Twitter wants politicians to know that their tweets are effective. The first 2012 presidential debate earned more than 10 million tweets, and was the “most tweeted event in U.S. politics.” But what is the actual impact of all this political tweeting? Does it really influence users or change behavior? A new study from Twitter and Compete set out to answer these questions.
The bottom line for politicians is the ability to drive donations. According to Compete’s data, the average Twitter user is 68% more likely to visit a campaign donation page than the average internet user. This likelihood bumps up when Twitter users are exposed to tweets from:
- political handles they follow
- political retweets by users they follow
- Promoted Product campaigns by a political handle
- searches on political terms
Twitter users exposed to political tweets are also more likely to visit political donation pages than they are to visit generic (non-donation) political sites.
Perhaps the study’s most interesting finding is that more exposure does lead to more donations. Twitter users who saw a political tweet across 3-7 separate days were 31% more likely to donate than the average Twitter user exposed to political tweets. When the number of days of political tweet exposure was raised to 8 or more, the rate of donation bumped up even higher, to 76% more likely to donate than the average exposed Twitter user.
Finally, were there any differences across party lines? Compete couldn’t analyze the campaigns separately, but Twitter said the lifts in donation rates “were found to be very similar across all candidates, groups and parties.”
While it would be interesting to see third party data to support this research from Twitter and Compete, these results clearly indicate that politicians should tweet away in order to gain more donations.
What’s your experience? Are political tweets driving you to political donation pages, or just clogging up your tweetstream?