Many of my readers asked me to write a follow up post on Twitter macro insights from micro interactions, focusing specifically on the tool I use, HootSuite. This post will be focused on insights or intelligence I gathered on content and what resonates most with Twitter users.
I'm not a tech person, so I would be ill equipped to have a technical conversation on the tool. In all fairness, my review might also include qualitative insights gathered through the personal use of Twitter. That data is not captured in the charts here.
I started using HootSuite on March 20. For the purposes of having a fair assessment, I shared 5-6 links to posts authored by others each day except weekends. That's why you see the low spikes. As you can see, the links I shared, generated a total of 34,520 clicks. Shame on me for not keeping track of the number of retweets as some of those users are bigger trust agents and would/do get more attention and clicks.
Although this data does not reflect Twitter cycles when other news was taking front stage, I think it fair to attribute some of the lower traffic to the news of the Iran election and that of the untimely death of Michael Jackson - they both took Twitter by storm and attention away from the daily routines.
In the last 30 days, there was quite a bit of activity at 6,119 clicks despite blog posts becoming more sparse with the arrival of summer. I changed two things in this period, I shared:
- more research and reports
- more mainstream media stories
You would have known what those posts were as I labeled the tweets with keywords like research and or the name of the publication. Both gave you more clues on what the link was about. In general, posts about Twitter fared better than posts about marketing - surprise, surprise.
Taking a look at the most popular links, you can see that by far, the best performing link was that to the BeeLine Labs paper on best practices on social media monitoring, engagement, measurement with 483 clicks since June 30.
I know that was of tremendous interest also because a few people who were having a hard time signing up to download it, emailed me about it. And people took action immediately by passing the report along and going to the site to download it.
The second most clicked-on recent link was a 30,000 foot view of social media measurement by Don Bartholomew - also a post about measurement. Then there's a post questioning the qualifications of a social media director, one dismissing influencing conversations, one defining social media ROI, the top 5 reasons online community building trumps old school marketing, the coolest university Web site ever, a case study for HP on integration of digital and social, 5 social media gripes, etc.
It seems that 5 hits the sweet spot - I shared links with 7 tips, 3 things, and 10 reasons, but 5 came up more and more as a preferred number for advice.
The great thing about social media is that your content has a long tail. It's clear that there is a pass along effect within the human filters, in addition to the search engines. For example, you can see in the image above, that the BeeLine Labs report is still being shared.
HootSuite allows you to schedule posts, a valuable way to share quality content when I have time to actually read and vet posts.
What I have learned from all of this that I can apply to my own content?
I didn't talk about one variable and that is consistency. By sharing content that the community found valuable every single day, I created an expectation. The value inherent in the content reflected back on my ability to share more valuable content - and so on. This is the same mechanism that happens with blogs.
Writing for the Web needs to take digital content distribution into account. The third Internet wave is the data wave. It's the time when we learn and integrate and that's how we break boundaries. Data is relationships, you just need to know what you're listening for and what you're going to do about it.
Measurement will take you only halfway there. The other half is how you incorporate what you learned in what you do. I may not be a techie, but I do get technical solutions to human needs. As an example of data-driven relationships that can make a difference, Dave Winer talked about two-way search recently.
Successful digital marketing is all about marrying technical requirements with user needs and relevance. Successful and meaningful conversions happen when that process incorporates valuable content. You can bring people to your site, but they won't stay if what they find is less than helpful to them.
For Twitter, I use a combination of applications:
- Hahlo on my iPhone, which allows me to be responsive on the road,
- the Web, which allows me to reply to multiple users, and
- HootSuite, which allows me to schedule tweets, gather intelligence, as view user profiles (I'll pick on Siobhan Bulfin as she's been very generous with her community).
This tool came out of 2.0 beta yesterday with a bang - over 25,000 mentions in 8 hours, 1.2 million page request, and 2,500 account registrations.
It was released on Twitter and by email to a bunch of beta testers like me by Ryan Holmes, CEO Invoke. Current users include The Whitehouse, Dell, Google, US Army, Fox, National Geographic, NBA, AOL, The Economist, Fast Company, Gap, Banana Republic and People. For the 2.0 features watch this short video.
- FriendFeed and post on Twitter as well. Many have asked about FF recently. I find it extremely valuable for the insights I garner from threaded conversations - there's one there now that reached 358 comments, as dialogue, not as each to post. As well, the crowd is different, which allows me to see and learn different things about content that engages and community movements.
Since I have a couple of Twitter accounts, I also tested coTweet in beta. I'll preface my remarks by saying that I tried it only a few times and not recently. Although it allows users to add accounts and for multiple editors (this option is also available on HootSuite), I found coTweet less valuable.
Tweets I scheduled never posted, and there was a considerable delay in updating from Twitter. Given the immediate nature of the micro blogging platform, I felt that was less than helpful. Maybe they fixed the problems and I should give them another chance. Perhaps fodder for a future post.
Have you tried this tool? What would you integrate or change?