Stop Measuring the Wrong Twitter Metrics, Part 1.

Another post, another 100 retweets in 24 hours. You’d be forgiven for thinking your Twitter game is strong. But did you gain any new followers? Have you generated any new business from those retweets? If you haven’t, it’s time to re-evaluate your social media plan.

Now, I’m not saying every tweet will always lead to an increase in followers, but done right, they can. If you are still tracking metrics like the number of followers you have, it’s time to ditch that kind of thinking.

Improving the reach of your brand on social media is pretty straight forward, but it starts with measuring the right metrics. It’s astounding how many marketers measure totally useless metrics and think they’re ‘crushing’ it. The only people impressed by vanity metrics like high number of followers are probably C-Suite executives. These metrics do not help the overall goal of the business.

Understanding your goals for your social media campaigns is the first step to improving your social media reach. What do you want to do, introduce your brand to new customers? Get people to shop in your online store? Drive traffic to your blog? Without a concrete goal, 100 likes on a Facebook post will seem like quite a big deal.

Let’s have a look at Twitter. The number of your Twitter followers means nothing in the grand scheme of things. The level of engagement you can generate is what matters; if you get this high enough, the ROI generated will also rise.

Twitter is unique for the sheer amount of tracking options via third-party apps, software and even it’s own back-end. While the 140 character limit ‘forces’ content creators to be concise, the amount of data it can provide makes up for that. With an audience of over 250million active users, mastering Twitter can boost the reach of your brand a great deal.

Driving more engagement and reaching a larger audience, starts with getting your followers to share your content. But how do you know what content they like?

The Twitter Metrics you need to track


Engagement on Twitter describes all the ways your customers interact with your brand, either via direct conversations, mentions or their sharing of your content. When you track individual components like number of retweets, you get an insight into the kind of content your customers are engaging the most with.

Retweets: Identified by the Retweet icon and the name of the user who retweeted it, they can help identify emerging trends.
It’s also important to understanding the impact that mentions & replies have on your brand.

Replies: @Replies are used by customers to speak directly to you. It may be an inquiry post or a complaint. These tweets will show up in your feed, the user’s feed and feeds of your followers.

Mentions: @mentions are when your brand is included in a tweet but not at the beginning of the tweet. These tweets appear in your feed and their feed. It also has the advantage of showing up in the stream of anyone following the user.

These two metrics show where there is a conversation about you going on on Twitter.

Examining them in relation to one another will allow you see how your followers are interacting with your brand. The data from this alone can be used to create a marketing campaign where you focus on converting those that mentioned you into brand advocates.


Just like Facebook Likes, Favourites on Twitter are used to give ‘credit’ to the author of a tweet for a job well done. Favourites are a considered a vanity metric as they don’t have a direct impact on your bottom line. However they can point your content creation strategy in the right direction. The more favourites a specific content type receives, the higher the chance that it resonates with the audience.


The use of hashtags has been abused all over social media; as people tend to overuse it, rendering posts almost illegible. Hashtags are used in tweets (and on Facebook and Instagram, as well) to make certain terms searchable, clickable, and measurable. This allows the terms to be tracked through the life of the campaign. It also allows them to be compared to other hashtags when refining a campaign.

Response Rate

An overlooked but important metric is Response Rate. Due to the accessibility of brands on social media, many customers use it to reach out and communicate. It’s the brands duty to respond as quickly as possible. When a response is delayed, customers are quick to label the brand ‘uncaring’. Tracking your response rate can help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your customer service on social media.

Response Time

To measure social activity for brand engagement and customer service, some marketers use the Response Time metric. As customers are constantly reaching out with one query or another, they expect faster and faster responses. One report showed that 53% of customers expect a reply within an hour of contacting a brand of Twitter. Measuring your current response time is the first step to reducing it and getting more satisfied customers.

Getting on top of these metrics will help you create a social media strategy that covers all bases; the right content, excellent customer service, follow-ups. So how do you tweak your existing campaigns to get better numbers?

In part two of this article, we’ll discuss how to drive more social media engagement with even less content creation. If you want to improve campaigns, but don’t know where to start, contact Search & More today.

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