Winning the Internet

Engagement on social networks

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

When you’re deciding whether to invest time in a new social network, you should be asking yourself not only whether your audience is there, but are they engaged? Ignite Social Media dug into the latest ComScore data and found some interesting data.

Average minutes per visitor, Nov 2011
5 minutes on Google+
12 minutes on MySpace
16 minutes on LinkedIn
24 minutes on Twitter
88 minutes on Pinterest
142 minutes on Tumblr
394 minutes on Facebook

Looking at data like this provides some valuable insight when you’re planning where you’ll spend your time on social media channels. First you need to determine which ones best reach your audience, but then engagement metrics provide another data point to rank your priorities. But you have to look at the two together.

For example, you might look at this list and say “wow, people on Pinterest are really engaged with this site.” That’s true but it’s still a niche network at 4.9 Million uniques per month and it’s heavily tilted toward visual and craft oriented subjects. Things like fashion, photography, crafting, and cooking are doing well there. It’d be a stretch to figure out how you could use it to promote activism right now.

It’s tempting to slam Google+ (as Ignite did in their post) for having lower numbers than MySpace. But there are some important things to note. First, this data is from November, before Google started doing their huge marketing push. Secondly, Google is making major changes to search to bolster their offering, and the impact of those is unclear.

The bottom line is: when you’re determining where you should invest precious time, you need to consider raw data like this to help you cut through the hype and monitor trends.


About Raven Brooks

Executive director of Netroots Foundation and Netroots Nation.

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