In this post, we'll focus on how to measure the impact of Twitter, which
reached about 22 million people in May.
1. #Hashtag research = keyword research
Just as people had to learn how to search using traditional search
engines like Google and Yahoo, people are learning how to better search
social media sites like Twitter. Increasingly, they are using hashtags.
A hashtag is simply including the # symbol in front of a keyword. For
example #diabetes . People can subscribe to follow hashtags or they can
search for them, allowing them to stay current on specific topics, and
recently Twitter began hyperlinking hashtags within tweets allowing
people to go diretly the search results for that hashtag instantly.
Here we can see that tweets tagged with the #diabetes hashtag are on
By researching which keywords are popular at the moment, you craft
messages that are relevent and timely, and by including the hashtag in
your post, you expand the reach of your tweet beyond your follower list,
which leads us to...
2. # of followers you have
The more followers you have, the more likely the content you post will be
Your number of followers measures your immediate audience on Twitter.
It's a way to measure the opportunity each of your tweets has to reach
and engage your audience.
TwitterCounter allows you to measure and compare your profile
against competitors (or friends :) Here we can see that Bing has more
followers than Yahoo; and it's growing it's follower count faster than
Additionally, Twitter directories like Social Brand Index
list Twitter profiles and usually rank by number of followers. Since
we're focusing on measurement, we will not discuss why focusing purely
on your follower count ignores some of the core principles of social
media (e.g. listening, engaging in conversation, adding value, etc.)
3. # of clicks on the links you post on Twitter
Linking to relevant content within your tweets adds value to other users,
and by utilizing URL shorteners with tools like Tweetburner you
can measure how engaged people are with your tweets by tracking the
number of clicks on the links you post.
Sites like Tweetburner rank top URLs within Twitter and post lists of
the top-clicked links. Appearing on these lists is similar to getting
your content voted up on Digg; though the traffic impact is not as
Similarly, posting pictures to your tweets adds value, and using a
service like TwitPic
allows you to measure how many people are
viewing the pics you post.
4. Search for People Who Are Sharing Your Site or Blog Post on
You can now track when other people post links to your content on
Twitter using tools like backtweets
This is similar to Google's Webmaster Tools
, but specific to
Twitter. It's different from tracking when people click on the links you
post. Backtweets actually shows you when people post links to your
content organically. Without checking a tool like backtweets, you would
only be seeing a portion of how the community is engaging with your
content. It's also a great way to find new people who are interested in
your content. Follow them, and they'll likely follow you back, if they
I encourage you to explore these tools. There are others, so please let
me know which you find most useful. You can find me on Twitter @iano1000
Are you already using the tools above or others? Please
leave a comment with a link to your blog and I'll be sure to stop
What about retweets? How do they help our tweets be found by a larger audience? And how can we measure the impact of retweets?
So one way I've found to begin measuring retweets is Retweet Rank, as recommended by Guy Kawasaki in his "How I Tweet" FAQ.
Also be sure to check out Tipereth Gloria's great set of posts on how not to use hashtags over at Digital Tip down under in Australia. Check it out at:
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