I Almost Stopped Using Twitter And Slack. What Made Me Give In? Why Almost?
Updated: Jul 10
Walking The Tightrope Between Left And Right Brain. How Data Steered Me Away From My Incorrect Intuition.
Have you ever decided on one thing to eventually end up doing the opposite? Do you have a best friend who created a bad first impression on you?
Or maybe a dish that looked yucky to you (or to your toddler), but you loved its taste?
After writing articles or portfolio pieces, I share them in communities and social media platforms. I had consistent engagement on Twitter with my posts. Consistent close to zero engagement.
It seemed I should stop posting on Twitter. I even wrote most of this article before checking the data. Looking at the data shocked me and made me reconsider my decision. I then thought I should stop posting on Slack. I described the data cleanup process to my spouse. I realized I was still wrong. I rewrote the article yet again.
Why Do I Post On Twitter?
I want to share my writings or videos on Twitter to engage with potential readers. Readers could be friends or professional peers. I wanted traction. I expected the traction to be in views of my Substack and subscribers there.
My Trials With Twitter And LinkedIn. Learnings.
I shared my articles or blogs on Twitter and LinkedIn. I posted them as-is. I did not get good traction. I looked up successful social media posts to learn from them. I consolidated my learnings as tips and implemented those in my posts. I wrote more about this process here.
Traction On Twitter?
Although I implemented the tips mentioned in the previous article, I didn’t see any change in engagement on Twitter. On the bright side, I was getting consistent engagement. On the flip side, the engagement was only from my two super fans - my mom and my dad.
Social Media - Shallow Or Deep Work?
Instead of posting my content on my Twitter profile, I could get involved in relevant conversations. I could join threads where the same topic is being discussed. I could contribute value and point to my content for a further read.
Now, I understand I should engage with others on social media. I also understand I am not interested in it. I don’t want to use my time for this. It feels like shallow work. I want to spend my time in deep work, not shallow work. For more on Deep Work, check out Cap Newport’s book Deep Work.
But, how do I get away from the effort of creating short-form social media posts? How do I focus my time on writing long-form articles? How do I get away from spending time to edit videos pixel-by-pixel and instead focus on creation of video content?
I wrote my approach to editing vs creation in this post.
Long-Form Content To Short-Form Social Media Posts
I tried ChatGPT, Scalenut, Copy.ai, Tweetify, Buffer, and a few other services to create social media posts from my articles and videos. They did not free me up enough. I worked with a few freelancers to read my content and create social media posts from it. I found some who excelled on general content. I found a few who also excelled at product management and entrepreneurship content.
So, I added that as a step to my content pipeline. I will write more on my content pipeline in an upcoming article.
In my process, I would write an article, share it with a freelancer in the US, then edit the output to my liking. I used Buffer to schedule posts to Twitter and LinkedIn.
Should I Ditch Twitter As I Have Low Traction?
Since I had low traction on Twitter, I was going to stop posting on it. Then I thought, lemme back up my decision with a nice illustration.
Why an illustration when I can do a visual?
Why a visual when I can do a graph based on data?
My expectation was a 0 from Twitter. So, I looked at web analytics. Here is what I found.
Where Do Readers Discover My Content?
I first filtered all my data to look at attributable sources. I saw 31% come from organic search.
I used Wix Analytics, Substack Stats, and Google Analytics to combine the viewership across Substack, Spark Creative Technologies' website, and my personal website. The majority of social media traffic came from LinkedIn. Although HackerNews was the second biggest social media source, it was not in my control. A reader from a Slack community shared my post on HackerNews and it reached the front page. Twitter was the second biggest social media channel that I posted to. I was surprised by these findings. I wanted to look at the bigger picture. So, I created 3 nested pie charts.
I realized Substack accounted for the majority of readers. However, I want to understand how to find more readers. I get more engagement on LinkedIn than on Substack. So, I am not sure how to compare a “view” or “read” on Substack vs a “like” or “comment” on LinkedIn. You don’t see HackerNews in these pie charts because I grouped it with Slack. Posting on Slack was in my control. A reader sharing it on HackerNews was not in my control.
Posting Approach On LinkedIn
Some experts recommend posting on LinkedIn twice a week. Some thrice a week.
Based on my engagement data, I know my posts do not get much engagement on LinkedIn. I don’t want to push more content through a channel that might penalize it for not being good enough.
I decided to continue posting an average of 1.5 times a week on LinkedIn.
I know if I post more about entrepreneurship hardships or career stories, my posts would resonate more with readers. However, I am more interested in showing my approach to solving product or customer problems. I know that is less engaging. I am fine with posting less engaging content for LinkedIn. Instead, I want to post content that shows my credibility.
Posting Approach On Twitter
I thought Twitter brought 0 traffic to my web presence. It turns out Twitter brings 5% of social media traffic. However, the effort to split a social media post into a thread is high. So, for more effort, I get less benefit. I reviewed software to automate posting to Twitter. They were not good enough. So, I will continue using the repurposed content created by the freelancer. But I will paste a short snippet to reduce the need for threads. I will use Buffer for the scheduled posts.
I will continue to block the Twitter newsfeed.
But, I will not stop posting on Twitter.
Posting Approach On Slack
When I started writing this article, I assumed I should focus on Twitter over Slack. Then I recategorized the HackerNews traffic as Slack traffic and things looked different. 27% of my social media traffic came from one single post on Slack.
Slack communities suggest rate limiting to one self-promotional post a week. Scheduling messages in Slack is painful. I do not get a lot of engagement there as it is a chronological newsfeed in Slack, not algorithmic.
I like engaging in discussions and sharing my posts in discussions. But crafting a clear message and scheduling that takes time. I like Slack because I find peers invested in learning something together.
The dilemma for Slack is my peers, prospects, and mentors are there. That increases the value of each view, each engagement. How do I weigh the engagement with this importance?
I thought through the elements of Slack usage that take my time and which ones I can give up.
Saving Time On Slack
I will not edit the text before posting it on the self-promotional channels.
I will not add custom images to Slack posts.
I will do less planning in the scheduling. If I have 2 short posts from the same long article, I will still post them in consecutive weeks.
I will mute 80% of the channels in the next 5 days.
I will not choose a specific time of the day when scheduling.
Focus on LinkedIn
By reducing my time on Twitter and Slack, I will create space to focus on LinkedIn.
In another article, I will write about my content pipeline and share the tools I use at each step.