Tracking Your Twitter InfluenceFriday, August 21, 2009
It's easy to assume that everyone on Twitter reads every update and clicks on every link you post in your tweets, but that is simply not true. If you're using Twitter for your business, it's important to measure the reality of your influence and not rely on your perceived influence.
One way to track the statistics for click-throughs is to use a URL shortener that also offers analytic services. Bit.ly and Su.pr are two good ones, with Su.pr being the more detailed of the two as it is tied directly to the StumbleUpon community and offers more features.
For example, I recently tweeted about a particular blog post Marcy Blum wrote on wedding trends that she'd like to see die. I shortened the link to her post using Su.pr. From that I can see that the link was clicked on 558 times and retweeted 23 times and I can see the specific days the traffic was generated. I can even see who retweeted it and the number of click-throughs their respective retweets generated.
One of the interesting things about tracking this type of information is that it also shows you the sphere of influence other people have within your Twitter circle. In this particular case, it was interesting to note that some of the people whom are often not viewed as an "important" or "top" person in the wedding industry generated more click-throughs and interest with their retweet of the link than some of the other people who are often perceived to be more powerful or more influential. In fact, many of the people who generated the most click-throughs had the lowest amount of followers of the group of people who retweeted the link. Influence comes in many shapes and sizes, and tribes do as well. Don't get sucked into the myth that you should only tweet with "important" people or that the people with the most followers are the most influential.
On a somewhat humorous note, in that tweet, I accidently typed Marcy's twitter name as @marcylu instead of the updated @marcyblum. While this mistake generated a link to a dead Twitter page instead of her live one (sorry, Marcy), it was funny to see how many people posted the link as if it was their own original tweet instead of as a retweet, but failed to correct the spelling of her name.
Measuring your participation in social media is critical in creating an effective strategy as it relates to your business. Do you have metrics in place or are you shooting in the dark?