How much effort should journalists put into Twitter?

If you’re strapped for time, a Facebook post will likely do more for your website than a tweet.  That’s according to research released on the NiemanLab website by, a social analytics tool used by hundreds of news organizations.  The key finding from monitoring traffic referral sources for about 200 of’s client sites?  Just 1.5% of traffic for typical news sites comes from Twitter.

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The graphic above shows Facebook and Google as the big dogs when it comes to traffic drivers.  However, maintains Twitter does play an important role in the news ecosystem.

“Though Twitter may not be a huge overall source of traffic to news websites relative to Facebook and Google, it serves a unique place in the link economy,” the report said. “News really does ‘start’ on Twitter.”


2 comments for “How much effort should journalists put into Twitter?

  1. Becky
    April 14, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Driving traffic to a website isn’t why reporters should use Twitter.
    Twitter is what we should use when we’re somewhere that our readers can’t be, whether that’s a city council meeting or a riot. They can get quick live updates from us on Twitter. I guess Facebook can be used in the same way.

  2. Debora Wenger
    April 18, 2016 at 10:39 am

    A good point about the community service element of journalism. I think it’s also important for journalists to understand the economic ecosystem in which the media operate. Thanks for your comment – you’re right that sometimes you just have to get the word out to people the quickest way possible.

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