Monday, April 12, 2010

How conversational are Twitter's power users in the social media space?

Stefano alerted me to a Twitter screenshot that suggests that a Twitter homepage redesign is coming. An interesting element of this redesign would include showing what percentage of the user's recent tweets were replies to other users. I've always been interested in how people use Twitter, especially as a conversation platform.

So Stefano's screenshot got me to wondering how some of Twitter's 'power' users are using Twitter, and what percentage of their tweets are replies. So I went to TweetStats, and pulled up the stats for a few dozen of Twitter's power users, and found the following. First you'll see their Twitter name (with link to their TweetStats), and then the percentage of their tweets that include a '@'. Now it should be noted that if a user leaves a tweet like "@bethharte just wrote this great post on SM ROI -", that would still be factored in the percentage, even though it obviously is someone mentioning Beth in a link, not replying to her. Still, the percentages give you a good idea of which power users and 'influentials' in the social media space are using Twitter as a conversational tool, and which aren't:

  1. ComcastCares - 95.34%
  2. AmberCadabra - 83.01%
  3. LizStrauss - 82.21%
  4. BethHarte - 78.04%
  5. JeffPulver - 74.94%
  6. KrisColvin - 72.84%
  7. MackCollier - 72.27%
  8. TheBrandBuilder - 71.96%
  9. JSPepper - 71.07%
  10. ShannonPaul - 69.79%
  11. GeekMommy - 69.32%
  12. MariSmith - 69.26%
  13. ConnieReece - 69.01%
  14. MediaPhyter - 67.87%
  15. MarketingProfs - 67.67%
  16. ConversationAge - 67.52%
  17. Armano - 64.09%
  18. ChrisBrogan - 61.2%
  19. ShelIsrael - 59.96%
  20. BeckyMcCray - 59.18%
  21. GaryVee - 58.28%
  22. MarshaCollier - 55.51%
  23. ServantofChaos - 54.81%
  24. CSPenn - 49.15%
  25. Loic - 48.17%
  26. Scobleizer - 47.67%
  27. JasonFalls - 46.51%
  28. PRSarahEvans - 45.55%
  29. ProBlogger - 44.85%
  30. CopyBlogger - 44.03%
  31. MissRogue - 40.24%
  32. GapingVoid - 39.93%
  33. GuyKawasaki - 29.04%
  34. BrianSolis - 28.48%
  35. Pistachio - 28.16%
  36. JOwyang - 26.09%
  37. SteveRubel - 25.05%
  38. MitchJoel - 17.4%
  39. SkyDiver - 11.99%
  40. Mashable - 3.77%

Now there are obviously a few caveats here. Some users, like Comcastcares and AmberCadabra, are using Twitter to provide customer service support as part of their jobs. So that partly accounts for their high reply percentages. On the flipside, some users like Mashable are using Twitter to mostly promote their own stories, so they have few replies. What I think would be interesting would be to see for each user what percentage of their tweets are promoting themselves, and what percentage are promoting someone else.

Still, I think it's an interesting list, take from it what you will ;)

PS: You can check your own Twitter stats by going here -


ArtseyC said...

That is interesting, Mack, especially in light of other recent conversations about the changes in [lack of] conversation by Twitter users. I'm just sad I wasn't included on the list. ;D

Stefano Maggi said...

Very interesting list, Mack. As you recently wrote in a good post of yours, Twitter is changing and it's getting harder to meet users who "engage" (interact, reply) a lot.

I think you're right: the percentage of users who engage a lot is lower than before, but it must be related not only to a change of the social network or to a change of behavior. It's important to consider that, with twitter welcoming a mainstream target, it gets a lot of "spectators" in the game, that lower the percentage of "creators" and "critics".

There is no right way to use twitter, but still it's interesting to see that so many "power" users are actually engaging a lot. Your list can be a good indicator.

Mack Collier said...

Stefano the only thing that really surprised me were how low some of the totals were. I know I am biased because it works so well for me, but the networking potential of Twitter is enormous. Seems too big to ignore, but I guess some people do fine using Twitter in other ways. And as you said, that's perfectly cool too.

rajanshu said...

Nice list, good work, we will find our ratio and and analysis of the all status messages and sent messages and Sent RTs and recived RTs analysis easily find there."Buzzom"

Dave said...

So @msgs only tell 10-20% of the story, at least in the case of our account at @Twitter_Tips.

This is because our DM interaction with people asking questions is about 5-10x our @msg interaction. These are conversations with people I've generally never chatted with before. And of course there are even more with associates, which I generally keep off the public timeline by DMing instead of @msgs.

Anonymous said...

Power users? You are missing @Scobleizer @FlipBooks @cheth @zaibatsu @AskaaronLee @chrisbrogan in this list!!!!!

Mack Collier said...

Anonymous, Chris is #18, and Scoble is #26. As for the others, never heard of them. Which doesn't mean they aren't power users, but there's a good chance I could have omitted some people I don't know ;)

Sarah Evans said...

Thank you for sharing this. I tend to connect with people primarily through DMs. I absolutely love that when I tweet @Comcastcares I receive a response...perhaps something I should keep in mind? Well, you've got me thinking. That could be dangerous. ;)


Mack Collier said...

Hey Sarah, that's a good point about communicating via DMs instead of replies. I think Guy once said he prefers to do the same thing.

Mana said...

Great post (#freshread). This analysis has so many possibilities - such as looking into how many unique users tweeps converse with (how far does the conversation extend?), who these users are (there are probably conversation bubbles/tribes within the social media space) etc. Very cool! :)

Robbin Phillips said...

Mack, this is awesome. Catching up on some reading today. I am fascinated with how people use this tool. Tweetstats. Very cool.

Beth Harte said...

Hey Mack!

How did I miss this's almost a month old?! Sorry!

Very interesting indeed... especially in light of people panicking today because they lost all of their followers. ;-)

I have to say Stephano is one smart guy and I am glad that he brought up this topic. I have never checked my reply percentage, so that's interesting -- thanks for the FYI. But, I enjoy talking with folks on Twitter, so it I s'pose the percentage makes sense.

Beth Harte
Client Services Director
Serengeti Communications

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