Twitter v. Facebook…the truth is in the stats

iStock_000013528921XSmallFor the longest time, I preferred Twitter over Facebook, although I participated in both. I felt like I got a better response to Twitter—had more interactions—and got more “bang” for the time spent.

For instance, since Unexpected Consequences, the first book in the Rod and Cane spanking romance series, debuted Sept. 2011, I’ve had 3,597 clicks on my Amazon link. I know this because I use bitly to shorten the URL, which gives me click data.

Of the 3,597 clicks*, 1,179 came from Twitter and 14 (yes, fourteen) came from Facebook. Now, I will say that early on, I much more aggressively tweeted than posted on Facebook. I don’t anymore, but I used to run promo tweets every hour during the evening. But still, the stats show a dramatic difference.

The choice was clear: I got more out of Twitter. So I focused my efforts there by tweeting and actively increasing my following. Facebook was more of an after thought. At the time that I reached 5,000 Twitter followers, I only had 500 Facebook friends. (Now I have about 1,100 ).

But within the past year, I had noticed that I wasn’t getting as many clicks from Twitter. Retweets had dropped off, as had @mentions and conversations. My friends did not seem to be on Twitter anymore. I’d heard through the grapevine that people were shifting to Facebook. So I started spending more time on Facebook. Things that I used to tweet on Twitter, I posted on Facebook. I started talking with people, “liking” and sharing posts. Actively friended people.

Breeder, the first book in my sci-fi romance series, has been out since Oct. 2013. Since then, I’ve received 910 clicks on my Amazon buy-link. Of that number, 150 came from Twitter, 135 from Facebook and 441 from my own blog.

Terran, book 2 in the series, released this month. Of the 244 clicks on the Amazon buy link, 111 came from Facebook, 12 from Twitter, (85 from my site).

Most recently, I blogged about what I learned at RT: why some ebooks sell and others don’t. Hot topic! I hit a blog record for that day—2,364 visits. I usually get between 300-400, with peaks of 500. When I’ve gotten “chrossed” (been featured in CH Ross’s Friday column), I’ve gotten 750-800.

I posted links to the blog on Facebook, both on my page and in several FB groups, and scheduled perhaps a dozen tweets throughout the day. Of the 1,372 clicks on the bitly blog link—1094 came from Facebook and 23 came from Twitter. I follow a lot of authors and a lot of authors follow me. Why ebooks sell was not a promo pitch—it provided critical information that directly affects most of the authors I know. Yet only 23 people on Twitter clicked on the links.

As with any social media, one’s benefit is related to what one puts into it, and I have shifted focus. But wow, what a difference. Social media is ever-changing. And just because something works now, doesn’t mean it will work in the future.

Have you noticed a shift from Twitter to Facebook? Where do you think the focus will be next?


* Numbers will not add up to 100 percent because I am not including the categories of “unknown” and “other sites.”

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14 Responses to Twitter v. Facebook…the truth is in the stats

  1. Anne Kane says:

    I read your RT blog after a FB friend posted a link, and ended up on your website, where I purchased Breeder. LOL. So, in a convoluted way, the purchase came from FB. Love Breeder, BTW. Haven’t finished it yet, but already looking to get the rest of the series.

  2. I can’t seem to get either to work for me. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It’s really frustrating for me.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I should mention that when I say I actively tweeted and/or participated on FB, I don’t mean I sent out a flood of promo tweets. Yes, I post information about my books, but I’m also social and I interact with people. I try to post or tweet comments that have nothing to do with my books–which is why you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about my cat (who is in the vet hospital after contract a tick disease, btw), snippets of conversations between my husband and I, and just miscellaneous stuff.

      I think the reason FB has begun to work for me is because my friends share my stuff–and I share theirs.

  3. Donna says:

    I am a reader and am on Facebook several times a day reading information about authors and their books. I’m part of a few groups and post regularly.. I’m still figuring out Twitter and have only posted once.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Donna. I will say one thing: Twitter is easier to figure out than FB. And once you think you have FB figured out, they change it.

  4. I used to prefer Twitter but haven’t logged in for several weeks. It seems like it is all just auto tweets and promo. I probably spend too much time on FB and I’m not sure I’m using it most effectively, but it does seem to be the better forum, for now. The trick is figuring out what will be the next big thing, or is FB here to stay?

    • Cara Bristol says:

      That’s the big question. I think FB is determined to stay and will evolve. I have noticed a trend toward more visual media–such as Pinterest and Instagram.

  5. Sue Lyndon says:

    Interesting post, Cara. I used to use Twitter a lot more and would try to post links to my books regularly, but now I only tend to do it a few times when I have a new release. I’m not sure FB gets me more clicks (I am too lazy to keep track of these things LOL), but just the last year I’ve gravitated toward FB because I seem to at least have more interaction with readers and authors there, which I like. Sometimes with Twitter I feel like I’m just talking to myself.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Remember Six Sentence Sunday? Signups were Tuesday evening. While waiting to sign up, I used to have a lot interaction with other authors then. I missed that when 6Sunday went away.

      I think Triberr was a good idea, but it resulted in a flood of automated posts on Twitter. But it all depends on who your followers are and if they use Triberr.

      The other thing is that the more followers you have–the harder it is to interact. How likely are you to interact with all 5,000 of your followers? You can’t.

  6. Cara, how do you think your Street Team plays into this if at all? I mean do they tweet or FB share for you?

    Thanks for sharing all you learn. You’re a friend to all authors sweetie, and I love seeing it get paid back to you in your success.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Normandie! I wish it could have worked out and you could have joined us in NOLA. My Street Team does post on FB for me and they share many of my posts. They were a HUGE help with release of Breeder and sharing that the book was available–as were so many of my authors friends who aren’t on my official team. Everybody has supported me so much. It really does take a village to promote book.

      One thing that I would add is that every author gets bad reviews. It is simply part of the job. No matter how good the book, somebody won’t like it and will write a bad review. But when a bad review really hurts sales is when there are no reviews posted and the very first review is negative. That actually happened with Milestones, the anthology I did with six other spanking fiction authors. The book was climbing the charts and its very first review was a negative one. The anthology’s rankings started to drop. Previously, I had told my team there was no rush on the reviews, but when that happened, I asked them if they could put a rush on their reviews. They did, and it stopped the freefall. They really came through for me.

      I tell my team that if they truly dislike a book–don’t lie. Don’t review it. They may not like every book I write–but if they’re on my team, that kind of implies they do like what I write–so writing a review should generally not be an issue.

  7. S.J. Maylee says:

    Initially I was all about twitter. It was a huge help in getting me the information I needed to start my blog, start my first book … In the last year, I’ve spent more time on Facebook, but I still visit twitter. I like to scroll down in my feed and then check out several tweets. I also have lots of lists and columns in tweetdeck that help me stay connected with friends and authors I love. I used to tweet about my books with the bitly link, but the stats didn’t prove it was worth anything.
    I’m having a hard time believing more than a dozen people see my posts in facebook. I do really enjoy what interaction I get there though. It will be interesting to see what changes with my 3rd and 4th releases.
    Thanks for showing us what’s been working for you. I learn so much from you.

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