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How to Measure Engagement on Twitter—and Savor the Tweet Smell of Success

by Jim Sterne  |  
March 17, 2009

Twitter is one of the most rapidly adopted social media outlets on the Internet, and it's growing by leaps and bounds each day. There is enormous value in just being a part of the conversations that are happening on Twitter, regardless of what your goals are for the channel.

However, if you are on Twitter to represent your company, your boss will probably soon ask you to prove the value that your tweets have to your business, if he or she hasn't already asked.

So how do you know whether your followers are listening or whether you're just tweeting in the wind? How do you know whether tweets about topic X have more or less value than tweets about topic Y?

There are several tools for measuring engagement on Twitter, and even some homemade algorithms.

But the first step is always to define your goals. Then, as with any channel that is part of your overall marketing strategy, you'll be able to make smarter decisions about your Twitter content stream, the types of "following" behavior, how you represent yourself and your brand, and more.

For marketers, Twitter is an extension of everything you do from a branding and PR perspective. To supplement your blog posts, you might tweet about today's topic and post a tinyURL back to your corporate site. To generate more eyeballs and potential sales, you could tweet about the special deal you just sent to your email subscribers. To make more personal connections and network with influencers, you can even live-tweet your whereabouts or provide real-time feedback at industry events.

None of these will aid your marketing plans, however, if you're not speaking to the right people.

To grow your network on Twitter, start by using the site's own search function and use keywords that are relevant to your overall business's target audiences.

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Jim Sterne ( is the founder and director of Target Marketing (, founder of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and the founding president and current chairman of the Web Analytics Association.

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  • by Nick Usborne Mon Mar 23, 2009 via web

    Another great way to measure the effectiveness of your Tweets (and to justify the time you spend on Twitter) is to track clickthroughs. You can do this by shortening your links via

    very cool tool.


  • by JLibbey Thu Mar 26, 2009 via web

    How do we follow you on Twitter?

  • by Tom Holownia Thu Mar 26, 2009 via web

    "Link to URLs for followers who want to dive a little deeper," is a great idea to give your Tweet some legs and to which I'll add "or give the follower an opportunity to experience you personally when that link is to a GoldMail message" (I'm the VP Marketing for GoldMail). Think of it - a Tweet with a link that when clicked on allows the follower to hear your voice and see your images, served up in a browser window! GoldMail is a great way to put a bit more of yourself in your Tweet and strengthen your relationship with your followers. To experience a GoldMail message, click this link or paste it into your browser (turn your speakers on):

  • by oddpodz Mon Mar 30, 2009 via web

    thanks for the tips on how to measure Twittering success! I've wondered how someone with 20,000 followers, or who follows 20,000+ people can leverage the power of that network AND even seeif the time spent is worthwhile. I'm always looking for new ways to get the word out about new content, site updates and news on our site,

  • by Nicole Fri May 8, 2009 via web

    Thank you very much, great article!

  • by LLOnlineBlogera LLC Sat Apr 17, 2010 via web

    Thank you for the tips.

    I'm looking for ways to quantify and show the effectiveness of my tweets to potential prospects.



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