Study: Average U.S. paper has 18,000 Twitter followers

The average U.S. newspaper has around 18,000 Twitter followers and is tweeted 11 times per day, according to a study from Internet communications company the Bivings Group, the Boston Business Journal reported last week. The group’s study focused on 300 Twitter accounts, including those of individual reporters from top 100 newspapers across the United States.

Analysis showed that The New York Times was the most retweeted paper, with more than 1.8 million followers, and had 1,500 retweets throughout September, according to Penn Olson. Taking away some outlets with over 100,000 followers puts the average at 3,447 followers per paper, eMarketeer wrote Tweet frequency varied from 1.1 (The Boston Globe’s Big Picture and the Akron Beacon Journal) to 95.5 (The Boston Herald) messages per day, according to the Boston Business Journal

All of the 100 publishers from the study used Twitter, but 40 percent did not link to the Twitter page from their sites. eMarketer stated that when links were added, they were hard to find. Fifty-six percent of the newspaper sites contained a directory of all the accounts related to the publication. The number of followers and retweets was not related, according to Penn Olson.

The Bivings Group also uses the Twitter IQ system to measure how successful Twitter use is, although it may be “highly biased” and “inaccurate,” Penn Olson pointed out. Ideal users should be able to engage in “talking” and “listening,” according to eMarketer. The research showed that The Baltimore Sun, the Austin-American Statesman and St. Paul Pioneer Press each have a high Twitter IQ.


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