Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2012

The Power of One Tweet

Social is not a thing, it is a stream. You have to think of sharing as something that has to flow naturally through everything you do. When you post a tweet, it doesn't stay on Twitter.

I was thrilled back when Twitter announced they would auto-shorten all links using ''. Finally we would be able to correctly track the impact of Twitter, instead of the mess we had before with links being identified as all kinds of strange things.

The fact is that Twitter traffic is being greatly undervalued. In my experience it is far more dominant than your analytics tell you, and it has a greater conversion rate per exposure.

I want to give a couple of example of this.

When I launched Baekdal Plus, I wanted to make sure that my paid-for content was both hidden from non-paying visitors, and at the same time, free to share in an unrestricted way.

The way I solved this was to create a special URL for every single article, like this one:


This link contains a special 64 character authorization code that opens it up for sharing. It authenticates the article, and the subscriber who shared it - all completely automatically. As a subscriber you don't have to do anything, you can just share the article in any way you like.

The special thing about it is that because the authorization code is in the URL itself (and not in a campaign variable or a cookie), I can identify each link in Google Analytics and see how it performs.

In short, I can track the performance of one link, shared by one person.

Here is one example of this. On November 9th, 2011. A Plus subscriber shared a link on Twitter to his followers. And the graph below indicates how many unique visitors clicked on that link. Remember, this is just one link, from one person, on one channel!

That one link created an initial burst of traffic peaking at 511 visits within 24 hours. Then it dropped fast as the link got buried in the constant stream of tweets. After the initial burst, the retweet phenomenon started to come into effect, first with moderate activity and later with a slow trickle of traffic coming in everyday. Even in February, 3 months later, that one link still generates about 2-6 visitors per day.

I find it to be absolutely fascinating, because it tells us a lot about how social media works. The 'long tail' that started after the link was tweeted actually makes up about 76% of the total traffic caused by this one link.

Social sharing doesn't work like traditional exposure. It is truly a long-term effect.

The strange tale of referrers

But here is the really interesting part. Remember, the link was initially shared on Twitter, so we would assume that the referrer info is also coming from Twitter. That, however, is not the case.

Here is the actual referrer information for this one link.

This 13 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

for just...
for just...
You get two months for free


Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.



The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   analytics   —


Creating a propensity model for publishers


How my focus on analytics has changed as an independent publisher


How can publishers measure trust and other editorial metrics?


A guide to analytics for independent journalists


Why producing less news leads to a boost in subscriptions


GDPR: How publishers can track things without tracking people