While Twitter has gotten high praise for being a powerful journalism tool and has, in some ways, garnered a small cult like following, businesses have started to benefit from it as a promotion and customer service tool. This leaves business owners and leaders asking, “is it relevant to business?”
Lets a take a look at some of the recent data to discover how twitter is being adapted by who, when and how you might want to use it!
Research from Pew clearly shows that while Twitter’s overall usage is still slowly growing, those that have adopted to its use are using it more and more each day.
The Pew Research data uncovers that African Americans have had the largest increase in adoption and use. It also uncovered that young adults are also still the largest growing adopters as most of us would expect.
If you are trying to justify Twitter for business, you just uncovered that it’s a communication tool that is clearly on the rise and two very specific markets exist to develop a targeted marketing plan.
A Hubspot Study of 7,000 companies found that a business with just a 100 followers on twitter, generates 106% more website traffic then those with 25 or fewer. In fact with more than 40% of businesses on twitter reporting that they have acquired a customer from Twitter, it’s no wonder that 99% of the Top Not-For-Profits are using it, more the 40 Heads of State use it and every professional sports team is on twitter (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL).
In fact bit.ly, a company that uses links to track activity reports for Twitter, has found that posting in the afternoon earlier in the week is your best chance at achieving a high click count (1-3pm Monday through Thursday). Posting after 8pm should be avoided.
The peak traffic times for Twitter are 9am through 3pm, Monday through Thursday. Posting on Twitter when there are many people clicking does help raise the average number of clicks, but it in no way guarantees an optimal amount of attention, since there is more competition for any individual’s attention. An optimal strategy must weigh the number of people paying attention against the number of other posts vying for that attention.
In another article Bit.ly also looked at the question, how long is a link “alive” before people stop caring? Bit.ly looked at East Coast earthquake: 5.8 magnitude epicenter hits Virginia, first shared by the Washington Post on Twitter.
Rate of clicks per minute on “East Coast earthquake: 5.8 magnitude epicenter hits Virginia”
The scale of the traffic to this link is larger and it had a fast rise, and a relaxed drop-off. Noticeably though this link has a half-life of only 5 minutes: after 5 minutes this link had seen half of the clicks it would ever see. This link is associated with a timely event (an earthquake on the US East Coast) as opposed to a link that had evergreen content about data, visual images etc. When bit.ly looked at the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours.
There are a lot of ways to track your data, and while there are new companies popping up every day to automate this for you, as a novice or small business I suggest the free services offered by StumbleUpon or Bit.ly. Both link services shorten your link and will help you track it.
While these are two great services for your links, you also need to keep an eye on site data using things like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. When you’re creating content you’re going to have social shares that are generated from third party users that are not tracked by your links. Google Analytics can help you track additional data about referring sites, time on site and page views. The referring site information can help you track down places that might be performing better then you anticipated and provide you with some direction on where to spend your time and resources to generate site traffic and conversions.
Data plays an important role in creating efficiency in your Twitter activity and marketing. By reviewing your data monthly, you can get accurate snapshots on your overall social activity. This will help you target your content and make better use of the limited time you have on social sites, like twitter.
Here is a sample of my StumbleUpon (su.pr) for @BasilPuglisi
Here is a sample of my Bit.ly links stats for @BasilPuglisi (rare use)
About Basil Puglisi
@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.