Do Shared Links Last Longer on Twitter or Facebook?

The social web has made everyone of us publishers. We create content everyday as we post to Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.How Long Does Your Shared Link Last on Twitter and Facebook

We upload photos to social media sharing sites such as Flickr and give them titles and descriptions.

The more adventurous, conscientious and creative content creators  produce videos and presentations that they download to YouTube and Slideshare.

Creating content that is worth reading and and inspiring enough to make it shareable takes time, effort and persistence.

Creating Content is the Easy Part

Once you have gone to the effort of producing, editing and publishing, then the real challenge is to market your inspiring writing and your creative multimedia creation to an expectant online audience.

Social networks provide the means and the leverage to distribute the information to a potential audience of 2 billion internet users.

Successful bloggers and social media aware companies understand the importance of marketing their on-line assets and ideas with updates to Twitter and Facebook with embedded links to drive traffic and clicks.

The Web is Crowded

If you have a large Twitter following and 1,000’s of Facebook fans then that will help your content marketing endeavours. Many of us tweet the post once and maybe share it also on Facebook with a singular news update with a link embedded and then expect traffic to come flooding in.

The cruel reality is that the web is crowded with hundreds of millions of blogs, websites and social media sites and the competition for attention in a sea of noise and buzz is so intense that most links drown before they are noticed.

Most clicks to your links in your tweets happen immediately after you have posted an update to Twitter. As time passes the retweets and Facebook likes and sharing of the links diminishes. As the link ages, the attention your links receive reduces.

Do Links Last Longer on Facebook, Twitter?

So how long is a link “alive” before people stop caring and does the type of content and where you shared it matter?

According to research by Bit.ly (the link shortening service used by millions of  users), after the initial post to Facebook the half life of a link was 70 minutes (the amount of time at which this link will receive half of the clicks it will ever receive after it’s reached its peak)

Rate of Clicks to a Link

A post to Twitter was shown to have a half life of only 5 minutes.

This shows the difference between Twitter (which is more a stream of links) and Facebook which is a destination where link life isconsiderably greater.

What was also noticeable is that the pattern of the clicks to a link essentially have the same pattern: a fast rise, and a more relaxed drop-off.

What is the Half Life of a YouTube Link?

In looking more closely at their 1,000 most popular links on Bit.ly they also discovered the following

  • Twitter has the average shortest half life at 2.8 hours
  • Facebook links half life averaged 3.2 hours
  • Direct sources (like email or IM links) came in at 3.4 hours
  • YouTube averaged 7.4 hours

So it appears that the type of content also matters with YouTube having the best link longevity.

Bit.ly half life of links

What wasn’t covered by the study was the social media site Slideshare (where you can upload and share your PowerPoint presentations), which  I would suggest would reveal link endurance that would exceed Twitter or Facebook and possibly YouTube

Takeaways

Creating your content is just the start, sharing it on social media channels will give it life and wings.

  1. Tweet your content more than once. Remember Twitter is a stream that flows past and doesn’t land in an inbox!
  2. Sharing only on Twitter is not optimum and reduces a links potential lifespan
  3. Sharing on Facebook is vital
  4. Creating content for YouTube is worth considering
  5. Don’t forget to share directly via email (building that email subscriber list is still important)

Do you share your content on Facebook and Twitter? Where else do you share, Google+, Digg and Stumbleupon?

More Reading

Image by Ravages

Comments

  • http://www.gossipism.com.au Dexter Eugenio

    interesting stats, but i think we all had the inclining that fb posts stick around longer.

    i liken twitter to talking to your friend in the middle of a nightclub dance floor.  they still get your message but amongst thousands of other messages all at the same time.  its forgotten till the next song comes on.

    but the kicker for twitter though, is as you mentioned, the ability to retweet your own link which i think is entirely acceptable, given that a considerable amount of time has passed and the content is still relevant.  i think reposting a post on facebook is a no no unless new or updated content has been added.

    which is probably a better strategy to get the same information out for minimal effort

    would love to see these stats for australia only as i imagine they would be vastly different

    dEx

  • http://www.socialmediapowered.com Patrick Cummings

    there are for sure the non written rules to using FB and Twitter as Dexter sort of eludes to below. It’s good to know these statistics and to use both FB and Twitter differently. The more stats we collect, the more we learn and understand best practices as the market matures.

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks for the question. I don’t know if there is an easy answer to that question of optimum Twitter post frequency. If you content is good and provides answers and solves people’s problems and inspires then people will tolerate more frequent tweets. I post to Twitter with a a 15 to 30 minute gap which works for me. Do try and avoid sending out multiple tweets that are very close together such as only one or two minutes apart. Hope that helps :)

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks for the question. I don’t know if there is an easy answer to that question of optimum Twitter post frequency. If you content is good and provides answers and solves people’s problems and inspires then people will tolerate more frequent tweets. I post to Twitter with a a 15 to 30 minute gap which works for me. Do try and avoid sending out multiple tweets that are very close together such as only one or two minutes apart. Hope that helps :)

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks for the question. I don’t know if there is an easy answer to that question of optimum Twitter post frequency. If you content is good and provides answers and solves people’s problems and inspires then people will tolerate more frequent tweets. I post to Twitter with a a 15 to 30 minute gap which works for me. Do try and avoid sending out multiple tweets that are very close together such as only one or two minutes apart. Hope that helps :)

  • Terry

    If you want to use the site for both, consider making two accounts – one for business and one for pleasure – and then utilize an all in one program, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to manage them.

  • http://thesocialrobot.com The Social Robot

    What an interesting article. Facebook seems kind of obvious, since people post more per day on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/kalske Päivi Kalske

    How about vs. LinkedIn?

  • http://twitter.com/eyebrand eyeBrand

    Original content is key to great engagement. Also, if you have original content, that will help others share your links and drive engagement on your platforms instead of others. Plus, the shared links are likely content that has been seen before.