Have you ever hired someone to do social media for you? Have people offered to do social media for you? Yes, it’s important, and yes it can help your business, but only if you know what you are doing and hire someone who is good. Otherwise, it can be a complete waste of tens of thousands of dollars or lakhs!
Some people use social media to get new customers. Others use it for the SEO optimization benefits. I use it for both and calculate its value based on any type of benefit I get.
But, most people are not too sophisticated in their use of social media. It is a common conception that having lots of followers is a good thing. I heard one guy complain that his Facebook profile had 200,000 followers but that his messages were not getting heard. Only the Pay-per-click strings he posted got any play. The fact is that there are too many people following too many people, and your message will get lost in the shuffle unless people are really paying attention to you.
Here are how I asses a twitter account.
(1) Total number of followers.
I don’t attach too much weight to this number unless I know the approximate value of the average member
(2) Total number of relevant followers
Many people’s followers are not even human. They are robots. Many other followers are just dormant and don’t respond to anything. A follower in your industry has more value to you than someone who follows you for no apparent reason. If you are in the logging industry and someone follows you who is not in logging, and doesn’t purchase the services of loggers, they might not be so relevant. On the other hand, if you have a travel Twitter account, and someone called Osaka highlights follows you, they would be relevant even though they didn’t use the word “travel” in their profile introduction.
(3) Total number of active followers
A relevant follower is as useless as an irrelevant follower if they just sit there collecting cyber-dust. Google will give you better placement on your site if you are getting retweeted, and if people are responding to your posts and making dialogues with you. If your followers do nothing, then they have no value. On the other hand, if you have a handful of dream come true followers who retweet you regularly, favorite you, put you on lists, and interact with you, you are in business. I am luck because I have several accounts that are not even following me that retweet me multiple times per day!
(4) Total number of retweets
If you get retweeted, that is good, but how many times does it happen in a 30 day period? That is an analytic in my book.
(5) How many accounts retweeted you at least once
If you get retweeted, but it is always by the same people, that is not a bad thing, but it is more interesting to see how many individual accounts retweeted you.
(6) The reach of your retweets.
Reach is a marketing term used a lot in internet marketing. Your reach is how many humans your advertisement reached. If they saw, it (and ignored it,) you still reached them. If you document all of the retweets you got in one column, and then calculate how many followers each of those retweets reached, then you have another analytic. If Sam and Fiona retweeted you — Sam has 10 followers, but Fiona has 5000 followers, then the reach of your retweets was 5010 followers. Whether your reach was well targeted or not is yet another layer of the analytical onion, so to speak!
(7) Incoming interactions
It is easy to post on Twitter. Some post really profound and fascinating content while most people post pure rubbish, or “Twitter Litter.” Anyone can tweet, but how many people can get people to write comments to them. And, how many people can get people to write intelligent and/or funny comments? Not so many. A lot of your skill as a Twitterer is how well you write commentary on other people’s tweets. You have to first select what to comment on. I generally will comment on less than 2% of very targeted tweets. Then, I’ll try to come up with a philosophical twist or a satirical angle on what they said, to make life interesting!
(8) Do any of your clients say they found you on Twitter?
(9) Have your site analytics for your main site gone up after you had major activity on your Twitter account? My rule of cyber-thumb is that if your Twitter or blog has a peak of extra activity, that activity (assuming that it is quality activity) will show up on your site stats roughly 20 days later. I call it the 20 day rule.
There is more to Twitter to what I mentioned. But, if you talk to the people who manage your account, ask them about these metrics, ask them what hashtags they are using, and look at your Google analytics stats, you can learn a lot! You might learn that it is time to fire someone as well if you learn too much from these metrics!