SparkToro & Followerwonk Joint Twitter Analysis: 19.42% of Active Accounts Are Fake or Spam

TL;DR – From May 13-15, 2022, SparkToro and Followerwonk conducted a rigorous, joint analysis of five datasets including a variety of active (i.e. tweeting) and non-active accounts. The analysis we believe to be most compelling uses 44,058 public Twitter accounts active in the last 90 days. These accounts were randomly selected, by machine, from a set of 130+ million public,…

SparkToro’s Year 2 Retrospective: Can Chill Work, Alternative Funding, and an Indie Approach Scale?

Two years ago today, at the nerve-wracking start of a global pandemic, we launched SparkToro. Since then, we’ve learned a lot, and uncovered plenty of unanswered questions, too. As is tradition, I’ll try to share the good, the bad, and the interesting in the hopes it can help other entrepreneurs, especially those considering an alternative to standard, venture-backed funding. First,…

Provable Marketing Attribution is a Boondoggle; Trust Your Gut Instead

You’ve heard the marketing analytics spiel before. It goes something like: Marketing journeys are long, complicated, multi-channel paths. Tracking them is always imperfect, but if you employ an extensive, expensive, difficult-to-configure combination of tools, tracking systems, and deeply talented statistics professionals, you can build a high-quality, predictive attribution modeling structure that approximates reality with relatively minor gaps. My counterpoint: don’t…

8 Counterintuitive Marketing Strategies That Actually Work

Cold outreach is typically seen as a numbers game: hit as many inboxes as you can, assuming 5% or fewer will convert. But I’ve never agreed with that approach because I believe my reputation is on the line when I message a stranger. I don’t want them to feel like I copy and paste the same message to hundreds of…

What Your Marketing Needs is a Bad Guy

If you’re a big brand, already established, conservative in your ways and happy with your performance, this advice isn’t for you. But, if you’re a startup, an underdog, a challenger, you need to hear this. Villains are a good thing. Stories with villains make sense. They can be memorable. They can have depth and purpose. Stories without villains are meandering,…

Is This a Twitter Thread or a Blog Post?

Eureka! I just had a great idea for a blog post… or wait.. maybe it’s short enough to be a Twitter thread. Y’know what? Twitter’s easier. I’ll just post it there. The instant dopamine hit of likes and retweets. The mystery of whether and when I’ll get replies. Re-loading the post every 5 minutes to see if there’s a new…

How to Invest in Episodic Content that Promotes Itself

I’ve long been bullish on episodic content; in fact, I think it’s likely the best kind of long-term content investment most online brands can make. The challenges are consistent creation (gotta keep those episodes coming!) and finding the right marketing flywheel to bring in fans, subscribers, and amplifiers. But, these can be overcome by crafting episodic content that promotes itself,…

The Case for Permissionless Co-Marketing

There’s a marketing tactic you’ve never heard of. It barely has a name yet. But, many of the best marketers are already practicing it. It’s called Permissionless Co-Marketing. It is the deliberate effort of aligning yourself with other brands by promoting them in your work. It’s the inverse of earned media — where you’re the one organically mentioning someone else.…

Hook, Line, and Sinker: A Model for Crafting Successful, Viral Content

Despite studying content that overachieves for years, it’s only in the past few months that I’ve stumbled into a mental model I’ve called: Hook, Line, and Sinker. My goal here is to broadly encapsulate *why* overachieving content pieces hit their mark, and why similar, but underperforming pieces miss. First: when we talk about “content,” we’re talking about all kinds of…

Influence Maps—The Best Marketing Framework You’ve Never Heard Of

When you find a tool that massively improves your work’s effectiveness and dramatically cuts down on poor decision-making, there are two natural responses: “This is amazing! It’s gonna save me so much heartache.”“WTF?! Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before?” That’s exactly how I felt when I stumbled across the behavioral design field’s Influence Map Framework. In a single,…

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