Tuesday 16 February 2010

The Secret to Attention is Attraction - And This Is It

Tim Kastelle's "Get better ideas, not more" inspired me to this post. It's a good post about how quality is better than quantity, and I left a comment, which led to this.

Tim's post is comparing two tweets by Tim O'Reilly to the traffic they generated. They were to two different blog posts, one of which was his own. The other one went almost viral with around 14,000 views, his one got stuck with "about an order of magnitude less"

Since I've been tweeting I've been blogging, now for almost a year. I really love the circle of inspiration as I dub the magnetude (sic!) of Twitter and blogs combined: tweets lead to @replies and ReTweets, draw
your attention towards blogs, make you comment in thought or on web, and lead to blog posts or tweets of your own. It's one big dialogue with the world!
Since late last year, I've also been blogging at my company's, with more or less the same posts that I've blogged about on my own site. I tweet about my posts here, and there, and others do that too.
Since a little while, I also use dlvr.it to keep track of some tweets and URL's, their clicks and their views, as I find stats highly interesting.
What has been baffling me, is that my posts on this site get 50-75 clicks on average, with 1-3 tweets. When I publish my posts on my company's site, they average 25 clicks, usually with 8-10 tweets! No easy math there, but it's kept me busy for the last two weeks:

how does a tweet lead to (a view of) a blog post?

Here's what I commented to Tim's post, in short:

All that counts is the exact phrase of the original tweet, and the add-on content by the ReTweeter – because it is the content of the tweet only what will make people click.
Reading tweets is much like speed-reading: you pick a few words to get a general idea.
Only reading the first 3-5 words of a tweet is usually enough to assess its interest

Here’s my experiment, I told Tim: write any post, no matter what the content is. Have a great title for it, strong words, important words, up-to-date and hot words, superlatives, contradictions. Make a great tweet for that, and you’re halfway because a lot of people will just click the link because the tweet itself hooks their attention
The hard part: for others to retweet this, it needs to be a good post…

You're looking at that post now. I'm trying to give it that extra twist to increase the chance of it being retweeted. I'm very curious as to how the clicking part will go, but I trust it'll do okay.
By the way, I hope you don't feel like a guinea pig or disrespected, especially since you made it all the way to this sentence

My conclusion? People following me don’t retweet much, but like my posts (they keep clicking my tweets about new blog posts). My company’s followers retweet a lot, but don’t like my company’s posts much - they just retweet them a lot.
What does that say? I think that tweeps following me do that out of interest, and not because "I look good on them"
I’m an entirely different brand than my company… fortunately!

4 reacties:

Tim Kastelle said...

Interesting post Martijn - and thanks for the mention! The interplay between blogs and twitter is really interesting. Traffic on my blog has really taken off since I started using twitter - it seems to be very good for getting casual readers, and then a fair percentage of those seem to end up subscribing to the RSS feed.

So I'll be very interested to see how this post goes - both in terms of retweets and especially in terms of overall hits. Please report back!

Martijn Linssen said...

Well, guys and gals, I don't have much patience and it's over 24 hours since I posted this, so here's the score:

45 clicks with 5 tweets, way below average

That is well below my expectations, I thought a hungry mob would have devastated everything inhere by now, given the luscious title, picture and tweet

Maybe I overdid. Maybe I didn't. Maybe you don't care about secrets, attention or attraction. Maybe this post will turn out to be a black hole in the future. Anything goes. ?!

Thanks everybody, hope you're still with me. I'm contemplating on a comparison between Global Warming and Christianity for my next post - unless an urgent IT topic intervenes

Tim Kastelle said...

Well, it's hard to figure. I still can't tell in advance which of my posts will do well and which won't. I've had ones that I didn't like much go crazy, and I've had others that I love go nowhere.

In the end, I think all we can is just keep writing!

Martijn Linssen said...

Thanks Tim, I absolutely agree!

I'm still with your post though that got me started on this: quality over quantity any time

And well, to be honest, even if I had gotten hundreds of clicks with this cheesy attempt, I wouldn't have contributed in any way so yeah, I'll stick to writing ;-)

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