More than ever, hard numbers are necessary to demonstrate success. They are all but incontrovertible and easy to communicate, and they can point out what is or isn't working. However, keep in mind that Mark Twain once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."

It can be difficult to measure success of efforts that rely on emerging media; despite the fact that they are online channels, it's tough to decide what to track and what the numbers mean.

For new-media darling Twitter, with its established tweetocracy (and people coining phrases with "tweet" left, right, and center), marketers are finding more tools to help them understand how their efforts are performing in this new medium.

This article will explore different ways to measure success (and mistakes) on Twitter by examining several real-world campaigns and the tools marketers can use to measure campaign success.

First, Know What to Measure

Before getting started, make sure that the business is tracking valuable information. Each day there is yet another way to slice and dice the data, but not all of them are helpful.

Some tools are introspective—they look at how the Twitter campaign is presenting itself or how to organize Twitter information from other sources. Other tools are quantitative—they analyze traffic, trends, and follower count.

The first thing to do is to make a measurement plan to determine what is important to the organization and how to justify the campaign's success. How can an organization define success? It depends on its objectives.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Evan Gerber is the principal experience design consultant at Molecular(www.molecular.com), a member of the Isobar network of agencies (www.isobar.net).