How balanced are your tweets?
The newspaper industry, like many others, has turned to Twitter for promotion, customer relations and sharing information. According to a study by The Bivings Group, papers have a range of tweeting styles.
The study, which looked at the top 100 daily newspapers in the US, found that all the papers had at least one Twitter account, but many failed to publicize their Twitter use effectively. Nearly two-fifths of papers did not have a link to Twitter anywhere on their Website, and among those that did, many were hard to find. Still, 56% of newspapers maintained a directory on their Website of all the accounts associated with the outlet.
Measured by the number of retweets each Twitter feed received, The New York Times unsurprisingly comes out on top. But with nearly 2 million followers, the Times dwarfs the Twitter audience of the rest of the newspapers in the top 10, several of which generated a comparable number of retweets.
The Bivings Group also analyzed Twitter success in terms of “Twitter IQ,” a measurement of a user’s balance between original tweets, retweets and replies. The ideal user would have a 50/50 split between “talking” and “listening”—with feed bots spitting out links and users who only react to others both considered undesirable.
The top newspapers according to this formula are The Baltimore Sun, the Austin-American Statesman and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Bivings admits in its report that “not every conversation is equally balanced for a variety of good reasons,” however.
Bivings also found that the average newspaper had nearly 18,000 Twitter followers and tweeted 11 times per day. But throwing out a handful of papers with more than 100,000 followers brings the average down to just 3,447 followers per paper, and tweet frequency ranged widely, from 1.1 to 95.5 messages per day.
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Check out today’s other article, “Multichannel Retailers Bring Web into Store.”