We’ve had a lot of questions from newsrooms about the impact of Twitter’s changes on their bottom line. Folks are worried that without Twitter, they’ll see declines in traffic that will be hard to bounce back from.
Well, we’ve crunched the numbers, and found that, unsurprisingly, Facebook is driving the vast majority of your social referrals. Customers tell us that they’re still seeing more than 90 percent of social clicks coming from Facebook – sometimes as high as 97 percent.
Twitter has traditionally been a favorite social network for journalists, who use the platform for covering news in real time. “Twitter has always been a necessity in the newsroom, especially in regard to breaking news. Our teams find the latest information just through scouring their feeds,” says Natalie Newport, Project Manager, Digital Strategy for Spectrum Networks. “Facebook is where journalists go to connect with viewers, Twitter is where journalists go to get the latest update.”
While we recognize the value of Twitter as a newsgathering tool, the truth is – it’s not delivering nearly as many social referrals as Facebook. Facebook announced changes to its algorithm in July 2022, saying that they would deprioritize news in the Facebook Feed. While we did see a moderate decline in clicks over the next couple of months, overall traffic has since bounced back to the same levels we were seeing in the first half of 2022.
“Most of our sites have had Twitter automated through SND Autopilot, and before that other tools and RSS feeds, for many, many years.”Jennifer Hefty, Social and Emerging Platforms Strategist for the USA TODAY Network
Compared to Facebook, the low return on Twitter traffic doesn’t justify the effort of manually posting multiple times a day. “Comparatively speaking, Twitter has not really competed with Facebook as far as website referrals – not even close,” says Jennifer Hefty, Social and Emerging Platforms Strategist for the USA TODAY Network. “Most of our sites have had Twitter automated through SND Autopilot, and before that other tools and RSS feeds, for many, many years.”
Automating Twitter publishing can ensure that you’re getting the incremental traffic Twitter can offer, while freeing up more time to focus on other social platforms that offer better results. “The automation has been a two-fold strategy: give users on Twitter an updated feed of our latest content, but also free up manpower to explore other features (like threads, Twitter Spaces and video) and other platforms where we see the potential for more growth with our target audiences,” Hefty says.
Even with Facebook driving so much traffic, we still recommend diversifying your traffic sources as much as possible, and continuing to develop new audiences. Social News Desk’s suite of tools offers a simple way to automate content publishing to multiple social networks, including Instagram and LinkedIn. SND’s Facebook Messenger integration also gives newsrooms an additional touchpoint with their followers, by delivering an automated – but personalized – daily digest to subscribed users. It’s yet another opportunity for passive social traffic, without adding additional work for busy digital managers.
Need help getting started? Our Client Success team is ready to help you set up Autopilot for your Twitter accounts (and anywhere else you’d like to save time and effort!). Get in touch with us at email@example.com or email your Client Success Manager directly to learn more.