The Triangle Strategy: How To Optimize Efficiently

Posted by Patrick on March 19th, 2008

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Image by billjacobus1

Bloggers are often regular visitors to the major social media sites. By getting involved in these communities, they use their presence to indirectly promote their blog. At that point, two schools of thought collide: maximum visibility VS quality exposure.

Ultimately, bloggers want to increase blog exposure. And one effective way to attain this goal is to be known as an influencer. However, when you are active on multiple social media sites, you make it way more difficult to reach this level of authority. You are simply chasing too many rabbits (RSS subscribers) at the same time. Social media users who want to build strong profiles should limit diversification, and stay focused on more responsive communities.

Back in summer 2007, before launching Piggy Bank Pie, I started using social media sites on a more regular basis. As a matter of fact, I registered my StumbleUpon account in August 2007, following instructions from the 30-Day Challenge. Then, once my blog was up and running, I began opening new accounts on sites such as MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, Sphinn, Mixx, BloggingZoom, and all the others you can think of.

Then, I looked how things were evolving with Piggy Bank Pie, my social media profiles, and guest blogging activities, I needed to introspect daily and weekly activities to find out how I could improve productivity, while staying on track with marketing efforts.

The Triangle Strategy

When you decide to rethink your blog-marketing strategy, you need to look at a number of statistics to find out exactly in which communities a strong presence should be felt. In other words, which community has the best potential to help your blog. After reviewing Piggy Bank Pie’s situation, my strategy led me to an optimization model I now call the Triangle Strategy. Here’s how it goes:

Firstly, you need to find your top social -media-referring site. Secondly, identify your strongest social media profile. And thirdly, choose your most efficient blog community.

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All unified, the triangle promotes your blog, your social media profile, and most importantly, the relationship between you (the blogger), your blog, and your social media profile: Social Desire 2.0, TheNanny612 and Shana Albert.

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Data Analysis

Now is the time to extract your data to find out how to make the triangle work for you. When looking at your stats, pick up your top three positions in each area to make sure you don’t disregard important information.

  • From your traffic stats, find your top three referring sites (from social media only)

Check out your social media profiles and look for the following:

  • Top three with the most friends and followers

As for the blog communities, I’m referring to sites such as Blog Catalog, MyBlogLog or even Technorati:

  • Pick the blog community site that sends you the most traffic

Making Decisions

You can use your data analysis of the traffic and sites to discovering the best strategy to market your blog and participate in communities. From now on, you should concentrate efforts where the return on investment has the highest payout. Here’s how this applies to Piggy Bank Pie:

First decision: No more time to waste with the kids over at Digg. I will continue to read the technology front page regularly (yeah, I’m a geek ;), but will stop tweaking my writing for Kevin’s club, and no more submissions as well. StumbleUpon is definitely a winner for Piggy Bank Pie. Therefore, I should continue to produce content that’s appealing to Stumblers.

Second decision: Sphinn is my second-best traffic-referring site (among social media sites). Additionally, I was able to submit content that went hot. I also developed relationships with Sphinn members (that most of the time are Stumblers as well). Therefore, I will divide my content submission and voting time equally between StumbleUpon and Sphinn. Plus, I’ve noticed that the Sphinn community is very friendly, a change from Digg or StumbleUpon, where you can sometimes fine hostile comments or unpleasant users.

Third and last decision: Blog Catalog brings me MUCH more traffic than MyBlogLog. Its community is more dynamic. Also, have you noticed how often MyBlogLog has problems with their avatar widget? It’s really annoying. As for Technorati, I have the feeling it’s going down the drain big time. Definitely, Blog Catalog is where I’m heading. I am seriously considering switching my avatar plugin to Blog Catalog.

Applying The Strategy To You

It’s important to understand that we all have different goals and missions with our blog. As an example, my friend Tad, who’s running SEO 2.0, is active in numerous social media sites, and also manages his own SEO 2.0 group at Mixx. But in his case, social media is very close to his core business, so the time spent in social media can translate into revenue from potential clients. That’s like guest blogging for me. It takes time, but it’s core business.

Which social media site sends you the most traffic? Where do you spend most of your social media time? Are you convinced you are investing at the right place? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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36 Responses to “The Triangle Strategy: How To Optimize Efficiently”

  1. Frank C Says:

    This is a good article on pursuing social media driven traffic. The only thing I’d add to it would be to use a commenting and “link luv” strategy to help further build your social media profile by bringing fellow bloggers to your site who will, in turn, usually stumble, spinn, digg, etc. these posts.

    You should at the very least stumble any post where you leave a comment. This can bring in quite a backdraft of traffic.

