What Drives More Traffic to Photos, Twitter, FriendFeed or Pownce?
Yesterday I posted a graphic that I made and posted on Flickr to three of the popular microblogging sites: Twitter, FriendFeed and Pownce. In addition to posting the image at these three microblogging sites, I also posted it to my own blog and to my Facebook profile.
I was curious to see which of the microblogging sites that I participate in would drive the most traffic to the graphic.
I use all three of the microblogging sites and am a popular user on each. I probably use FriendFeed the most of the three, but have a significant number of “followers” on each of the sites broken down as follows:
FriendFeed: 2,169 people subscribed to my feed.
Pownce: 1,924 people subscribed to me.
Twitter: 2,928 people following me.
FriendFeed is more of an aggregation service than a direct microblogging site. The graphic above appeared on FriendFeed the most. It appeared on FriendFeed the most because it appeared there when a link was placed directly to the image from Flickr and directly to the image on a link from Twitter. Additionally, the image would have resulted in indirect traffic through FriendFeed from the link to my blog on FriendFeed and Pownce on FriendFeed.
Also on FriendFeed my image would show up anytime a FriendFeed user faved the image. Users on FriendFeed who “liked” or “commented” on the image would also have the effect of further promoting the image on FriendFeed.
So the results?
More people came to the image from Pownce, even though I’m followed by the fewest people on Pownce than from the other two microblogging sites.
From the stats page on the image from Flickr as of this morning the following sites resulted in the following views to this image:
Twitter (or sites related to the Twitter API): 52
Also it is interesting to note that still a great number of views likely came in from people who follow my Flickrstream or blog via RSS. I don’t know the exact number of RSS subscribers to my flickrstream and blog, but 127 visits came from Google (and I suspect mostly Google Reader) while another 13 came from bloglines and 2 from newsgator.
59 views came directly from my own blog.
So if I had to rank what drives traffic to an image based on this information, I’d say that my blog, blogging, RSS traffic probably drove the most views of this image. But I’ve been blogging for a long time and this would tend to make sense that I might have a larger more engaged audience with that.
But of the three microblogging sites, it would seem that Pownce actually provides the most “bang for the buck” if you will for photographers. At Pownce I had the fewest number of subscribers producing the most amount of views. In part this could be due to the fact that of the three sites Pownce lets you provide the largest graphic of a photograph.
It could also be that Pownce users are more engaged. FriendFeed traffic could also be diminished by the fact that FriendFeed allows you to “hide” certain items from people who subscribe to you. Some of the people subscribed to me on FriendFeed, for instance, potentially could be hiding either all or just my Flickr images, but still are subscribed to me.
After Pownce it would seem that FriendFeed drives the most traffic to an image. FriendFeed of course allows thumbnail images only, but the thumbnail image of mine was viewed heavily on FriendFeed because it showed up not only when I published it to Flickr, but anytime someone on FriendFeed faved it on Flickr and it was frequently bumped up by people liking or commenting on the graphic.
Twitter seemed to produce the fewest number of views, despite the fact that I’ve got the most “followers” at Twitter. Twitter of course doesn’t allow any image view at all and you can only post a link to the image which fewer people might be interested in clicking through to check out.
My advice if you are a photographer looking to promote your work on the web? Consider all three of the above, but definitely take a look at Pownce.
Note that promoting your work is but one aspect of participating in any of the communities above. I participate in the above communities because I enjoy them and find them very interesting places to hang out on the internet more than anything. I think in any case if you are not participating in the communities and simply just posting your imagery there that you will get back a lot less than if you are an active participant.