I've been managing Kiva's social media initiatives as part of the community outreach team since Feb, and one of my biggest problems has been tracking metrics. Sure, "real time" web tools are all the rage, but none of them seem to suit my needs ( I want distributed Google Analytics for social media), so I've gone low tech; URL shorteners. Bit.ly to the rescue! I didn't quite understand this before, but a URL shortener like Bit.ly that provides metrics can serve as a decentralized stats tracking tool. Unlike something like Google Analytics where you have to have access to the site where you are tracking stats, with bit.ly you can release your unique shortened URL and you can track the stats wherever it goes!
I discovered the idea by accident, and posted a quick version of the test earlier, but for this post I wanted something a little more robust.
Kiva Twitter Accnt (on 6/12/2009) : 5,758 followers
Kiva Facebook Accnt (on 6/12/2009) : 44,039 fans
I was posting a link to the newly released Kiva App Directory and I wanted to track the clicks this link would get on Facebook vs. Twitter to get an idea of how engaging either service is. To do this I needed to create two different short URLs on services that provide real time link tracking.
Chart 1: Day 1 10am - 4:46pm
Chart 2: Friday 6/12 - Mon 6/15
Kiva's Twitter account, despite having significantly less followers compared to Kiva's Facebook account (6k to 44k), seems to have driven more clicks and faster. Even over the longer time frame, displayed in the second chart, we can see that Twitter (the blue line) drew increasingly higher rates of clicks when compared to the link that was posted on Facebook.
I'd guess that Twitter users are more active, and they're more interested in using the service for its real time qualities because so many people read it so quickly. The fact that the traffic kept growing also indicates that Retweeting has a lot of potential and can give a link staying power even if its not your most recent tweet. In comparison, Facebook's don't seem to aggressively monitor their feeds. The traffic took longer to build, and then it died off. This would indicate that "liking" or "commenting" things on Facebook doesn't necessarily drive continued traffic to it.
Original Facebook post with 43 "likes" and 9 comments:
My previous "quick test" yielded similar results. Though the facebook link had more clicks in the end, its not enough to account for the huge difference in the size of the audience (6k twitter vs 44k facebook). Twitter still seems to be driving a disproportionate amount of engagement compared to Facebook