Why Publishers Love Twitter

For some digital publishers, social media is all about impressions

If you had to choose between Facebook and Twitter for your digital publication, which would you choose?

It’s a tough question because each social network has positive attributes. And although Facebook has a much larger audience base, Twitter’s growth is not something to scoff at.

A recent article from eMarketer points out that Facebook’s growth rate is expected to drop into single digits during 2012. This rate has dropped from 2010 when it was estimated at 38.6%, and in 2011, when it reached about 13.4%.

Twitter’s growth is currently stronger than that of Facebook. This year, it’s predicted to reach 20.7%, opposed to Facebook’s 6.6%. By 2014, Twitter will likely be experiencing double-digit growth rates still.

Of course, these rates don’t show the whole picture. At the end of 2011, in the US Twitter had 24 millions users, compared to 133 million for Facebook.

Although Facebook’s user base is six times bigger than that of Twitter, Twitter has been more effective in increasing Mequoda Daily’s audience base.

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Why we love Twitter

Twitter offers impressions for digital publishers that are hard to match. For instance, if you have 8,000 followers, and you send six tweets each day, that is 48,000 impressions each day. If you tweeted at that same frequency five days per week, in a month’s time you’d hit 960,000 impressions.

Now compare that to an email file that’s slightly larger, say 10,000 recipients deep. If you send five daily emails and a promo each week, during the course of a year you’d reach 2.88 million impressions via email compared to 11.52 million for Twitter.

In this instance, Twitter is generating 4X more impressions than email during the course of a year.

Now, these two platforms have different intent and different content. We aren’t debating which is more valuable, but simply wanted to point out that when it comes to basic impressions, Twitter has the ability to generate sizable numbers.

As we see it, Twitter is great for publishers who produce content on a regular basis. It is a content-driven platform. Facebook is a better platform for retailers as it’s deal-driven. And although we like Facebook, we see better results from Twitter.

Why publishers love Twitter

A more personal touch drives traffic: We’ve talked about ColonelTribune, the social extension of the Chicago Tribune. Not only does @ColonelTribune have 813K followers on Twitter compared to @ChicagoTribune’s 76K, it offers more opportunity for clicks by pushing traffic to news stories also tweeted by @ChicagoTribune.

Curating industry content: In addition to sharing your own content, Twitter gives organizations the chance to share industry related information. One Twitter account taking this approach is @toprank.

Keeping an audience engaged: Some publishers turn to Twitter to push out a lot of content. The New York Times, for instance, sends multiple tweets each hour, keeping its audience up-to-date with what’s going on in the world.

Others, like Men’s Health Magazine, engages with audience members by @ replying to comments. This is impressive, especially for a large publisher.

As an online professional, why do you love Twitter (or not)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Fiona I.

    I love Twitter. My following has grown as my Tweets increased. I also find my following is comprised of exactly the right blend of persons – writers, publishers, and writing experts. I tweet more often than I post to Facebook. For me, Twitter is my business marketing outlet. I find that although I have writer friends on Facebook, the large majority of my connections are just that – friends and family. They are more interested in my dog’s antics than reading a link about writing or books. In my opinion, Twitter is the best way to have your say. The more pertinent and informative your posts, the more people appreciate the information shared.

      Chris S.

      You must be supplying the right content if you are experiencing list growth. Keep up the good work!


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