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.,

This means when you use a tweet shortening service (either directly within Twitter or using a tool such as 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: and 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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