0-30 days on Flipboard- What did I do and what worked? Social Media Experiment Series
Flipboard is a bit of a newcomer to the social mediaverse, so a lot of people (yours truly included) don’t really know how to use it. At the same time, I’ve heard it is a key driver of traffic and all important page views on your site or blog. So I figured I’d be the guinea pig and do an experiement see what 30 days on Flipboard could do for my blog and really answer the question: can Flipboard drive traffic to my site?
Here’s what I learnt in my 30 days and everything you need to know if you’re poised to get started. I’m a social media newb and don’t have any particularly impressive followings around the web- actually I just upgraded from a Nokia 3310 to a smartphone last year, truth be told, so whatever I can do, you can probably rock too.
In the beginning…
I registered a Flipboard account under my blog name and flipped a few of my articles into a magazine named after my blog.
I opened magazines around my subject area (I’m all about travel, so these were named after travel topics such as packing etc) ready to flip other people’s quality content.
I also joined a Facebook group where people flip each other’s content in mutual sharing threads and personalised my profile with the content areas I wanted to be shown- by hitting the what’s your passion link. I will continue to participate in flipping threads over the month.
In the Facebook group people posted invites to join group boards so I was able to join around 10 group boards related to travel. To find similar Facebook groups, search phrases like ‘Flipboard for Bloggers’ on Facebook.
I did research, primarily from the horse’s mouth which is Flipboard’s own topics pages, because they know everything you could ever want to know about Flipboard- and more.
I installed the Flipboard Chrome extension. And added a button my site so that visitors could easily flip my articles- I use the AddToAny WordPress plugin.
I have the feeling using Flipboard is like a miniature Pinterest, but without the need to spend my life in Canva.com curating the most beautiful pins I can. It’s a search engine, and so I need to make sure I am easy to search for and find- as well as flipping away to get myself noticed. The flipping jokes in this article more or less write themselves, but I’ll try to refrain!
Also, I have no followers yet- that’s pretty lonely!
SEO updates on all magazines:
Based on tips from the Flipboard team, they said that magazine titles should be specific but still containing major search categories- so ‘Travel Guide to the Bahamas‘ is better than ‘Travel Ideas‘.
I also took the time to write a description for each magazine, full of words that I thought might be very searchable and a few hashtags. I don’t yet know if hashtags work on Flipboard, but let’s find out. I love that the word limit for descriptions is far less restrictive in Flipboard than Pinterest, so you have more to play with.
Keywords in my profile
I brainstormed some specific words that people might be searching for which fitted my content and wrote myself a mini description about me and my content- you can read it on my Flipboard profile.
Flipping all my best articles into my blog’s magazine:
Well it turns out a lot of my cover images are not the right size for a flipboard article- time for a hasty delve into the world of image optimisation. Hey, I did mention I was new at this right? Still get yourself an array of nice looking articles in your blog magazine, ready for people to read.
Reordering my magazines:
I put my blog magazine in the top left corner for maximum visibility (the first place people will look) and then set the cover images for all mags. Luckily once set, the cover image seems static- so this is not a big time drain.
Captions for each of my articles:
I’m thinking of these as essentially equivalent to pin descriptions on Pinterest, and if so they’re an important part of getting found. For my own articles, I have copied the SEO descriptions I used in Yoast in hopes of hitting some keywords, but of course no keyword stuffing. To do this press ‘edit’on your articles and fill in the ‘write a comment/caption’ box.
Flipping into and out of group magazines:
It’s time to start flipping things into these public collections so that they’ll get more readers- just go to your article on Flipboard, hover over it’s image and hit the plus symbol to select which magazine it should go into.
Could someone please write a Tailwind style programme for Flipboard so that I can automate all of this stuff? Thanks! I also flip other people’s articles from the magazine if I like what they’re about.
Following 30 people per day:
More followers should equate to more readers, so I’ve been scrambling around for other travel Flippers…er Flippettes…Flips…..Flipboard users with good content and following a chunk every day. Hopefully if they like my articles, they might follow back.
“Add your voice to this magazine”:
Access one of your magazines and you’ll see a small pencil in the top right-hand corner called ‘add your voice’. I guess it may be a way to comment publicly but I can’t see where the comments are posted. I reasoned it might also be part of searchability and since our big question is ‘can Flipboard drive traffic to my site,’ I’ve added a short description for my own magazines in this way, and a link to my blog.
Week 4: The results: Can Flipboard drive traffic to my site? And is it worth your time?
So what were the results? Can Flipboard drive traffic to my site?
I was honestly really pleasantly surprised with how much genuine traffic Flipboard generated despite my tiny following and newbie status.
Flipboard became my 7th highest referrer over the month and drove a high number of views.
My bounce rate improved significantly as people tend to spend more time on articles found via Flipboard.
I found great new content that was very shareable- so good for my overall social media presence.
None of my content went viral, but anecdotal evidence suggests this is quite achievable on Flipboard.
I would 100% say Flipboard is worth investing set up time and effort into. My only wish is for automation to be developed (e.g. Tailwind or similar) so that long term it wouldn’t require so much time-commitment.
What strategies really worked?
Adding searchability to what you flip from others:
Here’s a great tip from the Midtntravel Blog: “If you are using the Chrome Browser Extension, and you highlight some of the text in the post before flipping it (I like to do the first paragraph), that text will be placed in the “What’s interesting about this” box when the article goes in your magazine. ” I do this religiously, and it helps searchers find what I’ve flipped on the site.
Alternating flips with follows:
In terms of following, this is a nightmare on Flipboard! The spam settings are so tight that you cannot follow multiple accounts in a short period of time- the site will block your follows immediately. To get around this, flip an article you like between every follow. It’s time consuming, but it works.
Creating a group magazine around your topic area:
Flipboard allows you to mass invite, unlike Pinterest- you can grab an invite link to your magazine and share it by email or however you like. The link will work for a few days, and then have to be refreshed, but that’s easily done. This makes group magazines a great starting point for promoting your blog, and I’ve created one around living abroad tips.
Joining share threads on Facebook– gives you that crucial initial push.
Up next in this series: 30 days on… Stumble Upon.
Cover image CC-BY-SA Marek Wylamowski @ Flickr