July 03, 2009

Measuring Your Twitter Performance I wondered how I was doing on Twitter. Just when i thought I was getting the hang of Twitter, I was derailed by Eric Peterson's presentation at the 140 Conference. At the outset he defined the majority of "active" Twitter users as someone with 403 followers following 398 and posting 44 updates a week. By following 480 with 198 followers and making several posts each week,I'm close enough, given my demographic, to be okay with that. But then Eric claims the "average active user" has 4664 followers following 1165 others making 108 updates per week. I'm thinking who has the time and who has that much to say? But then he points to the "truly exceptional" user with an average of 46,000 followers, following 8600 others, posting 50 tweets a day or 567 per week. Imagine how fascinating someone's life or someone's brand must be to have enough time to tweet 80 times a day to share the richness of their thoughts, feelings and experience. Being an alpha male and a data wonk, I just had to know how my Twitter behavior measures up. Fortunately among the 11,000 existing Twitter applications are a bunch that measure your behavior against the 18 million others using the service worldwide. To feel less like a twit, I used the Twitalyzer to compare my @flamster behavior to others. What a bummer! The results showed that I have no influence, clout or generosity, little velocity and 33% signal to noise ratio. Not satisfied with my performance I sought out other tools to assess my Twitter performance. Luckily I found Ron Callari's post on Inventorspot.com which listed 5 tools to redeem my self esteem. Tweetstats allowed me to graph my tweet timeline (1.1 per day) my tweet density and track it over days and time periods and track my following and follower behavior. It was colorful and ego-neutral. TwInfluence gave me a rank of 61,649 or 48% (of what I don't know) with "high average" social capital and 475,964 secondary followers which felt pretty good; a lot like those 8 million people in my LinkedIn network. For a moment I was feeling like my voice was being heard until I compared my scores to Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) who is the leader in reach, velocity and social capital outpacing Twitterers like the New York Times, The Onion, John McCain and NPR not too mention Larry King or Oprah. TwitterAnalyzer allowed me to view a full range of graphs outlining my paltry efforts on Twitter. Evidently I fell off the face of Twitter on 5/22 but then bounced back with avengence by spiking in followers. TwitterGrader from Hubspot was like an easy-grading teacher. With a grade of 91 and a rank of 223,407 out of 2,335,931 I felt like a top ten percenter even though the graph of my user history didn't print out. But the best feeling came from TweetPsych, a tool that uses linguistic analysis algorithms to mine the words you've tweeted to instantly paint a psychological portrait of you. According to the psychologist embedded in the formula, I write a lot about jobs and work plus education and learning, have some insight with frequent positive feelings. In terms of primordial, conceptual and emotional content, I score 75.13 on social behavior, 15.12 on anxiety and 9.13 on taste sensations. If my shrink only knew. All 5 sites allowed me to store and print my results, tweet my results and instantly follow their authors. Being a neophyte, I did as directed. As a data-driven marketer its hard to accept and hard to make fun of these attempts to measure, monitor and maybe even monetize my behavior on Twitter. But its clear that understanding your own value and the impact you or your brand might have is in the early stages -- an evolving mix of supposition, science, art and fantasy. In the short run to protect my fragile ego I'm going to apply a rule I learned earlier in life to Twitter -- it's not the size but what you do with it that matters.

Danny Flamberg

I am a veteran marketing consultant working with leading and emerging brands

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