Twitter: The New Traffic Generator

This past week, I have sought to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past year that has made Twitter a resourceful tool for various purposes, including networking and ministry.  What I want to do in conclusion is prove through those posts that Twitter is the new traffic generator.

Prior to the popularity of Twitter, one a few options with the hope of a blogpost going viral.  Trackbacks (or pingbacks), RSS subscription, post aggregation, and social bookmarking (digg and delicious in particular) were the primary catalysts for traffic growth.  While these are still playing a role in blogging, one cannot help but see the explosive impact a well networked tweet can go to launch a blogpost far beyond the normal boundaries of typical blog influence.  Allow me to use this week’s posts as examples.

“Don’t Waste Your Tweets” Case Study:

1.  On Tuesday at 2:10pm, I published a post entitled “Don’t Waste Your Tweets.”  At 2:18, I plugged it on my Twitter.

2. Within three minutes, I began getting retweets (RT’s) from those in my Twitter network. Here are the first responses from Tweetdeck.  By the end of the first hour, I had 17 RT’s–more than any other time prior to this tweet.  What each of those RT’s represents is a person with a network of their own saying to them, “Hey, ought to read this! This tweet has value.”

3. Six hours in, I had 30 RT’s, and it already started get viral, going from my network to 2nd-tier network and onto 3rd-tier networks.  For example, Bob Kauflin was a first-tier RT, and from his network, 12 additional people RT’d his RT.  After three levels of networks, I lost track, but eventually Twitter Tips–a leading secular Twitter aggregator–picked up on my blogpost and encouraged its network of 80,000+ followers to read and RT as well.

4. From the two shortened URL’s (here and here), you will see that one tweet ended up with 90 RT’s.  In the blogosphere, that is like having 90 blogs recommending your blogpost in trackback fashion (outside the Puritan Reading Challenge, that has never happened to me).  The six hour referral chart, then looked like this:

referrals-chart

As you can see, almost all the traffic was generated from Twitter and Facebook (see my integration post for the connection).  For the entire week, Twitter and Facebook have comprised 80% of all my referrals, and here’s the traffic generation spike as a result:

twitter-traffic-generation

Through the use of networking via Twitter, I saw blog traffic nearly triple–many of the readers coming from sources who have never visited my blog before.  I could show you almost identical cases with my two other posts–Twitter for the Local Church and Integrating Twitter with Facebook and Blog–to verify that this is not an anomaly. Those who write persuasively on their blog and network effectively through their Twitter can and should expect to see traffic generation on their websites.  Twitter is growing exponentially faster than blogging and replacing the community aspect that blogging once held solid ground.  If people want a conversation, they go to Twitter; if people want substantive interaction, they will go to the blog.  Knowing the purposes of each, integrating them well, and building an internet presence through leveraging these platforms will work to generate maximum impact and perpetuating influence.

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5 Comments on “Twitter: The New Traffic Generator”

  1. Ed Trefzger Says:

    I appreciate the write up and information, Tim. But I’m starting to get concerned over all the time Twitter is apt to consume and all of the bland minutiae I see on it. “Having a meeting at Sbux with so-and-so.” “Still sitting at the airport.” “I’m enjoying soup for lunch.” “I’m shopping at Wal-Mart.” “Having a date with my smoking hot wife.” (The last one is for the New Calvinists.)

    Thirty seconds a tweet times 20 a day for a whole year is more than 60 hours. And that doesn’t count the time and attention spent in following them.

    We certainly are blessed with great tools of communication in our modern age, and we can be a witness on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. I’m just worried, though, about what it does to our time — which cumulatively could be a lot and which could be spent in prayer or with someone in person — and what it consumes of the emotional capital we have.

    None of those technologies are good or bad in themselves. It’s all about how we use them.


    • Ed,

      You can customize Twitter with filters or blockers to remove those things which are not worth reading in your opinion. I follow a specific group of people, most of whom I have some relation to outside of Twitter. I think people need to know why they are using Twitter and implement a strategy that provides boundaries for its existence in their normal life.

      Social media does require a little time during the day, but what I’ve put in, the dividends have paid off.

  2. Ben C Says:

    Hey there Timmy.
    Where does FB fit into your paradigm for interaction? You spoke of Twitter and Blogs, but is FB becoming obsolete? You mentioned in a past post that you have two separate groups that follow you, one on Twitter, and one on FB. Do you think over time those groups will converge either on Twitter or FB?

    I do appreciate Ed’s comment above. When I was following everyone I knew on Twitter, I spent more time reading their tweets than I had to give! And if I don’t read them, why should I assume they’re reading mine, or if they are, aren’t I wasting their time, too? Just a thought.


    • Ben,

      What’s up bro? Yeah, I failed to mention Facebook in my title, but if you look at the referral list above, Faebook is on three of the top six referrals. However, this is due to Twitter being synced to Facebook I think more than Facebook as a self-generating source.

      I actually spend very little to no time on Facebook, unless a comment warrants a response from me. I breeze through my Twitter stream looking for particular things, so I kind of use it as a replacement but in time and purpose as my Google Reader. My desktop is setup via Tweetdeck to allow me to see updates while working on other projects, so I tend to multitask, preventing me from having to scroll much looking for stuff.

      Regarding the convergence of Facebook and Twitter, if you look at the new Facebook look, it is an almost imitation of Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are now integrated on Tweetdeck. There is obviously something going on, but I don’t think one will replace the other. Twitter is more rapid fire and intended for networking with others in a futuristic manner; Facebook is more nostalgic and intended to network with others in a “traditional” manner (that is, those in your past).


  3. […] Twitter Is Not Real * Twitter – The New Traffic Generator * Twitter for the Local Church * Don’t Waste Your Tweets * Why I Use Twitter Share […]


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