Ranking your Twitter followers

By John Powell | October 4, 2011 | Last updated on October 4, 2011
3 min read

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So, you or your business has hit a milestone of 1,000 Twitter followers. Hold off on releasing those party balloons and streamers, just yet.

The number of Twitter followers you have is not a clear indication of how much influence you have on the social network, nor how successful your strategy has become.

Not only is Twitter full of spam accounts but depending on whose statistics you believe, some 70% to 80% of users stop using the service one month after signing up.

The number of Twitter followers is just an indication of how wide your reach might be. It tells you how many people could potentially be receiving your messages – whether it’s news, offers or casual content, but it doesn’t tell you how many read it, or take action. What’s far more important though is how many people are re-tweeting your messages to others. Re-tweets are a much better way to measure your influence, since they show how other people are increasing your sphere of influence and amplifying your message. You can measure this network activity with a free and simple-to-use tool: Retweetrank, which measures and tracks your re-tweets. It scans all of your recent re-tweets, number of followers, friends and lists of a user. And then it compares these numbers with those of other users, and assigns you a rank.

From those statistics, you can start to determine whether your messages are really hitting home or if it’s time to alter your approach.

Another good measure of whether your followers are responsive is to look at how many replies you receive to your posts. You can pull this information together yourself by searching your account name on Twitter. The number of replies is not only an indication that you’re really engaging people but also whether your audience feels you are worth responding to.

A good sign that readers are impressed with the information you’re offering is if they “listed” you or your organization. Twitter users can categorize and follow valued sources by slotting them into special follow lists.

How many reader lists are you under? Check your profile on Twitter and click on your listed count to see who’s ranking you highly.

A follow list is something you should be babysitting at least monthly. And it’s very important to go through your list and cut the dead weight. Delete those who have inactive accounts as well as any spammers. Although it takes some time to sort through everyone, in the end you will have a list with much more integrity.

With the help of other tools, such as Google Analytics, you can also quickly discover who’s been coming to your site via your Twitter posts or readers re-tweeting them.

Using the Dashboard option in Analytics, set a specific time period and then look under Traffic Sources. There, you’ll find how many people have come to your site via Twitter. It’s one more way to determine whether your Twitter strategy needs tinkering.

And, if you use a URL shorting service like Bitly, you can also pull the information and reports from there as well.

John Powell