Twitter metrics reveal curation wins over original contentTweet
When I was researching the best skills for a Community Manager to have, one of the qualifications that came up was this: a combination of head (penchant for analytics and measurement) and heart (warm, welcoming personality).
And I still maintain that the best way to build one's Twitter presence is though being a caring, personable, generous person, rather than by primarily gaming the analytics. My top Twitter tips are usually "be a real person, not a brand" and "listen, ask questions, be thoughtful and fun."
So I was a bit disheartened when I delved into my new favorite Twitter analytics tool, Twitalyzer, to see the clickthrough rates of the last week's Tweets. What I saw surprised me for one primary reason: the type of Tweet that consistently got the most clickthroughs, on a daily basis, was not original content spilling from my brain, helpful links to popular events or even single reTweets of valuable content.
It was an automated Tweet.
More specifically, it was the Paper.li "newspaper" of the most popular Tweets and links aggregated from my Social Media Favorites list and formatted into a daily newspaper-type format. (Uses for Paper.li papers here.)
What was remarkable is that this daily automated Tweet, with almost no effort on my part, provides content that is so compelling that it averages ten times the number of clickthroughs as any of my original content Tweets.
Ten. Times. As in, my last few Slideshare posts have averages about 20 clickthroughs each, and the Paper.li Social Media Favorites Tweet averages about 220 clickthroughs.
Anyone else beginning to fear the robot apocalypse? Are robots more relevant than humans?
In this case, as one of my favorite social media strategists, Kristy Bolsinger, pointed out, this just means that followers are enjoying the luxury of the filter. In short,
It's the curation that matters.
Paper.li takes the most popular links from the folks I have deemed my favorite social media experts and aggregates them. What's actually happening is that my followers are telling me, loud and clear, that they value curated and aggregated content.
Each link by itself might be relevant, but what's most relevant is the algorithm that organizes the links from the preferred friends list and presents them in a curated, hierarchical and consistent format. As Micheal Foley said, "It's a consistently branded, well-known experience. I know what I'm getting every time I see that tweet in my stream."
And it's worth mentioning that this is the least self-promotional Tweet type of all: the content is aggregated from my valued friends, not from any of my own content. There is no Heidi here, just what Heidi's friends have posted and clicked on.
I'm not going to stop reTweeting or positing original content any time soon, but this information does reinforce one very strong concept of the social web: in the age of information overload and filter failure, the highest value is placed on targeted, curated content.
Score one for the robots.