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What Is More Powerful For Traffic: Twitter, Facebook Or Google+? [DATA]

Who ever thought that the 3 titans in Social Networking are stale and can’t adopt fast must have been quite surprised. Facebook continues to roll out changes rapidly and in such a disruptive manner any startup can learn from. Twitter, very similarly continues to innovate at a fast pace, showing impressive stats.

With Google + recent roll out of their API, they made sure to keep the ball rolling and keep us on the edge of our seats. But how does it all work out for your traffic? The most important question that we as users, marketers, small business or else would like to have answered is:

Which Networks Should You Post To, To Get The Most Out Of Your Time Spent?

Kevin Rose, Founder of Digg, conducted a very interesting experiment recently. He posted the same message to Twitter, Facebook and Google+. This is interesting for many reasons. He has a huge following on all 3 networks, which means that a statistical analysis makes absolute sense I believe.

Kevin has:

  • 1.2 Million Followers on Twitter
  • 225,000 subscribers on Facebook
  • 129,000 followers on Google+


In The Short Run Facebook And Twitter Win, Google+ Loses

About one hour after Kevin posted the link that he was testing, the results were the following:

So in a list again:

  • Twitter: 2,053 clicks (1.2M followers)
  • Facbook: 2,203 clicks (220K subscribers)
  • Google+: 350 clicks (129K followers)

This is interesting for many reasons. Both Facebook and Twitter drive enormous traffic for Kevin. Google+, whilst still driving great traffic leaps behind substantially, at least in the short run.

Also, Twitter proves its power of spreading fast and in a very short space of time. What surprises me a little here is that Facebook too had such strong engagement even after the first hour.


Comparing Results For Clicks On Twitter, Facebook and Google+ In The Long Run

Then, about 17 hours later Kevin took another look to see how clicks have changed over time. Here are the updated stats:

Now, obviously the most interesting fact is that Google+ comes back strong and reaches a solid 2,500 clicks. It also shows that the life of a Tweet is a lot longer than I had expected.

Facebook ends up coming out on top with a staggering 8000 clicks. It clearly shows that Facebook has done something right with the new subscription system.


Is A Comparison Of Facebook Fan/Twitter Follower Per Click Appropriate?

One comment from Kevin I found very interesting. He mentioned that Facebook gives him by far the best follower to click ratio. What I like to ponder here is whether the dynamics of a follower versus a fan/subscriber are the same.

With the analysis of Kevin’s post, he received this ration of click per person on all the people following him on Social Networks:

  • Twitter is 0.171%
  • Facebook is 1.001%
  • G+ is 0.271%

Now, this stresses his personal findings even further. Also, given that the new Facebook features have only been around for a few days and Google+ only for a few months we could say this will only get more.

Evidently, the dynamics of the various Social Networks are very different. And they are changing very fast too. Yet, here is one thought that would suggest a completely different conclusion of all of Kevin’s findings:


Twitter Sends More Traffic Than Facebook And Google+ Combined

There I said it. Yes, indeed, I propose that given Kevin Rose’s analysis, this could and should be seen as his actual results. It is Twitter which drives the most absolute traffic, not Facebook or Google+. Why? The answer is very simple. The posting frequency is very different between the two networks. Twitter is a lot more agile here and you can post a lot more often.

On Facebook, Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist has found that optimal posting frequency is 0.5 updates per day. On Twitter, it isn’t. The optimal frequency for Twitter is 1-4 times per hour. Now say that Kevin would be very conservative and only post 10 times per day. This would be his actual results after one day:

Facebook: 4000 Clicks

Twitter: 50,000 Clicks

Now, how is that? The dynamics of Twitter are such that you can easily Tweet this many times and still see tremendous results. Using the power of Twitter more actively would give Kevin a huge return in overall traffic.


How To Make Twitter Your Most Powerful Social Network

So having presented this, I believe Kevin could easily turn Twitter into his most powerful social network by far.

If Kevin were to have a routine of continually posting 10 great content Tweets with links every day, he would harness the 5,000 clicks per Tweet tenfold.

Without aiming to tell Kevin in any way how he should handle his Twitter account, I believe a routine of a fixed output of 10 daily Tweets with links would even increase clicks over time on each of them. One account that uses Twitter to its fullest power for this is @TweetSmarter. Dave Larson posts dozens of well researched and relevant Tweets each day and receives hundreds of clicks on each of them.

This doesn’t need to take long and can be done by just spending a few minutes each day.


This is the exact technique we are using for the Buffer Twitter account. Every day, we are posting 10 great Tweets and get now an average of 50-100 clicks per Tweet. This means about 500-1000 clicks per day at about 25,000 followers.

Over to you now. Do you think Kevin could actually make Twitter a lot more powerful than now? Could you also make Twitter more powerful with a different Twitter routine for yourself?


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