In October, we wrote about a noticeable drop in our new followers each month on Twitter, which we discovered as part of our routine monitoring efforts. We were concerned and wanted to understand why this change occurred. We also believe in transparency and sharing as a mechanism to learn, and in that spirit are providing a second blog update on this topic.
We’ve have been conducting a deeper dive analysis using Twitter’s built in analytics, which provide details on activity such as clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies.
We considered three factors in order to do our assessment:
- Impressions: the number of times a tweet has been seen, either in a user’s timeline or search results
- Engagement: the number of times a user clicks anywhere on a tweet. This includes replies, favorites, retweets, clicking the hashtag, expanding a photo, and more.
- Overall engagement rate: this is the number of engagements divided by impressions
(For more on what the above terms mean, see here.)
Here is a little of what we found:
- There has been a 37% drop in the average number of impressions when comparing 2014 to 2015. This is expected given the drop in new followers we encountered this Summer.
- Our engagement rate has stayed consistent, which we take as a positive sign that even as we see a reduction in our followers we continue to maintain steady engagement with our audience. Quality over quantity!
- Tweets that get the most exposure tend to have one of the following characteristics:
- They contain images (example here),
- They are educational and provide an opportunity to learn more (example here),
- They are part of a broader conversation such as breaking news or other memes(example here) or
- They express emotion such as remembrance of someone lost, or hope (example here).
We recognize that the nature of social media includes constant change, and that we need to evolve alongside our online community. This is not just something we share during our online training – Virtual Office Hours; it’s a practice we actively follow.
Using what we learn from this, combined with conversations with Twitter, peers, and colleagues, we are adjusting our engagement tactics to include more imagery, routinely joining ongoing memes such as #MondayMotivation and #FactFriday and increasing engagement with others who care as deeply about HIV prevention and treatment as we do.
If you have noticed changes in your Twitter data as well, we’d love to know more. Give us a shout on Twitter, or send us an email. And if you want to learn more about how to do a similar analysis for your own organization or account, why not sign up for a free one-on-one appointment through Virtual Office Hours?
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