What do the news outlets you follow on Twitter say about you? That’s what the folks at SocialFlow, the social media optimization platform, wanted to know, so they did a rigorous study of the audience of several of the most prominent news sources on Twitter, including the New York Times, The Economist, The BBC and Al Jazeera.
They found that each news organization had different audiences and saw different types of engagement, but there were some significant overlaps. Can you guess whether Fox News or Al Jazeera saw more engagement?
In actuality, SocialFlow found that both news organizations saw very high engagement, albeit engagement of two distinct types: Fox News generated substantially more click-throughs than Al Jazeera, but Al Jazeera’s audience retweeted and shared their content more than Fox News’.
And, just as another nail in the coffin of those who would say that follower count is the best metric to measure engagement: “the New York Times garners the fewest clicks per Tweet when audience size is normalized and earns many fewer retweets when compared to accounts that are much smaller.”
SocialFlow looked specifically at Al-Jazeera English (@ajenglish), BBC News (@bbcnews), CNN (@cnn), The Economist (@theeconomist), Fox News (@foxnews) and New York Times (@nytimes) “seeking to understand the makeup, behavior, interests, similarities and differences between networked audiences” by looking at how their audiences engaged with their news tweets and content.
Here are some interesting stats that SocialFlow discovered about news-hungry Twitter users:
- 28.7% of those who follow The Economist also follow the New York Times. This is the highest intersection in terms of percentage.
- 19% of those who follow Al-Jazeera English also follow the New York Times.
- Of the people who follow either CNN or New York Times, 9.5% follow both.
- 663 users follow all six news accounts.
The study also includes a cool interactive Venn Diagram that shows you the relative size of each of the news organizations examined, how much of their respective audiences overlaps with another news organization, and the average number of followers, friends and tweets of their audiences.