One of the most frequent questions clients ask me regarding Twitter is “how many clicks will I get?” Despite the numerous SEO (and other marketing) benefits of Twitter, most of my small business clients just want traffic in return for their time spent tweeting.
More than how many clicks to expect, clients want to know if there are factors that can lead to more clicks. For example, does the URL placement in the tweet influence click activity? Is there some secret to the length of a tweet? How much do you have to post on Twitter to get clicks? In addition, there are a lot of small business owners I’ve spoken to who seem largely discouraged by Twitter (and other social media). I hear the argument that only the big brands with lots of followers can actually get any kind of click activity.
Most data out there regarding Twitter click activity suggests that Twitter is a great place for getting clicks, certainly more than Facebook. There is also little doubt about Twitter’s reach – there are lots of people using Twitter and lots of people clicking on tweets. Unfortunately, none of the data I’ve found helps answer the questions from my clients which largely amount to: what should a small business expect from Twitter in terms of clicks?
Because I wanted to give my clients a somewhat better answer on these questions, I decided to pull some numbers and start figuring out the answers myself. I found the data interesting and thought I would share with the SEOmoz community as some of you might be getting these same types of questions.
Getting the Answer
Using Twitter’s API and Bit.ly’s API, I pulled in the numbers on a small sample set of 61,557 tweets, 120 Twitter accounts and around 47 million clicks. The UK Business Fax List accounts were of a variety of sizes (from just 15 followers on one account all the way up to 3.5 million followers at the high end). The accounts were selected from different industries – technology, media/entertainment, news, travel, recreation/sports, education, health and cultural accounts.
The main condition for selecting
Twitter accounts to use in the sample set was that they had to use bit.ly to generate most of the URLs in their tweets, they had to share their bit.ly data publicly and they had to tweet on a semi-regular basis.
It is a small sample set (given the vastness EF Leads of Twitter) but I think there are some interesting insights to be gained and a lot of the numbers and trends are very consistent over these different accounts.