Yesterday Facebook shared its Top Status Trends of 2009, providing insight into what terms most commonly occurred in users’ status updates. Last week Twitter gave us their Top Twitter Trends of 2009 for categories like news events, people, movies, etc. And throughout December we’ve gotten top 2009 searches lists from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.
Data like this is interesting to check out and it can provide useful insights for marketers and content producers in getting a better understanding of user interest and activities in both search and social media.
But while you’re going through this year’s top trends don’t forget to apply the same practice to your own sites. Getting a clear understanding of how your target audiences locate and interact with your content and engage with your brand will give you actionable data to use next year and beyond
Things that news and content sites should look at include:
- What terms and content types brought in the most search engine referral traffic?
- What were your top referrers/trends in Web search, news search, image search, blog search and video search?
- What sections, special features, individual articles, etc. were most (and least) popular?
- What were your top internal search queries for the year?
- What types of content generated the most social media sharing and inbound links?
- Which social media sites brought in the most traffic and links, and how well represented are you in each?
- Which Twitter profiles built up the most followers and engagement? (main profiles, personas, individual staff members, etc).
- What types of stories got the most retweets?
- What generated the most “likes” and comments on your Facebook Page?
- What types of stories gained traction (or were buried) on social news sites like Digg and Reddit?
There is a lot more that you can look at but hopefully these 10 will get you pointed in the right direction. And while I focused on editorial sites the same general approach works for e-commerce, B2B and any other category.
Understanding user behavior in 2009 helps you to grow your audience or customer base and increase engagement in 2010.