Robbie Jones By Robbie Jones • February 19, 2016

A social media experiment: Who could twit twoo the loudest?

social media experiment

Katapult HQ is a self-fuelling ideas machine, our creative team are always looking for new or different ways of achieving results for our clients. Social media is just one of those avenues where we strive for creativity to boost engagement and followers too. The goal of doing this?

Well, the more engagement and followers we get for our clients, the more website traffic we generate, and thus, the more chance they will land new clients – the Maths is pretty simple. But in a world where our news feeds are already clogged up with videos, stories, memes, images… how can we differ what we say and how we share to get maximum engagement?

To find out the results, we created a social media experiment…

The rules

Along with fellow digital aficionados Natasha, Jessica and Adam, we set ourselves as the guinea pigs in the experiment. The rules were simple:

  • We all had to share this news story about Owls on the Huffington Post website – a story completely random and not biased towards anyone’s interests or hobbies.
  • We all had to share the post within 24 hours
  • We could choose to post on either Facebook or Twitter
  • You couldn’t stimulate artificial engagement (get your friends to like the post)

To make sure results were fully verified, we also used custom URLs to track link engagement and all of these were recorded after 24 hours too. Here’s what we came up with…

The GIF of the gab

Could not stop laughing at this 󾌴󾌴

Posted by Jessica Hall on Thursday, 4 February 2016
  • Chosen platform: Facebook
  • Time posted: 11:10 am
  • URL Clicks: 9 clicks
  • Facebook engagement: 0

Since GIFs were made available to use on Facebook last year, there has been a steady use of them from individuals and brands. Jessica hopped on the GIF bandwagon and accompanied her customised URL with two crying faces.

“I chose to put the owl link on Facebook because the channel is better known for the engagement that we were after - I thought of Twitter as an option but I didn't think the lifespan of a tweet was long enough to get a good response. Instead, I focused on trying to get likes, rather than link clicks, which is why I went for the GIF rather than just an image based post. Timing wise, I was too excited for our competition to wait so I just posted it straight away!”

Fact of the day

Can't believe Alan Partridge didn't drop this knowledge on Jill at the cracking owl sanctuary...I challenge anyone to find a better fact of the day...

Posted by Adam Gow on Thursday, 4 February 2016
  • Chosen platform: Facebook
  • Time posted: 11:05 am
  • URL Clicks: 2 clicks
  • Facebook engagement: 4 (3 likes, 1 comment)

Adam took a slightly leftfield approach to his owl posting. After taking time to think about his audience’s interests, he decided that any comment regarding Alan Partridge would fit the bill! A simple comment, image, and link to the story helped Adam build the engagement, but perhaps not necessarily the clicks he required to take the top spot.

“I chose Facebook because it's the network I engage with people on the most, I'm not massively active on Twitter. Time wise it was simply so that any shared audience would potentially see mine first (the early owl gets the worm), and I used an Alan Partridge reference as a lot of my network/generation are Alan Partridge fans."

Twitter twoo

  • Chosen platform: Twitter
  • Time posted: 5:55 pm
  • URL Clicks: 17 clicks
  • Twitter engagement: 0

Surely Twitter is the place for bird-related social media posts? That is what I thought anyway as I attempted to get some good engagement. As well as attaching the same GIF as Jessica, I added two hashtags and mentioned two Twitter accounts.

"My hope was that these accounts, both with thousands more followers than me, would retweet my tweet and get my post lots of engagement – they didn’t respond though! Thankfully, my followers and hashtags managed to get a decent amount of clicks. Posting towards the end of the working day, I felt, gave me a better chance of hitting the social media rush hour."

The one that vanished!


  • Chosen platform: Facebook
  • Time posted: 12:05 pm
  • URL Clicks: 17 clicks
  • Facebook engagement: 0

Somewhere in the cloud, a Facebook post about owls is hiding from Natasha! Despite not being able to give you a preview of what it looked like, the post performed very well and seemed to hit the Facebook dinnertime rush.

“When considering when and how to post the link, I thought about my friends and family, and the types of content they are more likely to engage with and click on. I am often 'tagged' in click bait style links, so mirrored this in my post.”

What did we learn?

In this experiment, winning wasn’t really the goal. The goal was to see how from just one web link, we as a team could manipulate the content to suit, interest and get engagement with our own friends and family – and we managed to do that albeit on a small scale.

Another learning from this experiment is that the phantom fan exists! Yes, those people that ‘like’ your status without actually reading it, or in the case of this experiment, clicking on the link but not sharing nor ‘liking’ the post as well. The phantom fan is an enigma for B2B social media accounts and this is something we will explore in another blog title soon.

What can YOU learn?

Mix-up your posts on social media and don’t be afraid to keep repeating the posts either. There are so many ways to re-word, redesign and re-manufacture the same news story, as you’ve seen from the experiment. Don’t worry – followers won’t stop following you just because you repeated the same tweet twice.

Have courage in the content you share, whether it is yours or external content, and be free to play about with how you say things, what you say, and at what time you say them as well. With constant testing and incremental improvements, you too can see engagement rise on social media and thus a boost in clients and customers too.

And if more customers is the end result of your efforts, who wouldn’t want to twit twoo the loudest?