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Losing My Blog’s Social Sharing Stats Made Me A Better Marketer

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This summer, nearly two years after I left my corporate job to run this social media marketing business full time, I got to attack something major on my business to-do list: revamp this here Website.

I liked the comfort I had on a WordPress-hosted site, but I knew it was time to get hosted elsewhere if I wanted to pump up the functionality of sierratierra.com. So I hired someone to move my site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Part way into the process, she went MIA.

And I was left with some material at the old site and other information at the new one. Lord knows what my site visitors saw during that time.

I felt that I had no time to search for a new Website specialist. My site was smoldering and it was up to me to get the fire going again STAT.

I Googled the how-tos I thought I needed, talked to my helpful new host for other information, and got to work. But I didn’t know that early on, I needed to ask this question about the blog component of my site:

How do the social sharing stats (the visible likes, retweets, and pins that appear with each post) transfer to the new site?

After not seeing my old stats on my new site, I began to ask around. I learned that once you transfer your domain from your old host to your new host, the sharing stats reset to zero. And guess what? In my whirlwind to make my new site live, I had already transferred the domain.

No stats for me.

At this point, I sought tech counsel. The first person concurred that my domain move wiped out my stats. So I sought a second opinion. And a third. And a few more after that. Each person I spoke with said that I was SOL. And nearly all of them said they could help by getting people to like and retweet my posts.

I winced each time that well-meaning offer was made. First of all, I’m a social analyst. I LOVE finding trends in what people like and don’t like. If these new “likes” are from people who haven’t even read my articles, how I am to do any trend analysis? Secondly, and even more importantly, I want any popularity I might get to be earned, not bought. Granted, in this case, my older likes and retweets were earned before my colossal boo-boo. But I knew I couldn’t consult others about “social media best practices” if I did something like that. So I’ve decided to move forward with this plan:

  1. Post more frequently so that the posts with the goose eggs move far out of sight.
  2. In spite of increasing the quantity of my posts, continue to pay mind to the quality of my writing. Strive to make posts useful to readers and inspire them to share the articles with others.
  3. Use this experience as my anecdote when potential clients ask me to “get them a bunch of fans and likes.” Typically my counter-spiel to their request– where I talk about building relationships, establishing authority in a field, fostering trust — falls on deaf ears. But now I can say, “You know what? I was in your shoes. I was frantic and desperate, but I knew that fake likes would not give me validation of my authority or trustbuilding capabilities. And they surely wouldn’t be any kind of proof that I can turn enthusiasm for my blog content into sales. If didn’t buy likes for myself, I surely can’t accept money for doing it for you.”

Am I still mad bumming over my mistake? Totally. But did it give me the prompt to blog more regularly (something I should’ve been doing anyway) and to stress to clients the need to be honest on social media outposts and blogs? Totally times 100. I’m glad for that.

Let this video from one of my favorite bands affirm your decision to do it clean.

Photo credit: Flickr/linhvienthai

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5 Comments

  1. What the heck is wrong with people? Seriously. It makes me so angry your web person went MIA. Unfortunately, this is a common tale and it makes me NUTS!

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      You can feel my pain — thank you! It was a good reminder for me to ALWAYS have a back up plan for something that has that large of an impact on my business. I’ll be ready for next time, that’s for sure!

  2. I relocated my blog to a different domain yesterday. I’m fairly technical and wanted to ensure I didn’t harm my Google performance. This meant two things:

    1/ I couldn’t have both domains simply return the same content – duplicate content is not liked by Google.
    2/ I needed the original domain to signify a permanent redirect to any new articles.

    After much crafting this was achieved successfully, it’s only today I’ve noticed I have suffered the same fate as you – zero social sharing stats. It’s quite frustrating as it looks like I have a well supplied blog that no-one is reading, which couldn’t be further from the truth! C’est la vie!

    I think with time this will correct itself, but I have thrown away several thousand collective likes and shares which added some validity to my blog. I think the only answer is as you have concluded, more new content. Fortunately I’m seeing double digit monthly growth on my readership so hopefully those several thousand lost likes will soon become insignificant.

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Obviously you can commiserate, Philip! It sounds like you’re on the right track to making that incident a distant memory. Best of luck to you!

  3. Wow! If someone as savvy on social media as you can get into trouble, I humbly accept my own errors.

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