The Influence of Twitter celebrity
by Jon Law, on February 17, 2014
This is a Valentines Day love experience... well kinda. It's definitely a story of some unexpected Twitter love that happened on Valentine's Day. It highlights the scope Twitter has to get traffic to your site. And it involves vegan ultra-athlete and Twitter celebrity Rich Roll. Most people will not have heard of him but for one of my blogs - Vegan Heath - he is a credible celebrity and influencer in the vegan niche.
Now that's blog-speak for semi-famous bloke who is relevant to the vegan blog I write, important in the vegan world and active on social media. Does that help with the jargon? As you can see from his twitter profile he has a lot more followers than people he's following. That's a good sign of an influencer.
Anyway, his book Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself is an inspiring read. I first discovered Rich Roll by reading a guest blog post which was brilliant and off the back of that got his book. It ticked my boxes - vegan, fitness and personal achievement/overcoming difficulties. Since then I've chatted to him on his Facebook page and read more of his stuff. He's a good bloke. And on Valentine's Day he sent some Twitter love my way.
Twitter love - the power of the retweet
If you read experts enough they will tell you that the retweet is what people on Twitter are after. This is the equivalent of a share on Facebook and means that you are passing on someone else's tweet to all of your followers. Or those that are paying attention anyway. If an influencer retweets one of your tweets, it is a good thing. It means your tweet gets in front of a lot of people who wouldn't have seen it. Great, retweets are fab.
So, the sharp readers will have deduced that Rich Roll retweeted one of my tweets for Vegan Heath and the blog received a favourable boost as a result. Boom, Dr. Watson, elementary. And boom is what happened to the page views. I discovered the Rich Roll influencer effect by paying attention to the stats. The process is described below, while the gallery shows screenshots of the discovery process, feel free to check them out.
Wordpress.com has some simple but very useful stats via the Jetpack plugin. I've always used these stats since I began blogging and found them very helpful. Not to mention a lot more user friendly than Google Analytics. Nowadays you can get a better experience and switch between stats for all of your Wordpress sites in one location. That location is your wordpress.com account dashboard. This is uber useful and allows a slightly deeper insight into your website visitors.
One feature I do like is the notifications Wordpress provides. On the right side of the top navigation bar, between your favicon and the new post button there's a speech bubble. The notifications are in that bubble.
After an early morning breakfast appointment at Southend BNI I logged into wordpress,com and noticed two Your stats are booming notifications. These referred to two hours around midnight. The larger boom was an incredible 167 hourly views as opposed to the average of 11! (See screenshot in gallery above)
Now that's a welcome boom in anyone's book. Cool, but what's going on?
The obvious next move is to click through to the stats to have a look. So, that's exactly what I did. And there was a fully fledged boom in front of my eyes. Thursday the 13th of February was the best ever day with 490 page views. That's quite a leap from the next best day of 297 page views. In fact, this was beaten later on Valentines's Day - 593 views!
Now that's very encouraging, but I do want to see if I can discover the reason for this boom. So I clicked on Thursday's stats (by clicking the bar in the graph) to take a look at the traffic referrers. There were 123 referrals from Twitter, which is loads for that site. Switching back to the main stats page, it shows that the Valentine's traffic was mainly coming from America and viewing one particular post - Rich Roll and Joe Cross share a juice... So that strongly suggests someone important, probably American has shared this post on Twitter. It doesn't always have to be Twitter, StumbleUpon is another referrer that can spike traffic.
2. Twitter and Hootsuite
I use Hootsuite to organise my Twitter efforts so I went to my dashboard to check it out. I noticed that I had indeed tweeted out that post and Rich Roll had retweeted it - he's American and important in the Vegan world, at least. Ahah, thanks Rich Roll, you're a star.
— richroll (@richroll) February 13, 2014
The benefit of a retweet doesn't stop there. Once retweeted and in the newsfeed of Rich Roll, other of his followers could retweet his retweet. They could join in the sharing love. This is particularly apt, as Rich Roll is an influencer in the vegan and ultra athlete/fitness niche. You'll notice that there are two retweets. Hardly earth shattering but I'll take them.
3. The power of the CTA
In this instance I hadn't actively pursued Rich Roll with the intention of getting him to retweet my post. Notice I hadn't even used the hashtag #richroll. Success was simply due to pure luck.
He happened to find my tweet, probably through a search and decided to retweet it. However, you'll notice that my tweet has a call to action - CTA. I actively ask for a retweet. This approach has been shown to result in more retweets. And in this instance it has clearly worked. Just look at the text in the tweet above! It probably helps that the post in question is all about a podcast Rich did with the brilliant Joe Cross but I'm counting this as a win!
The moral of the story is by doing things right you WILL get a return for your efforts. You can actively seek out Twitter influencers or celebrities and look for an opportunity to engage them in some way and/or ask for a retweet. Using some of the free tools available you can track what works and do more of the good stuff! It can only help. BUT do not overdo the asking for a retweet, remember to provide helpful content and engage with people on Twitter.