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Making Twitter Success Measurable

by Evan Gerber  |  
September 8, 2009

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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Evan Gerber is the principal experience design consultant at Molecular(, a member of the Isobar network of agencies (

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  • by Sean Weigold Ferguson Tue Sep 8, 2009 via web

    You forgot to mention Klout ( which is by far the best twitter influence measurement tool I've seen. It completely blows its competitors out of the water.

  • by Ed Hart Wed Dec 30, 2009 via web

    A good article - and very reassuring to see some sensible advice being promoted at last.

  • by Simren Deogun Mon Feb 1, 2010 via web

    This is a great overview article of the various Twitter analytical tools available to all users. I am looking to launch my own feed tied to my professional brand and marketing blog and have beeb researching the best tools to use in this experiment. There is certainly a lot of uncertainty around Twitter and these tools so I plan to use them all and hopefully come back with a in depth analysis of their effectiveness.

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