How often do you Tweet? How much return do you expect for your efforts on Twitter. After reading a post on @mikecj’s blog entitled, Is Twitter Losing It’s Value? I was reminded of some research I read that stated that 71% of tweets produce no re-action.

Replies and retweets on Twitter

Twitter is primarily a social networking tool. It’s main purpose when it first came out, and I believe still is, is to encourage conversation and networking.

Over the years people have seen the great power or retweeting (RT) and replying (@) of Tweets that would seem important and noteworthy. Marketers then jumped on the bandwagon and exploited this tool to gain network traffic to sites. Which is not a bad thing.

Problem is that many on Twitter only use it to spam or push their desired sites or marketing material. This perhaps has now watered down the power of retweets and it’s not what it once was.

29% of Tweets generate a reaction

Sysomos, a company involved in social media monitoring and analytics technology, analysed 1.2 billion tweets over a period of two months. What they found was really very interesting.

71% of tweets produced no reaction. That is out of 100 tweets that you tweet,71 of them have no effect on anyone as far as retweeting or replying is concerned.

29% actually produce a reaction. That is out of 100 tweets 29 solicit a reaction. Of those 29, only 6% are retweets. That is 6 out of 100 tweets get retweeted.

Granted that there are a lot of variables to consider, like amount of followers, time of day, niche etc. The short lifespan of a tweet has a huge impact on whether it has any reaction taken, if any at all. But the trends make for interesting reading. Makes you wonder if Twitter has as much RIO as so many make out.

The other interesting little factoid is that most retweets take place within the first hour of tweeting. A significant 92.4%. This means that if you are to get any return on your tweets then timing is of the essence.

Timing your tweets to get the best possible exposure within that first hour is crucial. Keep in mind the different time zones of your followers. Use these to your advantage.

Click through on URLS

In my own study I found out that people don’t click through on URLs posted as often as we would like. Most URLs get clicked on at an aggregated rate of between 0.5% and 2.5%. That means that out of 100 Tweets with URL you can expect between 1 and 2 clicks. If you tweet one URL and have 100 followers you can expect the same click through ratio. Makes you wonder if the effort you spend on Twitter is all worth it.

A Social media tool

Perhaps not the perfect scientific study, but enough to draw some conclusions. My conclusion is that Twitter is still a social media tool. A tool to encourage conversation and networking which has marketing benefits if done correctly.

Too much self promotion and spamming has resulted in the high percentage of no reaction and very little retweeting and click through. We need to seriously analyse how we use Twitter. My thought is that if we go back to using it as a social and networking tool then it will repay and we might just see those numbers turning around.

How are you using Twitter? How many times do you retweet and reply and click through on links?