Content Marketing Blog

Twitter beats traditional news providers to 60% of its most popular stories [STUDY]

Twitter beats traditional news providers to the most popular stories among its users, according to a new study.

Research published in the journal Plos One revealed that up to 70 per cent of the trending topics on Twitter that are also covered by traditional news providers appear on the micro-blogging service first.

The figures highlight the increasingly important role Twitter plays in breaking new stories as well as helping people share and promote the stories they care about.

“If we look at the news that is reported by both sources, more than 60% of it appears first on Twitter, while less than 10% appears first in the traditional media. The rest usually appears the same day,” the researchers said.

Their study looked at newspapers in Spain, the UK, the US and Canada. Spain showed the highest proportion of stories appearing first on Twitter, at 70%.

Promoting and creating news

Reporters mine Twitter for information, using tweets to add direct quotes to their articles and following the accounts of brands and celebrities in the hope of sniffing out a breaking story before the competition. They will also often use Twitter to promote their stories once they’ve been published.

Content marketers can use some of these same tactics to create great content for their brands.

Relevant tweets provide excellent building blocks for original blog articles. Twitter’s trending topics in your niche and the reaction of the Twittersphere to the content you share help you gain a better understanding of what your target market is most interested in, guiding your future content creation.

Socially-sourced blog content See some examples

Twitter looks to news for audience growth

Twitter has a big challenge when it comes to attracting new members. Audience growth has slowed and finding new people to sign up and start using the service is a top priority for stand-in CEO Jack Dorsey.

Announcing the company’s second quarter results last week, Dorsey admitted he was “not satisfied” with year-on-year growth of 15 per cent.

Twitter is often regarded as the number two social media brand to Facebook, but Facebook now has 1.49 billion users worldwide compared to Twitter’s 316 million. Twitter also faces competition smaller social media sites, such as Snapchat and Instagram, which are enjoying much faster rates of growth.

News is a big part of Twitter’s answer to its growth challenge. If the company can establish itself as an indispensable source of the news stories people care most about then it can remain relevant and win new users.

One of the many initiatives Twitter hopes will help it achieve that goal is Project Lightning, which will see the micro-blogging site set up its own newsroom, with experienced professionals curating tweets to provide live coverage of breaking stories.

Twitter has remained cagey about the project and has been reluctant to release many details. Recent reports suggest it will eventually be called “moments”.

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