I spoke on the topic of search optimisation and podcasting at the recent SIPA conference and was really interested to hear a presentation by Craig Hanna from e-consultancy (e-consultancy.com is a great resource for all things Internet Marketing).
Craig spoke on the topic of using Twitter in practice and as you can probably guess it was a really popular topic. I had already asked how many people were using Twitter and at least 30% of the room said they were. I then asked who knew why they were Twittering. About 80% of the hands went down.
I think one particular part of Craig’s presentation could answer this question for most people.
Essentially what Craig demonstrated was that a very high percentage of the traffic driven to your site by using Twitter doesn’t actually come from the Twitter site or other Twitter tools. Essentially, people are reposting tweets into their blogs, emailing links found in tweets to their friends, using social bookmarking tools to spread links and referring to points made in Tweets in discussion forums.
Craig demonstrated this by looking at some site analytics and showing the very low level of visits directly from Twitter. However, when you looked in the tracking for the Bit.ly* links within the Tweets you can see the number of times they have been clicked on from various different sites.
Try this out and let us know what kind of results you are getting – particularly the percentage of traffic directly from Twitter vs. the volume from elsewhere.
*Bit.ly shortens URL’s so they fit into your Tweets nicely. You can set up TweetDeck.com to use Bit.ly as your default url shortener and automatically gives you the tools to see how many people have clicked on your Bit.ly links. By only posting the Bit.ly link in your tweet you can then see how many people clicked on the link overall and what impact your tweets are having outside of Twitter.