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Friday, 7 December 2012

How BBC Breaking News Track Individual Tweets

In a previous blog I mentioned how it's possible to separately track the activity of numerous tweets that all point to the same page by adding dummy text to the web address e.g., www.analysismarketing.com/#blogtest

This means when you use a tweet shortening service (either directly within Twitter or using a tool such as Bit.ly) each unique address e.g., /#01, /#02 will be given a different shortened link.  Without this, every time you tweet a link to the same page it generates the same shortened link making it difficult to attribute activity to individual Tweets.

A good example of an organisation that puts this in to the practise is the BBC with the @BBCBreaking account.  Depending on how big a story is, there might be several tweets linking to the same article.  An example of this was the arrest of Max Clifford.

@BBCBreaking sent out two tweets, one at 1:11pm and one at 1:19pm on Thursday 6th Dec.  Both were to the same webpage but as there were dummy details added, they have separate short-codes:
Click-Through volumes from the two tweets.  The first is around 40% higher overall but the response curves have similar patterns
The two tweets have different addresses: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20627765#TWEET424921 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20627765#TWEET424943 but go to the same physical page (i.e., everything from the # onwards gets ignored).

If you're promoting the same article/page on numerous occasions, this method is a way of tracking the individual piece of activity that has driven that click.  This principle works across wherever you put the weblink (Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Email etc.,) and gives you a lower level of detail than would otherwise be available.


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