Durand Now Viral; Over One Million Views
As Homecoming neared and we played into the excitement, posting stories about the court, the team, the hog roast and all the things that we do to celebrate having spent at least some point in our life in this small town, something very interesting, coincidental and, well, awesome was happening behind the scenes.
On October 2nd we shared the "meme," shown
at right, on our Facebook page. The graphic encourages Facebook users to "like" the image if they prefer living in a more country setting as opposed to a big city setting. It wasn't exactly planned to coincide with Durand's Homecoming week, but was certainly appropriate.
At the time, just shy of 300 people had liked Durand Now on Facebook and statistically only a small portion of those that have liked a page will interact with any given post on any given day. But, thanks to the virality of Facebook, more than just the users that have liked a particular page have the opportunity to see the posts made by that page.
Still, imagine our surprise when we discovered that, to date, more than ONE MILLION PEOPLE have viewed this meme on Durand Now's Facebook, and more than 150,000 people have actually interacted with the post by sharing, commenting or hitting "like." Upon seeing how viral this post had gone, we sprang into action, adding the caption "Visit Durand, Michigan! Railroad City, U.S.A.," hoping to peak some travel and tourism interest.
At present, those viewing Durand Now on Facebook will notice the page indicates approximately 29,000 "People Talking About," which is the metric that indicates interaction with the page over a 7-day period. This number reflects the 7-day period ending October 4th. Once the numbers for October 5th and 6th are included, that number should climb to over 150,000.
Certainly, Facebook is an excellent marketing tool, helping to drive traffic to DurandNOW.com, and as we are set to release our "State of the Site" progress report of DurandNOW.com's first month online, these are encouraging metrics, but are far greater than DurandNOW.com's actual traffic.
 State of the Site: September 2012
DurandNOW.com went live online at
11:33pm on September 1st, 2012.
In the month of September 2012, there were 2,601 visits to DurandNOW.com by 2,108 different people, accounting for a total of 8,658 page views.
That's an average of 87 visits per day by 70 different people per day for an average of 289 page views per day.
In the first 10 days of September there were 742 visits by 623 different people for 2,761 page views.
In the next 10 days there were 682 visits by 530 different people for 2,145 page views.
In the final 10 days there were 1,177 visits by 955 different people for 3,752 page views.
After a 23% dip in page views in week #2, the site increased 43% from week 2 to week 3, or 27% overall.
The site saw the most new visitors in a single day on September 21st, when 129 people who had never previously been to the site visited.
The next four single days with the highest number of new visitors were September 2nd (116), September 4th (109), September 30th (74) and September 19th (69).
In September 2012, the hours that tracked the most traffic on average, were 8am (7.3%) and 5pm (7.0%). The next three hours with the highest traffic on average were 9am (6.3%), 10am (5.8%) and 4pm (5.8%).
In September, visits to DurandNOW.com came from 37 different US states. 67.5% of all visits came from Michigan. The next four states that produced the most visits were New York (8.1%), Illinois (4.4%), New Jersey (3.9%), and Ohio (3.3%).
Of 2,601 visits in September 2012, 1,480 (56%) were single page visits. Of those 1,480 single page visits, 274 (18.5%) were of the index page, or "main" page, located at www.durandnow.com. 133 (9%) were of the story "Ongoing Puppy Sale Draws Questions." 122 (8.2%) were of the story "Hatley Wants Change In Durand." 93 (6.3%) were of the story "New Ending Times For The School Day." 65 (4.4%) were of the story "Zombies In Durand: Get Ready To Run."
Of 2,601 visits in September 2012, 1,619 (62.2%) lasted less than 30 seconds. 124 (4.8%) lasted between 30 and 60 seconds. 313 (12%) lasted between 1 and 4 minutes. 354 (13.7%) lasted between 4 and 30 minutes. 191 (3.1%) lasted more than 30 minutes.
Of 2,601 visits in September 2012, the top 5 static pages that served as point of entry were the index page with 744 (28.6%), the Marching Railroaders page with 84 (3.2%), the News page with 49 (1.9%), the Sports page with 42 (1.6%) and the Church Events page with 38 (1.5%).
Of 8,658 page views in September 2012, the top 5 most visited were the index page with 1,828 (21.7%), the News page with 883 (10.5%), the Community page with 539 (6.4%), the story "Hatley Wants Change In Durand" with 395 (4.7%) and the Sports page with 286 (3.4%).
Galleries accounted for more than 533 page views or at least 6.4%.
Facebook serves as a good sample of specific demographic information.
Those that "like" Durand Now on Facebook, are considered "users." By the end of September 2012 there were 256 users.
Of 256 users, 82.1% were between the ages of 25 and 54. 52.8% of those people were female. 29.3% were male. Of the total number of users, 66.8% were female, 32.8% were male. The top 5 cities of residence for users were Durand (110), Owosso (14), Lennon (13), Flint (12) and Swartz Creek (10).
By virtue of the virality of Facebook, another metric available is the number of persons that are actively engaged with the site, or "engaged persons." This number includes persons who are not "users" of the site, but have still interacted with it in some way.
In September, Durand Now's peak 7-day period for "engaged persons" was September 17th-23rd, where 1,129 people interacted with the site in some fashion.
The top 5 engaged cities in a random 7-day sample during the month of September were Durand, Flint, Lennon, Fenton and Lansing. The top 5 engaged cities outside Michigan were Florence AL, Lawrenceberg IN, New Brighton PA, Prescott AZ, and Troy OH.
Again, by virtue of the virality of Facebook, another metric available is how many people have viewed a post made on the Durand Now Facebook as a result of one of their friends' interaction with that post.
In September, Durand Now's peak 7-day period for "viral persons" was September 16th-22nd, where 16,266 people viewed a Durand Now post.
The top 5 viral cities in a random 7-day sample during the month of September were Durand, Lansing, Flint, Owosso and East Lansing. There were only 2 viral cities outside of Michigan with enough of a sample to make the report, and they were Florence AL and Emporium PA.
Posts on Durand Now were viewed in 20 countries in September 2012. The top 5 were United States of America, Ethiopia, France, Canada and United Kingdom.
In the first 7 days of October there were 1,011 visits to DurandNOW.com by 855 different people, accounting for a total of 2,616 page views.
That's an average of 145 visits per day by 122 different people per day for an average of 374 page views per day.
In the first 7 days of October more than 100 new users were added, more than 150,000 engaged persons interacted with, and more than 1,000,000 viral persons viewed posts from Durand Now on Facebook.
That... is growth.
Note: It is not our intention to issue these reports on a monthly basis.