Recently, I posted about the potential power of social media (as well as posting helpful tips for indie game devs). That article lead me to question the impact of social media and also it’s return on investment (time). After examining the analytics, I’ve come up with a few conclusions.
Some background first. The journey started on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 with my initial post: It Starts! I figured I’d share the process of making a game, from start to finish. The point of these postings where not to drum up traffic or to create a marketplace for our game, but rather to post my thoughts so that I could help someone else who might be considering creating game. And while I’m not at all sure that I’ve accomplish my goal, I realize that these postings have helped someone. Me. In truth, they’ve helped me a great deal. We’ve stuck to the plan, for the most part, and in many ways it’s because I’ve taken the time to think about what was happening simply because I was writing a blog.
I’ve done some things wrong during the process! I haven’t done a bad job of posting updates, though they could have come more frequently. I starting sharing my posts on other social media platforms rather late in the game. I’ve made spelling mistakes and almost never proof read. UGH. And… I ramble.
Okay, so with that said, I’ve taken a look at the traffic generated from postings, and then cross social media platform postings.
Initially, my work flow was to simply post on Tumblr and leave it. Once we started seeing tangible progress in the game, it was time to start sharing with multiple communities. Here is what we saw.
First Year and Six Month Period:
First few posts never saw more than 5 views. Most of which were friends. Viewer engagement was pretty high, in terms of time spent on the blog and page clicks.
Stats: During the first six months, we saw 23 unique visitors, with 54 page views and average time on site was 2 minutes and 27 seconds. The remainer of this period saw mostly similar numbers.
Second Half Year period:
This is the period that generated the greatest single day spike in traffic, due to the fact that we were looking for people to help with testing.
In this period we saw 948 unique visitors, but reduced visitor engagement. With far less page clicks per session (1.33). With people staying on the site for less than a minute on average.
Here are the stats:
During this period we started cross posting on reddit and Google Plus. The real traffic driver was Reddit, in fact this is the source of the vast majority of traffic. Just under 75% of traffic was new to the site.
The Current Period:
In this period we’ve seen the second highest number of unique visitors and easily the highest viewer engagement. With viewers staying on the site for 2 minutes and 52 seconds on average. We also saw a leveling of new vs returning metric, with each sharing about a 50% split.
Here are the stats for the current period:
In the current period, we’ve been able to keep people reading by posting interesting and worthwhile articles while sprinkling our history with image posts, just for eye candy.
Here’s a quick snapshot of types of posts vs traffic generated:
1. Text blog. Avg Visitors: 78 / post (includes non cross platformed posts)
2. Image blog: Avg Visitors: 129 / post
So what does this all mean? First of all, I’m not so sure that the sample size is large enough to be able to conclude anything definitive. Other than the obvious:
1. Cross platform posting increase traffic immensely. In our case it was an increase of about 10 times the traffic.
2. Does anyone still use google +? It sure didn’t appear that way. We didn’t get a single click from our g+ Page.
3. Post to imgur. While it didn’t drive traffic to our site it did get almost 1k views for an album of 10 photos.
4. We’ve been able to maintain constant traffic since about December 2014, (with the exception of February).
5. Traffic to the blog and cross posting has driving the traffic to our actual domain by a factor of 10. We consistently get about 1000 visitors per month at our domain.
6. Our readers keep coming back! That must be a good thing!
A few last thoughts, we’ve only recently( about a week ago ) started with our twitter page. I can tell you the response has been terrific.
Reddit generates traffic and discussion. It’s always good to have someone rip apart your project!
LinkedIn is worth while too!
From what I can tell, it’s clear that social media platforms have tremendous impact and provide a tangible return on investment. Especially for indies whom may have very little marketing knowhow and/or money to spend on a marketing campagn.
Thats all for now! Thanks for reading.