Magazine Twitter accounts with the highest click-through rates tend to be aimed more directly at the reader and to give the reader a clearly defined reason to engage, according to an analysis by Patrick Scott in the second of a series of three posts.
When analysing the engagement on the Twitter accounts of regional newspapers we saw that one of the key factors was how conversational the newspaper was with its followers. But does this still apply when dealing with national publications?
In this post we will see that there is less evidence to suggest that following a larger proportion of your followers is a signal for higher levels of engagement.
However there is a greater disparity between magazines who are successful in engaging their followers and those who are not with one magazine attracting as many as 3.5 clicks for every 100 followers and one attracting as few as 6 clicks for every 10,000.
Twitter click through on magazine accounts
Twitter is a curious beast because of the potential it has to make content go viral. However, there is no hard and fast formula for writing an engaging tweet and we will see that some magazines are really struggling to do so.
I analysed the twitter accounts of 10 well established UK based magazines, covering a wide range of topics and owned by a range of companies. The results are displayed in the graph below.
- Stuff Magazine tops the list with an extremely impressive 3.5% of followers clicking through and Empire also does well with 1.28%.
- British Vogue does the worst of the 10 with only 0.06% of followers clicking through.
Followers per followed – less important for magazines
In the first post of this series we saw that regional newspapers that have a better following per followed ratio tend to have a higher level of engagement. This correlation doesn’t exist in the data for magazines.
The ‘Followers Per Followed’ number is the relationship between the number that follow a Twitter account and the number that the account itself follows. For example, the Empire Magazine Twitter account follows 1 person for every 632 followers it has.
When flicking between the graphs on the interactive version of the chart, we can see that it doesn’t really matter how many people you follow. Stuff Magazine follows a far higher number of people relative to the number of followers it has than Empire, but both of them have a high click through percentage.
The Private Eye account doesn’t follow anybody (I gave it a value in the graph above purely so it wouldn’t skew the rest of the data) and yet it gets the third highest percentage of followers clicking through.
It seems that followers do not require their magazines to follow them back. This could be because they are national publications and in contrast to regional newspapers do not cater to a local community. Or it could simply be that magazines are able to engage without following back.
Magazines can afford to have a more asymmetrical twitter account.
Tweets with a simple goal are more engaging
It may seem like an obvious statement to make, but tweets which provide the reader with a clear way to engage get a higher percentage of click throughs.
Some magazines do this better than others. For example, Empire is very good at focusing the reader with the first word of a tweet.
‘Here’s Russell Crowe’ immediately makes it apparent what the reader will get when they engage with the tweet. It did very well, attracting over 7,500 clicks. In contrast, this tweet from Rugby World Magazine is less specific and only attracted 117 clicks despite the fact that the link was tweeted 3 times.
It is also interesting to note that informal tweets, like the Empire tweet, tend to do better than tweets, like the Rugby World tweet, that sound more like news headlines.
Tweets from national newspapers are more engaging when they pique the interest of the follower than when they directly promote content.
Stuff magazine uses more hashtags in comparison to the other magazines and this could be a reason why it does so well. By using a hashtag other people using that hashtag will be able to see your tweet whether they are following you or not.
Magazines won’t alienate people if they have a poor followed per follower ratio, so they can afford to try and reach as many people as possible with their tweets.
Magazine groups: IPC Media and Conde Nast have the lowest engagement
On a company level IPC Media and Conde Nast do poorly in comparison to their competitors in terms of both click through percentage and the less important measure of retweet percentage.
It is interesting to note that these are two of the companies in charge of the most magazine titles. It would be interesting to know if each publication within these companies was allowed to formulate its own tweets or whether there was an overall policy on tweet composition implemented by the companies.
*Disclosure: Patrick is a student of mine on the MA in Interactive Journalism