In the third and final post of this series Patrick Scott had a look at the click-through rate (CTR) of some famous individual Twitter users and found that those who do best tend to be political.
In the first post of this series we saw that regional newspapers that tend to do well on Twitter follow a larger proportion of people relative to the number of people following them.
Conversely, in the second post of the series we saw that this ratio of followers to followed is less significant for magazines. The successful magazine accounts tended to be more personable than personal and gave their followers a clear engagement pathway to go down.
In this post we will see that, like the regional newspapers, famous individuals with a higher CTR tend to have a better followers to followed ratio, although there are a couple of notable exceptions to this.
Twitter click-through for famous tweeters
Analysing the CTR of an individual is a great way of debunking the myth that the more followers you have the more influence you command. The media generally sets a lot of store by this myth and when Katy Perry overtook Justin Bieber as the most-followed person on Twitter it got a lot of coverage.
So, I had a look at Katy Perry’s Twitter account and those of 9 other celebs to see who actually commanded the most influence. The results are displayed below.
- Katy Perry comes 9th out of the 10 with only 0.06% of her 46 million plus followers clicking on the links she posts.
- Fleet Street Fox, the anonymous ex-national newspaper reporter tops the list with 0.95% of followers clicking through.
Followers per followed – important for famous tweeters
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, Katy Perry’s Twitter account follows 1 person for every 367,235 followers she has.
As you can see from the chart below (and via this interactive version) those tweeters who have a better (lower) followers per followed do better when it comes to CTR.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Stephen Fry has a reasonably good followers to followed score and yet comes 7th when it comes to CTR. This is probably due to a flaw in my method rather than anything else.
Fry tends to tweet out lots of charitable causes using bit.ly links but doesn’t use bit.ly links at other times. As a result the figures for Fry are probably slightly unrepresentative of his Twitter account as a whole.
Piers Morgan does quite well in terms of CTR, coming 3rd out of 10, but he doesn’t have a good followers per followed score, only following 1 person for over 5,000 followers.
Due to his work for CNN Morgan is almost more of a brand than an individual and this could explain why his followers per followed ratio is less important. His Twitter account succeeds even though it is asymmetrical and as such he has more in common with the magazines than the regional papers.
Another factor that comes into play is also the number of @ tweets that each person sends. Fleet Street Fox sends a lot of @ tweets and this helps build community. As such it is not surprising that Fleet Street Fox comes out on top in terms of CTR. More time has been invested in the community and the community has responded by engaging with tweets.
Politicians get retweeted more than you’d expect
One thing that I found quite amusing when analysing the data for the magazine accounts was the number of retweets that the New Statesman and Private Eye received in relation to their CTR. This conjured up an image of people retweeting these publications just so they can be seen to be doing so without having actually read the content themselves.
However, upon reflection, it’s probably more likely that those people who are more politically engaged are just more prone to retweeting messages that they support. This is certainly played out in relation to the accounts of the people I analysed.
The graph (above) shows that of the top four people for retweets, three are active politicians.
- Ed Miliband tops the tree with 0.058% of his followers retweeting him.
- Diane Abbott comes second with 0.042%.
- Fleet Street Fox is third with 0.014%…
- …and Boris Johnson fourth with 0.009%.
When compared with the previous posts on regional newspapers and magazines these people do disproportionately well in terms of retweets when taking into account their CTR.
Politicians have a ready-made audience who may be more likely to support their causes and retweet their tweets. As such it isn’t really too surprising that they do so well here.
*Disclosure: Patrick is a student of mine on the MA in Interactive Journalism