Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Twitter today released a number of data points concerning the political impact of its service on voters and their donating habits. Obviously, the motive here is that as Twitter has found itself to be an effective tool to boost donation activity and change minds, it is soft-selling its services to political campaigns.
This stuff works, Twitter is saying, so get out that checkbook. Some folks are already listening. The Mitt Romney campaign, for example, has purchased Promoted Tweets in the past.
Now, to the data. The information was taken in concert with Compete, a web analytics company best known for its public – often controversial and inaccurate – estimations of traffic to various websites. Here are the key findings, as adapted by TNW:
- A normal Twitter user has a 68% higher likelihood of visiting a campaign donation page than a normal Internet user. Note: All statistics herein track users to donation pages, but not their final conversion rates; only campaigns have that information, and I doubt they are feeling too open.
- Twitter users that are shown political tweets are more likely than those not to visit a campaign donation page.
- Twitter is more effective at sending users to donation pages, rather than other political pages. In Twitter’s view, “[t]his means [t]weets don’t just drive Twitter users to political sites, [t]weets drive people to these sites with a greater intent to donate.” TNW isn’t so sure. It’s quite popular to share links of a certain variety on Twitter – those that are linked to donation pages. In short, it could be that Twitter sends more folks to donation pages simply because that’s the most common jumping off point for outbound political links.
- Finally, the more political tweets that a person sees, the higher the chance that they visit a donation page. If you see a political tweet “across three to seven separate days” that boosts your chance of visiting a donation page by 31%, when compared to the average Twitter user. That number rises as more tweets are shown.
What to make of all of this? Simply that Twitter, as a method by which information is disseminated, does in fact spread data, which impacts how people think. That sounds banal, but it’s true.
I’ll add a last thought. I suspect that a portion of the ‘lift’ that is found is not due to simple use of Twitter, but the fact that Twitter users are likely more technologically savvy – and thus educated, and therefore politically active – than the normal person. Food for thought.
Top Image Credit: ttarasiuk
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