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The Biggest Twitter Publishers of September 2014

Who’s getting tweeted? We rank the biggest Twitter publishers of last month, and analyse where the tweets came from. 

Following on from the biggest Facebook publishers of last month, we turn our attention to the sites getting the most traction on Twitter since the start of last month.

Here are some of this month’s key points:

  • BBC and the New York Times continue to dominate the top of the chart.
  • Mashable re-take third place, over ABC News.
  • The BBC’s Scottish Independence Referendum results coverage was the month’s most-tweeted story.
  • Entrepreneur.com and TMZ join the top 25.

Here are the top 10, according to data from Spike:

Twitter publishers september

The BBC remain firmly on top of the Twitter publishers’ chart, with just under 3.79m tweets in total for the month, up from 3.39m the month before.

At this rate, it looks as though the BBC will be the first site to break 4m monthly tweets for content.

Amazingly, the most tweeted story of last month was the BBC’s coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum result (57,100+ tweets). Other big news stories for the BBC on Twitter last month included the announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy ( 12,700+ tweets), and the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial (9,400 tweets).

Mashable overtook ABC News to slip back into third place, increasing their overall tweet count by almost exactly 200,000 over the month.

The Guardian climbed to fifth place, capping off an impressive month for their social media team, after they were the sixth most-shared Facebook site last month. The Bleacher Report also complimented their strong Facebook performance, soaring from 14th to ninth overall. Their most-tweeted story (just under 20,000 tweets) had a staggering 15,600 retweets, and contained a Vine.

Further down, the Wall Street Journal increased their tweet share significantly, going from 15th (773,000) to 13th (877,000).

They had a story in the most-tweeted charts too, titled ‘Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain And Cut Stress‘, with over 17,400 tweets. With over 11,500 Facebook shares too, it’s a good example of a story going viral within a niche audience (it probably helps that it was free to read).

It’s interesting to note the position of the UK based Telegraph, which has held steady at number 12 for the past two months. Yesterday, Telegraph management announced a forthcoming overhaul of editorial practices, with each department being required to deliver at least one ‘shareable’ per day. Social media has also been stressed as a key skill for all Telegraph journalists.

Given that the Telegraph’s Twitter position is already pretty strong, it’ll be interesting to see whether implementation of the new strategy will see the site launch into the top 10 for the first time in the coming months.

Nearer to the bottom of the top 25, Entrepreneur.com is a new name, while TMZ returned to the fold after a four month absence. Like their last appearance, their strong September was again down to another exclusive – this time the notorious Ray Rice video, which was the fifth most tweeted story last month (35,000+ tweets).

Absent between August and September are MTV, Russia Today, and TIME.

As pointed out on Twitter yesterday, publishers should consider this data in conjunction with other metrics. It’s a good idea to see this as one column of a functioning, healthy approach to analytics, rather than a stand-alone indication of content success.

Many publishers are still working out exactly how social distribution should fit into their content pipelines. We hope that this independently-verified data gives a good indication as to how many eyeballs are at least seeing their stories, and how they stack up against their competitors.

How do we know how sites are doing on Twitter?

We compiled our data using Spike, which tracks the content that people are sharing and engaging with on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, in real time. It’s used by some of the world’s leading digital newsrooms – there’s a free trial for new users.

While we strive for complete coverage, sometimes we will miss some content for some publishers. If it looks to you like we’re missing something or have our numbers wrong, feel free to drop us a line. To learn more about the methodology behind these rankings, check out this post

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