State of the Twittersphere


Hubspot.com recently released its June 2009 State of the Twittersphere. Pretty interesting stuff. Here are the highlights:

  • 9% of Twitter users are inactive (meaning 91% are active)
  • The average user Tweets .97 times per day
  • 55.5% are not following anyone
  • 54.8% have never Tweeted
  • 52.71% have no followers
  • 1.44% of all Tweets are Retweets
  • The average user has a following-to-follower ratio of .7738

Wow. I can tell you from our perspective, it’s difficult to cultivate hard metrics on the benefits of Twitter use. Sure, we’re nearing 1,100 followers, but how many of those folks are actively listening to us? And how many were just searching for a follow-back?

One thing I do look at is Retweets. That’s clear evidence that people are finding value in our message, and those have jumped, especially during the special legislative session when the policy enthusiasts and businesses were captivated by what was going on.

The ultimate question is: Has Twitter enhanced our ability to get our message out? I’d say for us, the answer is certainly "yes," based on the feedback and communication its fostered with some of our followers. One problem we’ve run into in the past is that people think we are an arm of the government. Yet the truth is we’re a private, non-profit that often fights against the encroachment of government in the private sector. Thus far, I think Twitter has helped us remedy that to a degree among the general population, and it’s allowed us to show our current and potential members what we’re doing to combat and promote certain business-related legislation. It’s also allowed us to notify them about the myriad other services we offer to members and the business community.

While some social media initiatives are falling rather flat in my opinion — at least in terms of being useful from a business perspective (e.g. Facebook, although this could be due to user error, but it’s just difficult to engage people) — I’d say Twitter is quite valuable. And I’m not knocking Facebook, as I find it helpful and enjoyable as a personal tool. (Also, I love being asked how many questions I can answer about people I had one class with in high school, or to name my top 5 favorite 1980s cartoon villains… as these are all great uses of time.)

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