Understanding Social Media- Understanding and Quantifying Twitter Usage

How can we to obtain the biggest bang for our social networking buck? Put simply, understanding the metrics of Twitter is on everyone’s mind these days. As marketers attempt to find out the efficacy of their overall social networking marketing strategy and how “the new kid on the block” fits into it, the challenge becomes, just how do we optimize and monetize our efforts? Put simply, just how do we quantify Twitter?

As noted in the initial two articles in this series, Twitter has taken the world by storm. Or to employ a corny pun, Twitter has got the Internet a-flutter! Truth be told, the growth rate of Twitter is nothing short of phenomenal. The mini-blogging phenomenon has taken the social networking world by storm, 140 characters at a time. On Thursday, June 25, 2009, Alexa ranked Twitter #17 in the world, up 66 in 3 months, having an average rank of 36. The growth has been steady, with quite a few peaks and hardly any valleys. In fact, the valleys seem to be reflective of daily usage patterns rather than any kind of a swim in popularity. The only two aspects of decline are in Pageviews/User and Time on Site, down 14.2% and 5%, respectively. smm panel The popularity of Twitter in the United States is immediately apparent, with 43.5% of all traffic coming from the States. However, the social networking phenomenon can also be ranked saturated in South Africa at #10, #13 in Australia with 2.6% of all traffic to the 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 the website, second only to the US. Finally, Japan #137, Russia #153, France #161, and China #169 are in the bottom of the list, in terms traffic rank for anyone countries listed by Alexa.

One of the very most remarkable things about Twitter is that it’s entirely free, at least in terms of dollars and cents. Interestingly, the true cost, and one difficult if not impossible to quantify, is the cost in terms of 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 link between family and business, the book is an awesome template for business and life. “Money is time,” not the other way around! An interesting point, vital to understanding the true value of time, one which takes time to get your thinking wrapped around. The book is an awesome template for business and life, one which places emphasis where it belongs and creates a brand new awareness of the worth of time and family.

Money is time!

With Marc’s words in your mind, it is easily recognized that Twitter could be addictive. Beyond that, the true advantages of having a presence on the social networking platform may be difficult to track in terms of traditional “metrics.” Yes, I understand I recently used a gobbledygook term! “Metrics!” The true and lasting value of an online presence on Twitter, an Internet image if you’ll, may rest with the fact the social networking platform offers the “newbie,” just beginning to emerge as an Internet marketer, to establish himself or herself with a foothold, a place to check the waters and hone their message and skills. The benefit to this kind of presence ought to be immediately apparent, specially if the entrepreneur has chosen the Internet marketing niche, a distinct segment that will appear incredibly incestuous at times. A social media presence may allow the new marketer a chance to assert himself or herself in what some have known as an “old boy network,” and others have known as a “senior school clique,” of sorts. Whether a valid point or not, the issue for the “newbie” to break to the Internet marketing niche is eased somewhat by the ability to connect, build relationships, and indeed bond with perspective clients and fellow entrepreneurs, alike.

So, how will you track the potency of your social networking marketing campaign on Twitter or on every other social networking site for instance? Remember, I called that phrase, “social networking marketing,” an oxymoron in a prior article! Beyond that, what’s the return on investment (ROI) in this instance; and, the main investment being…time? Before we enter into the different tools offered to track message and impact, the balancing act between message and selling must be addressed. Put simply, when does your message become spam and when could it be posting useful information? Due to the nature of the very unique social networking 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 partnership include an implied permission to message. If you don’t like the message, you might simply unfollow the messenger!

During an unscientific study conducted on the course of an hour on one of many slower days for Twitter, Saturday, June 27, 2009, I counted links. Peak days are in reality 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 through 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. How many links was really pretty surprising! Of 800 tweets, 20 per page, 200 every 10 minutes, there were 636 links provided by 612 Tweeple.Interestingly, 2 Twitterers or Tweeple linking up more than once for a passing fancy tweet, 1 with 3 for a passing fancy tweet. That’s 79.5% of all tweets having links, provided in 76.5%of all tweets provided on the patient Twitter result pages or TWRPs!

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