Hmm...

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  10. I don't pay much attention to numbers. Every so often I look to see what they are, but I don't compare or worry if they are up or down. I do always have a bump in April and the A to Z challenge though.

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  11. I'm not a huge fan of twitter- you've been hanging with me a while so you know I'm a facebook kind of girl *winks* But I try to stay decently active on twitter.

    I had actually increased my newsletter to 318 people by the end of 2015 (starting in 2013) and then I purged this month deleting subscribers who have not been active in a year which dropped me to 180 subscribers. It's more important to me to have subscribers who are actually interested in reading the newsletter than just the numbers- and I know how hard it is to get subscribers. But I work off 1 single theory with my newsletter- give them something they can't find me posting on FB or my blog...something just found in the newsletter...because when I sign up for other authors newsletters- yes I want to see new releases/sales but I want that little extra because I can find that new release or sale on FB/Twitter or amazon if I go look.

    As for my blog- well I stay steady at about 80 on GCF don't know about the rest- my goal is to be more active on blogs this year, mine and commenting on others.

    You've done great this year! I have watched you come so far. You are a strong and 2016 I hope reaps several rewarding things for you. <3

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  12. I cleaned up my Twitter like you did and got rid of some spammers. I only promote on there a little and use it for interaction. I interact of Facebook by sharing a lot of cute things other people post. I also look at my blog as my main tool but I don't really promote myself much on there either.
    My sales were pretty good last year and the year before but I couldn't tell you why it happened.

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  13. I know I should keep track of my numbers, but I'm so busy keeping track of school assignment, story details, and if we're being honest, that darn elusive binki the baby can't live without. It would probably be good to take stock and start noticing the trends, eh?

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  14. I use social media quite a lot, but try not to be too pushy over the promotion and use it more to interact with people. It's hard though to get the balance right.

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  15. I think it's interesting that you like Twitter better than Facebook. I find Twitter to be a busy place with lots of streaming information. I'm able to be more personal on Facebook, so I prefer it to Twitter.

    Your numbers are good. You seem to be making good use of social media.

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  16. I should probably keep better track of how my social media numbers grow (or decline) from year to year. Of course, it'd be helpful to do more on social media. Beyond my blog, everything else is woefully neglected.

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  17. Those are pretty good numbers! I have no clue with my followers. I know they aren't as high as yours. :)

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  18. I haven't been keeping track of my numbers. Maybe I should start. I'm definitely hoping to increase my number of followers in 2016, but I'm not all that good at marketing. Not yet, anyway.

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  19. I'm starting to use FB groups more, or will now that my website is restoreth.

    The best tool is the newsletter by far. I know I get a few sales off Twitter.

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  20. Chrys, blog numbers are hard to raise because you do have do those individually. We need clones like Alex! ;)

    Patricia, the A to Z Challenge is awesome that way!

    Decadent, you are very good with FB. And that's awesome about your newsletter!

    Susan, you've been highly productive in putting out books too. That helps.

    Crystal, I still find binkies hidden around the house four years after my son has stopped using them! *LOL*

    Patsy, it is. We just have to keep on trying and see what works.

    Sherry, different things work for different authors. :)

    Cherie, your blog is well followed too.

    Loni, you have a great following! :)

    L.G., I still say I'm horrible at marketing. We all just have to keep trying different things.

    Mary, you're great at marketing! :)

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  21. Your numbers are really good. Last year I started cleaning up my twitter and it has done me good.

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  22. I find it fascinating to see how other authors manage their social media. I have my patterns, but I've been thinking lately that I really need to incorporate more marketing into it. I tend to avoid it, as I worry about spamming, but hello, it's there for a reason :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and numbers!!

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  23. I don't, but I'm also not personally advertising anything. I had a big change in numbers on GFC last month, and saw a bunch of people post that the same thing had happened. I was watching that particular number, so was sad about that. Not sure what happened, but it was sudden, and something like 25 folks, on the same day others saw it happen on their blogs. Cleaning out inactive accounts, maybe? Anyway, great numbers! The newsletter one is especially good.

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  24. Sheena-kay, I try to make it a monthly chore to clean up my twitter. It really helps.

    Meradeth, I worry about spamming too, and that's why I cut down on my promos on Twitter. I only send out my newsletter when I have big news too.

    Shannon, thanks! I do wonder what happened with GFC, but if they were cleaning inactive accounts, all the better for us.

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