  2. Patrick Says:

    Hey Frank, you know what, I like what you say at the end of your comment: “You should at the very least stumble any post where you leave a comment” that’s a very good point. Unless you commented because you totally disagree with the author’s opinion :)

    Hey thanks for stopping by.

    Patrick

  3. Frank C Says:

    Hi Patrick,

    The point of stumbling a good, comment worthy, post, even if you disagree with it, is that you may encourage extra referral traffic to visit your site to find out what you’re all about, as long as your comment is good. And then you’re likely to get a stumble on your own site. That’s how you get a good stumble wave going.

  4. Richard McLaughlin Says:

    Good Comment about “link luv”

    Very interesting article, I have a social media account in all to them, those listed, those you know of and those that you will never hear of. I am trying to figure out which has the best traffic to lead generation factor and can not come up with any data. So far the best traffic sites have been (search engines, of course) 2 different German sites that link to certain articles (in English).

  5. Patrick Says:

    @ Richard: From what I can see, there is room for good StumbleUpon traffic to your site. Are you active on SU?

    Thanks for commenting
    Patrick

  6. Walk through Money Online Journal Says:

    Very informative…Sound easy but hard especially if your time infront of the computer is limited.. However it’s fun it you like what you are doing. Thanks for sharing

  7. George Says:

    Patrick,

    Nice post. So do you really get that much more traffic from blog catalog? I haven’t really tested it out since it went from a blog directory to an imitation of MyBlogLog.

  8. Caroline Middlebrook Says:

    I love it! Its a simple idea but the kind of thing we need to be told otherwise we just get lost in the mire of social media. My strongest referrer is StumbleUpon, my strongest profile is on Twitter and my strongest blogging community is MyBlogLog.

  9. Patrick Says:

    Nothing to compare with StumbleUpon, but yes I receive a descent number of visitors. I get new friends a few times a day, so using the broadcast reaches more and more people. Just paying attention not to turn blog promotion into spam.

    For me, Blog Catalog in now what MyBlogLog should have become. They’re evolving while MyBlogLog is stagnating.

    Patrick

  10. George Says:

    Patrick,

    Thanks for that info. I will have to try it out then. I am not real keen on adding any more widgets to my blog, but I might test out the blogcatalog on one of our blogs.

  11. Mark Blair Says:

    I really enjoyed this post. These days it is easy to be intimidated but the smörgåsbord of social media venues. You’ve outlined a solid, common sense strategy to maximize your footprint given the constraints of time.

    For bloggers that don’t have ready access to a cloning device and can’t make multiple copies of themselves to participate in all the vibrant communities out there, well, you’ve given them some hope.

  12. Mark Blair Says:

    Also, I think when factoring this all StumbleUpon should get a handicap in the referrer category because the nature of referrals from StumbleUpon is not as targeted as say Digg/Delicious/Mixx or some other site where people click more explicitly.

    In fact, a better measure might be to use Google Analytics to measure and to define a goal for your site that you value (like the email subscriptions). If you can get that going you’ll have a sense of your “conversions”. If you choose goals right and can trigger them to fire in GA then you can begin to build up a sense of “involvement” in your blog.

    Of course, it is hard to quantify and measure directly to the click-through all the important off-site activities visitors could take such as inbound links, social media votes, etc. But it might be a closer indicator of true benefit than mere traffic.

  13. Patrick Says:

    @Mark: This is something -Goals- I never played with in Google Analytics. The reason being a lack of time. I know it’s a precious tool for Internet marketeer but you are right saying it can apply to any type “conversion click”.

    Thanks for commenting on the post, Mark.
    Patrick

  14. Bobbink SEO Blog Says:

    My compliments for the nice posts. Keep up the good work.

  15. Monica Willyard Says:

    I like the ideas you’ve mentioned here, and the triangle imagery helps to make the ideas easy to understand. I’m a small business marketer for a low-tech service. I also run a blog about a non-profit service. I’ve found that Twitter gives me a lot of traffic, and it’s a very easy social site to keep active. In fact, I follow you on there, and it’s how I found your blog in the first place. Mixx performs well for me, as do StumbleUpon and Facebook. Digg and MySpace seem to be a waste of my time, so I don’t really spend much time with them anymore. The jury is still out for me with FriendFeed, Technorati, and LinkedIn.

  16. Patrick Says:

    @Bobbink: Thank you for the kind words

    @Monica: Mixx and Twitter have done some fair things for me too. I am still experiencing with Twitter, and I know Caroline Middlebrook is doing great with the micro-blogging platform so I don’t want to let this one go since I feel there’s a great potential. Thanks for commenting.

