Twitter campaigns need quality over quantity, MLB study shows
“Slow and steady wins the race” – a seemingly irrelevant saying in the fast-paced and highly-competitive arena of social media marketing, but research suggests this motto might be the key to drawing in the crowds on Twitter.
Assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri, Nicholas Watanabe, recently conducted a study with several other researchers from neighbouring universities looking at how Major League Baseball (MLB) teams in the US are using Twitter to appeal to fans and found what they believe might be the key to brand engagement.
The researchers followed 30 MLB teams on Twitter for just over a year, keeping a watchful eye on their followers and activity.
While it may be tempting to hammer out dozens of tweets a day, the study found that posting original content on Twitter over a long period of time is enough to increase followers and encourage engagement.
In this particular scenario the researchers found that the baseball teams that posted original content, such as scores or player profiles, on a consistent basis had a more positive affect on the number of Twitter followers than the team’s performance on the field or by increasing the number of posts per day.
While field performance was a factor – with teams undergoing a winning streak experiencing a spike in followers and engagement while the opposite was true for teams on a losing run – the researchers found the number of tweets over time was far more important.
“This shows that while teams’ social media producers can’t necessarily control success on the field, they can make a difference in maintaining fans by continuing to create social media content to engage existing fans and potentially bring in new ones,” Professor Watanabe said.
No “i” in “team”, but there is one in “Twitter”
While focusing on your brand’s main Twitter profile should definitely be your priority, individual profiles can also play an important part in the team effort. If you have “social-friendly” employees, who are building their own presence on relevant social media sites, they could have beneficial halo effect for your business.
For example, the Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr of the Spanish club FC Barcelona maintains a consistent presence on social media, and has amassed over 18 million followers on Twitter and a further 19.6 million on Instagram. That means anything he shares or endorses gets in front of a huge number of relevant eyeballs.
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Posted by Dylan Brown