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How Does Reposting The Same Content On Twitter Impact Clicks? We Looked At The Data

By , on August 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

As proponents of using evergreen and owned content assets as part of your content marketing mix, we recommend that our clients liberally repost their most popular content (when it’s relevant and appropriate, of course).

And while many marketers embrace this strategy, others aren’t yet convinced. Won’t reposting the same piece of content bore my audience? Will I see fewer clicks and engagement on the content after the initial post? And, at worst, won’t it eventually drive my community away, especially if they see me as endlessly posting my own company’s content?

Fair questions, all. We decided to look at the data.

Specifically, we looked at six weeks’ worth of data for a single marketer. The marketer posted 28 unique URLs of owned content from various domains (their own included) to Twitter between 1 and 7 times over that time period:

That is, 8 URLs were posted once, two were posted twice, six were posted three times, and so forth. When you look at that data another way, you can see how many posts there were by order of post:

As you can see, only three URLs made it all the way to elusive seventh spot, while five made it to the sixth (three of which went on to become seventh posts).

With that data set, how did the average clicks per post change for each spot in the order of posting? If, all other things held equal, there was a downside to reposting the same URLs again and again, we would expect to see a curve that mirrors the number of posts above — highest for the first posts, then declining with each successive post.

In fact, we see nothing like that at all:

The green line (isolated below) doesn’t show a steady decline from the first posting until the final posting. In fact, the data is fairly noisy throughout, with the average clicks oscillating throughout the data set and the clicks on the seventh posts actually 20 percent higher than the initial posts. While the trend is actually positive (the dotted line), it isn’t dramatically so. Here’s a look at the click data on its own:

Maybe a few posts were outliers and were dragging the curve up and down? If you tease out each individual URLs clicks versus average by position, you see variance even on the individual URLs:

So what gives? Why are the results so inconsistent? Does post order matter at all?

The short answer is, probably not, specifically because it’s very unlikely that you’re holding everything else equal when you share your owned content more than once. That is, the URLs in the data set may have been posted more than once, but they weren’t posted the same way. There are plenty of variables that can impact the performance of those posts:

  • Tweet copy/ accompanying text, including use of hashtags
  • Use of images
  • Timing of post: time of day, day of week
  • Relevance of the keywords used in the Tweet copy at the time of publishing to ongoing conversations

That is, given the number of other factors that impact the click performance of a single Tweet, there doesn’t appear to be any downside to sharing a link to the same URL more than once.

If the exact same Tweet was shared again and again, well, yes, we imagine the audience might get a bit bored. But, by varying the presentation of those URLs, and making sure that the copy is relevant to the topics that matter to the audience, marketers can earn clicks again and again — and deliver value to their audience.

So, go ahead, share it again. And again. And one more time.

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Categories: Research