Twitter Study Gives Credence To Our Tweeting Philosophy

The graph from Twitter Media is explained below

First off Thank you for following us on Twitter.  Whether you say it under your breath, have tweeted us about it, ignored it, or just noticed it we tweet a lot and we retweet the same story a lot with a different text before the bit.ly link.  Our about page explains a little bit about why we do it, but a study today confirms that what we do works and there is a reason behind it.

In the post Robin Sloan correlates the twitter findings to TV.  We correlate it between Twitter and my experience in Radio in major markets.  As much as “active” people tend to say they hate it, I was instrumental in the 90’s to deriving the current top-40 format where the “hits” are played sometimes 90 times per week which equates to every 70 minutes. Imagine in the mid to late 90’s when the Spice Girls and MMMBop were the songs getting that spin factor.  Irritating right? However the stations that used this programming and still do today, and the artists that experienced it saw great ratings (and still do today) and the artists sold more records.  More ratings meant higher ad prices so even the bosses were happy.

Why though…

Radio, like twitter, can be very passive at times.  Especially now most people listen to the radio in a short car ride, a short job, or passively at their desks at the office. Maybe you listen baking a cake, or making dinner. What else did you do when you were listening to the radio? Handle a fussing child? Laundry? Cleaned? Dishes? An Argument? It was passive.

For most (not all but most) people using twitter it’s a passive form of social media.  When you log on to facebook you check your updates, profile, friends updates, maybe you play Farmville or Cityville or Family Feud, but your engagement time on Facebook is more than that on Twitter. What do you do with Twitter, most people “scan” it, just like the radio, looking for something that strikes their curiousity.

Add that to the fact that our analytics show us a mix of 50% US based twitter profiles follow us with the other 50% being based in other countries around the world, and that is exactly why we post things so much.  Without revealing our entire strategy we rank the stories as their posted at thedroidguy.com based on our keywords from analytics and what people are currently interested in.

Also consider the variety in followers we have, we have brand new people to Android, people who like Android but aren’t gung ho into it, Android Enthusiasts, Ecosystem partners, Android Developers and modders. Based on this variety and what’s hot we rank our posts, a top ranked post gets tweeted once by word press automatically, then we do a manual bit.ly link almost immediately following and then based on the ranking we tweet it out 32-56 times over the next 2-5 days.  If it’s really hot we’ll post it every 40 minutes for the first couple of hours.

Now consider some of our top retweeters and people we know that follow us religiously and have for a while (Thank you again) we’ve noticed, and you may have too, that even these folks who are on twitter all day may actually retweet something that was fresh 7 hours ago.

Now Robin’s piece was focused on Hashtags and not actual tweets but it tells the same story. We want you to read Robin’s post so we aren’t going to re-post the whole thing but link to it here

Here’s what Robin Sloan writes to explain the graph

“The vertical axis (P) is a fraction of Twitter users tweeting with a particular hashtag. The horizontal axis (K) is the number of times they had seen that hashtag before tweeting with it. So basically, the graph is telling us: You need to see a hashtag four or five times before it really clicks.”

Robin summarizes by saying that if you use a hashtag repeat it, users are more likely to pick it up and retweet it after more exposures.

Now back to MMMBop at a radio station in Washington DC the 8th largest market in the country, Mmmbop actually played on the radio station 214 times before it started requesting on the phone lines.

Source: Twitter Media and Robin Sloan


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  1. Recently I started following various things on Twitter – too many to read. Ones that re-tweet a lot get placed into separate lists. I rank the lists for noise. Yours is definitely the most noisey.

  2. I have to say this is a very interesting perspective, and I thank you for sharing your success with the way you approach tweeting as a form of top 40’s advertising. I have never thought of that before, and it makes so much sense. 

    Honestly, I have had you on my twitter for a while, but sort of just ignored your tweets on the wayside, but then now here I am scouring your site at a ater time because of it.

  3. Bravo.

    I hit your profile to see exactly how often you were tweeting, as it had only just started to irk me (the delay was thanks to your brilliant rewording of every tweet; far less obtrusive).

    I clicked this link before I got any further. I’ve got to hand it to you; acknowledging the act and explaining/justifying it as you have is commendable. Though it may be a minor inconvenience to me, I must respect you for being both courteous yet steadfast in your convictions.


  4. Clearly, I’m still a follower and a supporter. I will say, it does sometimes get irritating to see the same posts tweeted over and over, but I get the philosophy (and have utilized it myself, on my little curling blog (usacurl.blogspot.com)), and really, it’s not a big deal, since you do provide significant content. Thanks for acknowledging what you are doing and giving a reason.

  5. on the contrary we didnt start as a site we started as a twitter feed and if it was really that bothersome we’d see a significant dip in followers, but thanks

  6. I think you’ve sort of missed the point, though. Nobody is saying it’s not effective – it absolutely is. If you want clicks and retweets and exposure then post that same story over and over again and you’ll get it.

    If the tactic didnt work twitter wouldn’t be full of spammers using the same trick.

    What we’re saying is that it’s annoying and inconsiderate. That’s why none of the other tech sites do it.

  7. thanks for not unfollowing. The original post by Sloan is about hashtagging but the same conclusion with repetition can be drawn.

  8. Blown away, this use to bug the hell out of me and I honestly came very close to unfollowing TDG. The fact that you have acknowledged this with reason however makes me think highly of this site and I must say.. as much as it annoyed me, I never hit that unfollow button.

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