How Do You Know if Your Twitter Strategy is Effective

How Do You Know if Your Twitter Strategy is Effective?

twitter strategyAre you tweeting on a regular basis but not really sure if it’s working?

What is your strategy for figuring out if Twitter is really useful for you?

Years ago, I used to run software development teams and I remember developers using Twitter: I couldn’t see the point of it.  Why are these developers sending 140-character trivial messages to each other every minute of the day?

It will never catch on, I thought.  It’s a geek thing!!

Well, I was wrong.  I started using Twitter because so many other people were on the site, and I hated it at first.  I hated it because I was tweeting without purpose.  And if you’re tweeting without purpose, you should hate it, because it’s just a waste of your time.  Give it up, if there’s no purpose to your tweets!

But what if you had a real strategy for using Twitter and you could measure if this strategy was working?  And what if this strategy resulted in you growing your business?

For this to happen, measurement is extremely important.

The following pointers will give you some ideas of whether your Twitter strategy is working for you.


1.  Is it Driving Relevant Traffic Back to Your Website?

You share lots of great content and some of this content includes links back to your own website.  But what happens to the traffic that comes from Twitter?  Do people hang around for a while or disappear immediately?  Do they engage with your content?  Do they sign up to your email list?

The best way of measuring this is to set up a goal within Google Analytics.  For example, if the main goal of your website is to build email subscribers, then you could set up a goal that measures this, e.g. the goal is achieved when someone reaches your thank-you page after they sign up.


Google Analytic Goals
You can set up specific goals within Google Analytics and then track these goals.


Now you can start looking at what traffic came from Twitter and what your conversion rates were as a result of this traffic.  You can also compare these conversion rates with the conversions from traffic that comes from other social channels to see which are the most effective channels for conversions.

In the example below, the conversion rate is twice as much on LinkedIn as it is on Twitter.  So, you may want to spend more time on LinkedIn, or instead, you could start to analyze your followers on Twitter to see if they are really relevant.


Google analytics social conversions
View the conversions across each of the platforms

2.  Is Your Follower Count Growing?

It’s certainly not all about followers.  But, if you are sharing good content, you should be attracting a growing audience for this content, and this audience should be related to who you want to target.

You should also be retaining a high percentage of existing followers.

So, it’s worth having a look at the graph to see if your Twitter follower count is growing.  Next, do some audience analysis to see the profile of your Twitter audience; there are many tools available to do this (e.g. Twtrland).

SocialBro can show you an analysis of your churn rates.  This is the number of people who follow you and then unfollow soon afterwards.  If you have a high churn rate, it becomes difficult to grow your following.  A high churn rate also indicates that your content is not interesting to your new followers.  Are you following the wrong people?  Are you sharing the wrong content?  Are you sharing too much content?

Here’s an example of churn rates, displayed using the SocialBro tool.  On the left, it shows the new followers, and then each column shows the number of these followers still remaining after each week.  You’ll see the biggest drop off is within the first couple of weeks.


socialbro churn
View the number of new followers who are unfollowing you


Another reason for high churn is that when new people follow you and you don’t follow them back, they may unfollow you.  So, it’s important to check your new followers on a regular basis and follow back those people who are relevant.


3.  Are the Right Type of Followers Following You?

When was the last time you analyzed your followers and viewed an overall breakdown of their profile?

Why build up followers who are not relevant?  It’s easy to have a couple of hundred thousand followers, but a lot more difficult to build up a targeted list of relevant followers.

Twtrland is one tool that shows you an analysis of your followers.  It will go through the profile of your followers and categorize them into one of the 60,000 categories it has defined.

From my profile below, the majority of followers are relevant.  The reason there are 2% from the travel industry is because I spoke about social media at some travel-related conferences.


Audience Profile
View of the breakdown of the categories of your Twitter followers


4. Are Your Followers Sharing Your Content?

If you produce great content that is relevant to your target audience, they should be clicking on your links and visiting your website, but they should also be sharing your content.

Here’s a simple way of analyzing the sharing of your content using Twtrland.

It shows you the number of tweets per day, how many of these tweets get retweets and how many people, on average, reply to your tweets.  From the list below, you can see that the engagement is quite good but the amplification could be improved.


Twitter Engagement
How engaging are your tweets?


Amplification gives you exposure to new audiences, because your followers are sharing out your content to their followers.  So, now, you can dive in further and start to analyze which is the most popular/least popular content.  Also, have a look at the content you share: is it all links, text updates or images?  Which works best with your audience?

With a bit of analysis, you can make improvements to both areas.  Another useful tool to check out is Twitonomy which gives good detailed stats.  An article from Social Media Examiner on how to boost Twitter conversations is also worth checking out.



Every so often, it’s really useful to step back and do an analysis of your Twitter account to see if your Twitter strategy is working or not.  Maybe you don’t have a strategy, and maybe it’s time for one!  Or maybe you have got a strategy but you need to make improvements to support it.

If you do some analysis, you’ll certainly be able to make improvements and you will probably find some interesting analysis.

Is your strategy working?  What else would you add to this checklist above?

We’d love to hear from you!

Related Posts

How to use SocialBro to dramatically grow your Twitter following

How to get Twitter followers for free

How to find influencers on Twitter


4 Responses to How Do You Know if Your Twitter Strategy is Effective?

  1. Great post Ian, it is imperative for brands to do a social audit of their online presence and see if the strategy they set is yielding results. The answers they get will let them know if they are making positive strides or is it time to rework on their plan.

  2. Wonderful, practical advice Ian. If we are not getting the results we hoped for it is smart to re-look at our twitter strategy and probably save ourselves some important time in the process. Looking at results show us what is time and cost effective. Thanks!

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