The True Measure of Twitter Success
After reading the recent article below from the New York Times, you begin to realize Millions of Twitter followers, although initially impressive, may just be window dressing to a successful Twitter strategy. True influence on Twitter is not calculated by simply how many followers one has, but rather how active followers are with tweets.
Are followers retweeting? Do you they respond and interact with your content? Are they clicking on your links and visiting your website? These are the metrics that actually give you a powerful voice on Twitter. Check out the article from DAVID LEONHARDT of the New York Times to learn more about how to effectively measure success on Twitter. You may be surprised.
A Better Way to Measure Twitter InfluenceBy DAVID LEONHARDT March 24, 2011 New York Times A version of this article will appear in print on March 27, 2011, on Page 18 of the Magazine.
Whether you’re a Twitter user like Lady Gaga (millions and millions of followers) or, say, me (2,600 and growing!), you’re always aware of roughly how many people follow you. It’s just how people keep score on the site and compare themselves with friends and colleagues.
But it turns out that counting followers is a seriously flawed way to measure a person’s impact on Twitter. Even one of Twitter’s founders, Evan Williams, made the point to me recently: someone with millions of followers may no longer post messages frequently, while someone followed by mere tens of thousands may be a prolific poster whose messages are amplified by others.
So who are the most influential people on Twitter? We asked the people at Twitalyzer, an independent research firm, to study the question, and they came back with something called the Influence Index. It counts the number of times somebody’s Twitter name is mentioned by other users (including retweets, which occur when one user rebroadcasts another’s message). The Influence Index doesn’t merely measure who’s talking on Twitter, but it also measures how much someone is affecting the conversation. Look below at how low Lady Gaga’s influence score is, for example.
Among the discoveries: It helps to come from one of the four countries where Twitter is most popular — the United States, Brazil, England and Canada. That may explain why there are three unfamiliar names, at least to most Americans, in the Top 10: Stephen Fry (a British actor), Luciano Huck (a Brazilian television star) and Rafinha Bastos (a Brazilian comedian).
Eric T. Peterson, the chief executive of Twitalyzer, points out that some of the most influential users also make a big effort to respond to much less famous people with personal messages. Kim Kardashian falls into this category. President Obama, as you may have guessed, does not.
One last thing: Twitalyzer’s public Web site doesn’t let people calculate their own influence scores. But you can get your impact score, which is a 0-to-100 index that combines influence, number of followers and frequency of message writing. To calculate that, type your Twitter name into the box here.
10 Most-Influential People*
4. Stephen Fry
6. Snoop Dogg
7. Barack Obama
8. Rainn Wilson
10. Huck Luciano
10 Most Followed People
1. Lady Gaga
4. Barack Obama
8. Katy Perry
9. Taylor Swift
10. Oprah Winfrey
*Among the 100 most followed individuals on Twitter. All data was collected from Jan. 18 to Feb. 15; follower counts have since gone up.
Head to Head
For this blog post, we also ranked the top five most influential users in four different areas: technology, potential 2012 presidential candidates, religion and sports.