Counting your Twitter followers is a mostly fruitless exercise. If you have 50 followers that you’re engaging and interacting with, that’s much better than 2,000 followers who don’t pay any attention to what you have to say.
The number of followers you have is just one of many metrics you should be using to measure how effective your Twitter efforts are. We’ve got five Twitter metrics beyond follower count for you to use to better understand your Twitter presence.
1. How influential you are on Twitter
While follower count might be the most obvious Twitter measurement, influence is a close second. Services like Klout and PeerIndex will tell you how influential you are among your followers on Twitter.
These services will usually give you a general number out of 10 or 100 which is your influence level, but the more interesting stats are the more refined. Check out Klout’s “True Reach” for instance, which tells you how many of your followers are really engaging with your tweets.
If you have never looked at your influence level before, now is a good time. However, this Twitter metric is just the beginning, and it shouldn’t be the only thing you look at beyond how many followers you have.
2. Your followers’ timezones
Knowing when your followers are awake will help you time your tweets to get them in front of the most eyeballs.
Tweriod will pull all of your followers’ timezone information from their Twitter bios and let you know when the best time to tweet for you is based on when your followers are online. You can use the timezone graphs that they provide to do your own calculations of when to tweet, too.
Another tool you can try is Timely. This is a simple app that will tell you how many of your past 200 tweets didn’t reach their full potential, and suggests different times of the day that you should try tweeting to get more retweets.
3. Tweets that get the most retweets
Track your links using Bit.ly or another service, and you’ll quickly begin to see a picture of what tweets get retweeted and what ones don’t. This is extremely valuable information for anyone looking to maximize their Twitter presence, as it can help you refine when you tweet and what you write.
If you’re finding that quality content isn’t getting retweeted often, try asking a question or pulling a quote from the link you’re sharing. In fact, we have a list of five types of tweets that will get you retweeted, if you need a boost.
4. Your followers’ interests
Knowing whether you’ve targeted the right followers is crucial to seeing high engagement and conversion rates from your Twitter account.
You can get a quick snapshot of your followers’ interests by doing a keyword analysis of their bios. This will show you what niches your followers fall into in the aggregate. To generate a word cloud of your Twitter followers’ bios, check out TwitterSheep. This service displays a word cloud with the most-repeated bio keywords in larger text and less repeated keywords in smaller.
If you’re not targeting the right audience on Twitter, they’re less likely to engage with your content. For instance, if you own a dog grooming business but your followers have bios that include “cat lover” and “music aficionado”, they are not likely to retweet you or click on your links. You can use these 3 tips for writing a killer bio to get more targeted followers if you are looking for some inspiration in reaching the right niche on Twitter.
5. How you use Twitter
You might think you know everything there is to know about how you use Twitter (especially if you’re the one managing the account), but there is usually some data available to you about your Twitter usage that you’re unaware of. Do you know what day of the week you tweet the most? Or when you tweet the most during that day?
One of the best tools out there to graph your own Twitter use is TweetStats. You can view, in graph and chart form, which hours, days and months you tweet the most. TweetStats also shows you who you’ve @replied to the most, retweeted the most, and what interface you use to access Twitter.
These are valuable metrics to have on hand, especially when paired with some of the information above. You can use your tweet patterns to better reach your audience depending on their timezone, who retweets you, and much more. By tweaking your Twitter habits to better suit your audience, you’ll reach more people, convert more clicks, and see more success overall with your Twitter account.