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Research / Insights on current and emerging industry topics

Tweets drive 8.5% of social traffic, so does the content matter?

April 15, 2016 | By Research Team—DCN

Twitter drives a median 8.5 % of all social traffic to media sites across Parse.ly’s network of digital publishers. That said, Parse.ly decided to take a look at what extent publishers influence this number. In other words, they wondered if the type of content shared on Twitter impacts how readers engage. So, Parse.ly partnered with Twitter’s “firehose” data team to collect and analyze 100% of tweets that link to its customers’ websites, the results of which it has compiled in an Authority Report.

For this study, Parse.ly examined data from 200 websites, spanning 14 calendar days (January 10–24), to see what trends they could uncover. Here are some of those trends:

  • Publishers with “typical” content get about 1.5% of traffic from Twitter as compared with 11% for publishers with the “most active” content.
  • The most active content garners 18 clicks per tweet as compared with only 3 clicks for typical content.
  • Typical content is often “conversational news” such as tweets about the presidential elections.
  • Breaking news stories often drive large spikes in traffic over shorter periods of time.

According to Parse.ly, as a medium Twitter excels at both conversational and breaking news. With respect to conversational news, Twitter acts as a “public square” where ongoing conversations happen around long-lived news topics. When it comes to breaking news, Twitter is a place journalists post their earliest reports and seek immediate confirmation of reports coming from other news outlets.


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