Monday, July 6, 2009

From the Influential Marketing Blog: 10 Stunning (And Useful) Stats About Twitter

Rohit Bhargava -- who graced JHU with his presence at one of the first socStardom events we hosted -- has a great blog, the Influential Marketing Blog. You should read it. I became especially interested in today's post about a recent Twitter report from social media analytics provider named Sysomos. You need to go to his blog to read the whole thing, but here are a few of the stats Rohit pointed out that got me thinking...

[note: bolded text is quoted directly from Rohit's blog.]

1. 21% of Twitter accounts are empty placeholders. These are the percentage of Twitter accounts that have never posted a single tweet.They may either be registered simply to hold a username for later use, or be experimental accounts started up but never used. I disagree on the idea that these are all "inactive" accounts. (Or maybe I just disagree with the definition of active. Or don't understand what they mean by placeholder.) I know of many people who are on Twitter because they're interested in following certain people or certain issues. For example, I have a neighbor who found out a sports columnist he likes tweets. He wants to get the tweets. So he wants me to set him up with a Twitter account so he can follow people, even if he doesn't ever plan to send out a tweet. So how many of those 21% are "active" in terms of following the conversations, even if they don't ever tweet themselves.

2. Nearly 94% of all Twitter accounts have less than 100 followers. Personal note: I currently have 186 (@rferrier). Yay! I'm above average!

3. Tuesday is the most active Twitter day. One of the most useful data points from the report is that it clears up the common question of which day of the week is the best day to tweet something. Sysomos found that Tuesday stood out as the most popular day for tweets and retweets, followed by Wednesday and then Friday. It's interesting that the assumption here seems to be that if Tuesday is the most active day, it's the best day to tweet. I'd argue you're better off tweeting on Wed. or Thurs. There's less competition for your followers' eyes on those days because, according to the report, you're followers are getting fewer tweets from others.

Just my thoughts. Go to Rohit's blog and read what he said. Post a comment there. Or post one here. Either way, keep the conversation going.


steve_dodd said...

Hi Robin, I totally agree with your point of view here. Stats are great but more depth is needed for them to be meaningful. I personally think this whole study misses the point of twitter users, what they do and why they are there. I'd also like to understand the impact of spam on these counts.

But, more importantly, the detail you are suggesting about usage just is not there. If the stats are taken at face value, then Twitter is an irrelevant techology. I think not. Besides, various other stats on Social Media in general seem to indicate much the same result, and we all know that is not correct either.

Mary Fletcher Jones said...

More importantly, only 5% of the Internet-using adult population is on Twitter and of that group, only about half use it actively.

The truth is -- in the scheme of things -- Twitter just isn't really that important.

Unless, of course, you want to reach publicists. Or digerati. Great for that ;)

David Ryan said...

Hi Robin et al: I just put up the other day what I believe to be a relevant post on my blog about this topic. Here's a link:

In it, I work through in detail a "real world" example of how I use Twitter to promote my website/blog.

This example starts with a tech article I read in the Balt Sun over breakfast.

Summary: for me, at least for now, Twitter is effective in my marketing efforts.