Monday, February 22, 2010

Three KPIs for Measuring Twitter

How do you measure if you are being effective on Twitter or not? In my opinion it really comes down to measuring if anybody is paying attention to what you are saying or not, everything else follows. If you can measure the true impact on the bottom line then you are way ahead of a lot of people on Twitter. Congratulations to you!!! However, not everybody is yet in a position to measure at that level. This post is about metrics that you can measure on daily basis even when you don’t know the final impact on the bottom line.

Key actions as a result of your Tweets

As I said above, your success on Twitter comes down to one thing: Is Anybody paying attention to what you are saying on twitter? If people are paying attention to what you are saying then one or more of the following will immediately happen:
  2. @[twitter username] replies
  3. Visits from the links posted in your tweets
Let’s look at each of these measures
    When some Retweets your message, their followers see your message. Retweets indicates and endorsement of your message. Retweeters likes what you have to say and wants his/her followers to see that message as well. Pretty Neat!!!. There are two ways you can see the number of Retweets on Twitter:
    1. Under Retweet link on Twitter
    2. Searching for RT @[ twitter user name] or Retweet @[ twitter user name]in the twitter search box – Many people still use old fashioned Retweet which is to add RT or ReTweet in front of the username. (@[twitter username is also available via a link on, see below)

    Also, check out ReTweet Demystified

    KPI: Number of Retweets (Ideally I would like it to be % Retweet = (Retweets/Number of Followers)*100 or RPM = ReTweets Per Thousand Followers, but I have found both these numbers to be really low most of the time.)

  2. @[twitter username] replies
    @ reply is used by the twitter users to send a reply to you. Just like a Retweet, when someone sends a message with @[username] their followers see that message (assuming their followers are paying attention). The @reply also indicates that the other person is engaging in a conversation with you.
    It is not only important to look at @[username] replies but also to look at the sentiments of those replies. Positive sentiment is mostly good and negative sentiment could be good too, it depends on how you will use that information and act on it.
    (Note: There is another version of reply called Direct Message. This message is directly to you and is not visible to others.)

    KPI: Number of @[twitter username] replies (Ideally it should be ARPM = At Replies per 1000 visitors or % AR but this number is low too just like ReTweets)

  3. Visits from the links posted in your tweets
    Even if you are not trying to drive sales/leads from Twitter, every now and then post a link to your site in your tweets and see how many visits (or visitors) you are getting as a result of those links. Over a period of time you will know how many people are really paying attention to your tweets (or you are grabbing attention of). In my next post I will go into the details of measuring the traffic driven by twitter.

    KPI: % Visit Rate = (Visits/Followers)*100))
Additional Metrics
  • Lists
    Twitter Lists are a way for Twitter users to organize people they are following into groups. Similar to users, you can also follow the lists. Getting included in a list could potentially provide you more reach.
  • Number of Followers
    Number of followers is a good measure of reach. Growing number of followers indicates that your potential reach is growing. However, if all the people who follow you don’t engage in any of the activities listed above i.e. ReTweet, @ reply or click on a link then number of followers doesn’t mean much.
What about Followee to Follower Ratio?

I am not a believer in this ratio. Usually, if you are a celebrity (or at least think that you are and you think that no one else is worth following) then you will have a high followee to follower ratio. By followee to follower ratio, Guy Kawasaki won’t be considered a success on twitter because he follows more people than the number of people who follow him, giving him a ratio of less than 1 but given the amounts of Retweets he gets, he is certainly a success.

At the end your twitter success boils down to: Is anybody paying attention? Are you engaging the customers/prospects in a conversation? If people are paying attention and are engaging with your tweets then they will Retweet, reply or click on the links that you post in your tweets.

Three KPIs
  1. Number of Retweets
  2. Number of @[Twitter username] replies
  3. % Visit Rate = (Visits/Followers)*100))
So that’s it. No Retweets, No @replies and no click on your links indicates ZERO engagement.

What do you think?

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  1. I really like your KPI. I also think that Followee to Follower Ratio is not a good KPI. Indeed, it is quite easy to follow a lot of people. Most of them will also follow you. You can then simply unfollow them and you will good value for this KPI.

  2. So what tool do you measure tweets and @replies?


I would like to hear your comments and questions.