  17. Charlie Gilkey Says:

    I appreciate you writing this great post. As Caroline said, it’s something we need to be told, otherwise we keep casting the net too wide.

    Keep up the great work.

  18. Caroline’s Favourite Links #15 | Caroline Middlebrook Says:

    […] The Triangle Strategy - How to Optimize Efficiently - This confusingly titled post from Patrick of Piggy Bank Pie is actually a very neat way to focus your efforts with Social Media. […]

  19. Malte Landwehr Says:

    Focusing your efforts on a few core social media sites is a good idea but in my opinion in doesn’t hurt to still invest a minimum amount of time in the other social networks as well. Even if you are not really active, just being present from time to time cannot hurt and does not need to much time.

  20. Lin Says:

    Patrick, this is fabulous information! StumbleUpon has done the most for my blog, Twitter has brought good traffic and new subscribers (even though I’m relatively new on Twitter), and BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog pretty much equal out.

    I have yet to spend time checking out Sphinn, but I know I need to.

  21. Patrick Says:

    @Lin: Thanks for the kind words. You see in my case I really can’t compare Blog Catalog and MyBlogLog. Caroline said MyBlogLog gives more traffic than BC. If you blog about social media, SEO/SMO, blogging, Sphinn is a very nice place to be. Thanks for stopping by.

    Patrick

  22. SEO 2.0 | What Easter Can Teach Us About Web 2.0, Social Media and Blogging Says:

    […] use the triangle strategy by combining 3 to 5 social media.b) Traffic sourcesWhile in Germany most webmasters and worse […]

  23. PetMono Says:

    mark has a good point about SU - it seems such a random concept. if i follow the triangle model SU might have an (*) on it. i have put time in on SU and can’t figure it out. i had one post that had 150K visitors in a week. how did that happened? i spent a ton of time trying to find that post and did, only once. good post here…

  24. Seth Says:

    A very interesting article, I certainly enjoyed the read.

  25. When Should I Start Selling My Guest Posts | Guest Blogging, Guest And Ghostwriter Services - PiggyBankPie Says:

    […] That’s what Maki from Dosh Dosh would say. If you don’t care about becoming a professional guest blogger, stop wasting time and energy being a guest-post whore and bring big traffic to your own site. Once you’ve hit SU’s Buzz page a few times, readers will recognize your blog and the RSS counter will build rapidly. Of course, you’ll need to invest time promoting your content if you want readers to submit and vote your posts. I recently wrote about the strategy I used to optimize my blog. […]

  26. Jay Says:

    Man, I tend to forget to Stumble the posts I read, I mean, I probably comment more than submitting to social sites.

    But Blogcatalog is definitely becoming bigger and more popular, but some are the spammers…

    Jay

  27. Jay Says:

    Forgot to mention, I Stumbled this post!

    Jay

  28. Patrick Says:

    @Jay: Spam will always be a problem with services such as MyBlogLog and Blog Catalog. I left MyBlogLog and changed my footer to Blog Catalog for that reason. While the level of spam is lower then MyBlogLog, still spammers have a strong presence on BC. I guess spammers are responsible for Technorati’s situation that’s going down the drain big time.

  29. DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites that Will Help You! | Blogging Tips & Custom Banner Designs at DatMoney.com Says:

    […] people do is try a handful of them out and narrow down which ones bring them the most traffic. Take “the Triangle Strategy” that Patrick of Piggybankpie came up with. But a majority of these sites will not help with […]

  30. Brisbane Marketing Consultant Says:

    Blog communities are certainly the way to go. In Australia we have a very strong community on the east coast where we try to help each other and cross-link.

  31. sacramento probate litigation Says:

    the core rule to remember and to always return to is to have strong profiles. If those profiles are strong and active, everything else will follow.

  32. Vrbo Says:

    Great information, I just used your tips to make up my mind on which network I am going to focus on! Hopefully will report good results in a few months!

  33. ZineGuru Website Marketing Says:

    Informative post Patrick. Thanks. I don’t use StumbleUpon but it has already been an interesting source of traffic. I noticed some people are already stumbling some of my content. Some social media websites can bring some extra passive traffic.

  34. Chris Pontine Says:

    Hi There,

    Great article on this topic. laid out nicely for easy reading as well.

    Thanks,

    Chris Pontine

  35. Alok Says:

    I don’t use many social channels but I have heard some good things so this should be a good guide to start with things.

  36. Michael Slowakei Says:

    So to my mind all that strategies that you’ve just proposed there are really working in the reality.I’ve seen it with my own eyes 0 and the results were just marvelous.Thank for publishing your secrets!=)

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