Thursday 11 October 2012

It's not just what you say, it's how you say it

In previous blogs looking at the activity of The Times dropping the paywall an hour at a time for selected articles, I've looked at the value of resending the same/similar message.  In this example, I look at the fact that it's not just follower volumes that's important it's relevance (and also the message itself).

In a piece on the recent sponsorship deal with Wonga for Newcastle United, George Caulkin rails against the increasingly depressing impact of business on football.  This was sent at 4pm on Tue 9th October with the article being free to view between 4pm and 5pm
This was retweeted by a few other people but as of 4.30pm had only had a few hundred clicks even though George has over 34k followers (not a bad resposnse for a tweet though).

By the end of the hour though, the link had been clicked over 2,600 times.

This was due in part to George promoting the article again with a follow up tweet:
This tweet was then retweeted at 4:42pm by Joey Barton who has 1.7m followers, creating the first of the two large spikes.  Joey had already promoted the article with the direct link (and had some Tweets back and fore with George).

The second spike was due in part a tweet at 4.52pm from Mirror reporter Ollie Holt which both praised the article and also reminded people that there was only a few minutes to go before the article was no longer free.
Despite the fact that Ollie Holt with 154k followers has less than a tenth of the followers of Joey Barton, it would appear that Holt has generated a greater response.

This will be for a number of reasons: the piece is personally endorsed rather than just retweeted (where it will appear as coming from George Caulkin with just details of 'retweeted by Joey Barton' at the bottom) and there is also a direct call to action: 'Read it quickly. Only free until 5pm'.

As mentioned in other posts, the details above are for visits using the Bitly link mentioned in the tweets, there will be cases where people have found it themselves or choose to link directly without the Bitly link so these figures are more the impact of initial tweets not the overall activity to that page.

It can sometime seem like Social Media is a whole new world and all the rules of marketing have changed but that's often not the case.  As can be seen from the impact of the enthusiastic endorsement of Ollie Holt's tweet combined with the time limited call to action a lot of the traditional methods of generating response are still valid.

Dan Barnett

Director of Analytics

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