Understanding Social Media- Understanding and Quantifying Twitter Usage

How can we to get the largest bang for our social media buck? Put simply, understanding the metrics of Twitter is on everyone’s mind these days. As marketers attempt to find out the efficacy of these overall social media marketing strategy and how “the newest kid on the block” fits engrossed, the challenge becomes, how do we optimize and monetize our efforts? Put simply, how do we quantify Twitter?

As noted in the initial two articles in this series, Twitter has taken the world by storm. Or to utilize a corny pun, Twitter has the Internet a-flutter! The fact is, the growth rate of Twitter is nothing lacking phenomenal. The mini-blogging phenomenon has taken the social media world by storm, 140 characters at a time. On Thursday, June 25, 2009, Alexa ranked Twitter #17 on earth, up 66 in 3 months, by having an average rank of 36. The growth has been steady, with quite a few peaks and not many valleys. smm panel In reality, the valleys be seemingly reflective of daily usage patterns as opposed to any kind of a drop in popularity. The only real two regions of decline come in Pageviews/User and Time on Site, down 14.2% and 5%, respectively. The popularity of Twitter in the United States is immediately apparent, with 43.5% of all traffic coming from the States. However, the social media phenomenon can also be ranked full of South Africa at #10, #13 in Australia with 2.6% of all traffic to your website originating Downunder, #14 in the US and UK, with 6.2% of all Twitter traffic originating in the British Isles. Significantly, Germany is ranked #20, contributing 8.7% of all traffic to your website, second and then the US. Finally, Japan #137, Russia #153, France #161, and China #169 are in the bottom of the list, in terms traffic rank for those countries listed by Alexa.

One of the most remarkable things about Twitter is that it’s entirely free, at the least when it comes to dollars and cents. Interestingly, the real cost, and one difficult or even impossible to quantify, is the fee when it comes to time. As Marc Warnke notes in “ONO: Options Not Obligations,” his masterpiece on “Family First Entrepreneurship,” “money is time.” Marc Warnke discusses, at length, the hyperlink between family and business, the book is a wonderful template for business and life. “Money is time,” not one other way around! An interesting point, crucial to understanding the real value of time, one which takes time to truly get your thinking wrapped around. The book is a wonderful template for business and life, one which places emphasis where it belongs and creates a new awareness of the worthiness of time and family.

Money is time!

With Marc’s words at heart, it is easily recognized that Twitter can be addictive. Beyond that, the real benefits of having a presence on the social media platform might be difficult to track when it comes to traditional “metrics.” Yes, I am aware I just used a gobbledygook term! “Metrics!” The actual and lasting value of an on the web presence on Twitter, an Internet image if you’ll, may rest with the fact the social media platform provides the “newbie,” just starting to emerge being an Internet marketer, to ascertain himself or herself with a foothold, a location to check the waters and hone their message and skills. The advantage to this type of presence must be immediately apparent, specially if the entrepreneur has chosen the Internet marketing niche, a niche that could appear incredibly incestuous at times. A cultural media presence may allow the newest marketer a way to assert himself or herself in what some have referred to as an “old boy network,” and others have referred to as a “high school clique,” of sorts. Whether a valid point or not, the difficulty for the “newbie” to break to the Internet marketing niche is eased somewhat by the capability to connect, build relationships, and indeed bond with perspective clients and fellow entrepreneurs, alike.

So, how do you track the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign on Twitter or on any other social networking site for instance? Remember, I called that phrase, “social media marketing,” an oxymoron in a prior article! Beyond that, what is the return on investment (ROI) in this case; and, the chief investment being…time? Before we enter into the many tools offered to track message and impact, the balancing act between message and selling should be addressed. Put simply, when does your message become spam and when could it be posting useful information? Due to the nature with this very unique social media platform, it is recognized, even by Twitter, that because you consent to follow along with someone, either by following or following back, that the dynamics of the relationship come with an implied permission to message. If you do not like the message, you could simply unfollow the messenger!

During an unscientific study conducted on the span of an hour or so on one of the slower days for Twitter, Saturday, June 27, 2009, I counted links. Peak days are now Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Another highest “tweeting” day of the week is Friday, probably consequently of #FollowFriday, then Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and finally, Sunday. I counted tweets during the peak period for tweets on any day, from 12:22pmEST to I:22pmEST. And, I counted the amount of links per page at 5 minute intervals, for 10 minutes at a time. The number of links was really pretty surprising! Of 800 tweets, 20 per page, 200 every 10 minutes, there have been 636 links provided by 612 Tweeple.Interestingly, 2 Twitterers or Tweeple linking up over and over again on a single tweet, 1 with 3 on a single tweet. That’s 79.5% of all tweets having links, provided in 76.5%of all tweets provided on the individual Twitter result pages or TWRPs!

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