22 December 2009

Twitter vs. LinkedIn

Thanks to many of you who follow me on Twitter for participating in an experiment the past day or so: to see the effect on Ad Majorem’s traffic by mentioning content only on Twitter.

I’ve been wondering about Twitter. When I first joined in April 2007, nobody else was using it. By the time I launched this blog just three months ago, Twitter was all the microblogging rage.

Yet LinkedIn has generated most of the blog’s traffic. In a way this is logical since LinkedIn and this blog are both devoted to business topics. Most of my contacts on LinkedIn would have an interest. The blog's content by nature will be more relevant to that audience.

Then again, many of my friends on Twitter have some connection to marketing and advertising, too. So why weren’t my tweets having the same effect as my LinkedIn status updates? To understand this a little better, I've stopped posting updates to LinkedIn for the past two days and used only Twitter.


Do not try this at work. Most social media strategies do not rely on a single platform to start a dialogue with your target. In my case this is a low-risk experiment since it's just Steve's personal blog and not some new media venture funded with venture capital.

So what happened?

Overall traffic was about the same the past two days. LinkedIn's percentage of visits went down, but still accounted for 21.6% of visits based on leads posted last week. Twitter is on an upward slope, but still only 18.5% of visits. On the other hand, Twitter was the leader in pages per visit (1.44) and new visitors (61.1%). The biggest source of visits is still Direct Traffic -- people who come to the site by entering the URL or perhaps having it bookmarked -- holding steady at about 32.9% of visits.

Content matters

To start this experiment, I asked people to retweet a very generic notice: “a blog all about #marketing and #advertising”. Even though many of you retweeted it, the results weren't anything special. The same day, without any special effort, I tweeted something a little more intriguing: “The product we advertised will polish the award we won for advertising it.” The results were a little more intriguing, too: lots of retweets, strong pageviews, and new followers on the blog as well as on Twitter. Why? Content matters. If the content is pedestrian, not even retweets will generate interest. If the content is interesting, however, it will generate interest – and retweets. No big news there. Some rules of Ye Olde Marketing still apply in the New Media Universe.

I’m going to continue using the Twitter-only system for the next couple of weeks and see what happens. This will be a test of my copywriting ability. If you like what you read and think others would, too, then please retweet. Otherwise just move on to whatever the Muppets are singing this week.

A big "thank you" to those who have helped so far. Please continue the karma by following these kind souls: @adlandjones, @TheYaffeGroup, @MargotMHorn, @robbiew, @joshi_mridul, @maedrolet, @robbdotcom, @saman325, @eermm, @mjulius4, @lilmissjen, @DrumsForAds, @Absatzlehre, @michaelleander, and of course my corporate masters @Draftfcb.


  1. Steve,
    Kudos to you for conducting your "test." The only way to learn is through experimentation - just ask Thomas Edison.

    Like you, I'm not surprised at your results. "Old" advertising and media principals -- e.g., your point about content matters (compelling, captivating is always better than boring, mundane - be it print, TV, radio or Twitter). Supports what I've contended throughout my years in marketing -- tactics and tools may change, but principals tend to hold true.

    Looking forward to hearing how the rest of your experiment goes.

  2. Thanks, Ted. I've actually had fun during my Christmas vacation experimenting a bit with Twitter -- and learning more about how it really works. Sometime in January I'll post some more thoughts about it. Thanks for reading AND for commenting! You're a mensch.