Twitter Study: Count Clickthroughs, Not Retweets
Retweets are an effective way to acknowledge great content on Twitter, which makes them a great benchmark for tracking your content’s popularity. But you might want to reconsider how much weight you put behind this metric.
Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella looked at more than 2.7 million tweets that included links and found that there’s almost no correlation between retweets and clicks. This means that many individuals will blindly retweet something without even looking at it.
Out of the 2,728,452 link-containing tweets analyzed, Zarrella found that 14.64 percent of the retweeted tweets had zero clicks. Additionally, 16.12 percent had more retweets than clicks. While this can be great for building awareness (and your ego), it’s a pretty empty metric.
An earlier study found that if you ask your followers to “RT,” you’ll get a 12 times higher retweet rate than if you don’t. Spelling out “retweet” raises it to 23 times higher. But be careful what you ask for. Zarrella warns that while you might receive more retweets — confirming that your followers are, in fact, listening to you — you’re still pulling in fewer clicks.
While hundreds of retweets are great confidence-builders, it doesn’t provide you with an accurate representation of how your followers are interacting with your content. We recommend paying closer attention to which links your followers are clicking on.