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Are Your Tweets Working? Here’s How to Find Out

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Analytics GuestBox Social Media Twitter

guest post by Jess Spate

The biggest and most common mistake people make when evaluating the success of Twitter activities is to rely on number of fans or number of followers as a key indicator.

When search professionals count links they know that it's quality that's important. Huge quantities of low value links do very little.

We should keep the same things in mind when evaluating social media activity.

Consider two Twitter accounts.

User A has 1000 Twitter followers. One of them, a popular tweeter with 3000 followers of their own, really likes what user A has to say and frequently retweets for them. Instead of reaching 100 people the message reaches 4000. Some of those might also retweet, spreading it even further.

On the other hand User B has 2500 Twitter followers, but most of them don't use the service regularly and the only regular retweeters have just a few followers each. A tweet from User B might be seen by 2000-3000 people.

Which account would you prefer?

Tools like Tweetreach can provide better ideas about the power of any user's tweets, and it's also worth considering simple metrics like Retweet Rank. Both will help you take quality of followers into account as well as quantity.

Sample TweetReach Data










The best known indicator of social media engagement is probably Klout. The company that generates Klout scores is one of the oldest in the market but it's also true that Klout isn't as trusted as it used to be. It takes into account a wider variety of social hubs than most, but on the other hand, your brand might not have much use for an influential Flickr account.

Tweetreach and Retweet Rank provide snapshot info, relating to the situation right now. Tracking progress over time requires a little more forethought if you're going to go beyond counting up competitor followers every month (and all SMM professionals should). Here are a few metrics where daily data is helpful:

- Followers gained and lost. Finding out which tweets have gained you more followers and which have backfired is crucial, and it's not the same as simply watching the total numbers. Gaining 20 and losing 21 is very different to losing one. The latter case may not be a sign of anything much in an account with a few hundred followers but the former certainly is.

- Retweets and replies. Some people like to count retweets as a measure of success but the real value lies in matching the data up with your tweeting timeline. What kind of content prompts your followers to retweet? What starts conversations? The answers to those questions will really help focus and improve your Twitter use.

A Retweet and New Follower timeline - the two data series are often linked













There are plenty of Twitter and wider social media analytics packages out there that will collect this kind of information for you: Twitter Counter and Foller, for example. However, as with web analytics, getting tracking set up in advance will give you access to a lot more information a lot more easily, so start your analytics as soon as you start your campaign.

On-site analytics also has a role to play. Thanks to recent innovations it's easier than ever before to examine the role Twitter plays in driving traffic to your site. Since June 2011 referrals from the domain have given us much better data on traffic coming from Twitter-shortened URLs, and the new social tools in Google Analytics have been mentioned in other articles on this site. As with referrals from any individual source it's relatively easy to figure out where your Twitter traffic is going, what they're doing, and subsequently estimate how much value they're providing.

About the author

Jess Spate is an analytics and SEO professional in Cardiff, South Wales.


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