Understanding Social Media- Understanding and Quantifying Twitter Usage

How do we to have the greatest bang for our social media buck? In other words, 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 new kid on the block” fits engrossed, the process becomes, how can we optimize and monetize our efforts? In other words, how can we quantify Twitter?

As noted in the first two articles in this series, Twitter has taken the world by storm. Or to utilize a corny pun, Twitter has got the Internet a-flutter! The truth is, the growth rate of Twitter is nothing short of 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 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. Actually, the valleys appear to be reflective of daily usage patterns rather than any kind of a swim in popularity. The only two areas 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 is also 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 simply to the US. Finally, Japan #137, Russia #153, France #161, and China #169 are at the end of the list, in terms traffic rank for those countries listed by Alexa.

One of the very most remarkable things about Twitter is it is entirely free, at least in terms of dollars and cents. Interestingly, the actual cost, and one difficult if not impossible to quantify, is the fee 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 one other way around! An interesting point, vital to understanding the actual value of time, one which does take time to really 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 new awareness of the worth of time and family.

Money is time!

With Marc’s words at heart, it’s easily recognized that Twitter could be addictive. Beyond that, the actual great things about having a presence on the social media platform might be difficult to track in terms of traditional “metrics.” Yes, I am aware I simply used a gobbledygook term! “Metrics!” The real and lasting value of an on line presence on Twitter, an Internet image if you’ll, may rest with the truth that the social media platform supplies the “newbie,” just beginning to emerge as an Internet marketer, to ascertain himself or herself with a foothold, a location to test the waters and hone their message and skills. The advantage to this type of presence should really be immediately apparent, especially if the entrepreneur has chosen the Internet marketing niche, a niche that’ll appear incredibly incestuous at times. A social media presence may allow the new marketer an opportunity to assert himself or herself in what some have referred to as an “old boy network,” and others have referred to as a “senior high 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 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 every other social networking site for example? Remember, smm panel I called that phrase, “social media marketing,” an oxymoron in a previous article! Beyond that, what is the return on investment (ROI) in this instance; and, the principle investment being…time? Before we enter the many tools offered to track message and impact, the balancing act between message and selling must be addressed. In other words, when does your message become spam and when is it posting useful information? Due to the nature with this very unique social media platform, it’s recognized, even by Twitter, that because you consent to check out someone, either by following or following back, that the dynamics of the connection include an implied permission to message. If you never just like the message, you may simply unfollow the messenger!

During an unscientific study conducted within the span of an hour on one of the slower days for Twitter, Saturday, June 27, 2009, I counted links. Peak days are now Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The following highest “tweeting” day of the week is Friday, probably as a result 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 number of links per page at 5 minute intervals, for 10 minutes at a time. The number of links was actually pretty surprising! Of 800 tweets, 20 per page, 200 every 10 minutes, there have been 636 links supplied by 612 Tweeple.Interestingly, 2 Twitterers or Tweeple linking up over and over again on the same tweet, 1 with 3 on the same tweet. That’s 79.5% of all tweets having links, provided in 76.5%of all tweets provided on the in-patient Twitter result pages or TWRPs!

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