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In just a few days on July 15, Twitter will turn five. It seems hard to imagine a world without the micro-blogging behemoth, and it is now safe to say that Twitter is mainstream, established – and here to stay. Surprisingly, even after five years and now with 200 million tweets a day, it seems as though Twitter ‘best practices’ still aren’t set in stone.

But it does seem like some things are getting clearer. It is still true that you can’t ignore your audience, and you need to engage them when appropriate. But some new statistics released by Dan Zarella suggest that – as we should have known – content is kind on Twitter as it is everywhere else in publication, public relations and marketing.

The statistics show a correlation between Twitter accounts that tweet a large number of links and accounts that have a lot of followers. The inference is clear; people are looking for more than just ‘engagement’ on Twitter.

In fact, they are looking for quality content that is informative, interesting and useful to them. Twitter users are not just looking to see their own name in their Twitter stream, and instead – just like everyone else – they are more concerned with finding information that is of value to them.

The title of Dan’s post includes a significant error, though, when it suggests that tweeting more links will get you more followers. This may be true, but the data he presents shows a correlation between the two but doesn’t actually prove that tweeting more links will get you more followers.

So what’s the takeaway from all this?

  • Tweets with links won’t necessarily lead to more followers.
  • Engaging your community is still very valuable.
  • Engaging your community is not enough on it’s own.
  • Tweets with solid content that your users find valuable will lead to more followers – whether they contain links or not.
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