Twitter Metrics – How to Fool Your Leadership
Twitter Metrics Are Too Easy to Manipulate
Metrics to track Social Media initiatives are the first topic in many leadership meetings. Social Media is very difficult to understand, especially for leaders who have demanding schedules. But numbers are not difficult to understand, they are clear, objective, and easy to compare.
However, when you create a metric, you create an incentive to focus on that metric. Ask anyone that works in sales to tell you a story of how they’ve “worked the system” to maximize their metrics. It happens all the time.
To prevent social media metrics from hurting your company, here are some common Twitter metrics and how to game them. By exposing these metrics, I hope to advance the discussion and take a more holistic view of social media’s effect on business
Number of Followers
- Why people measure it – Easy and transparent measure of how interesting someone is
- Why it sucks – Quantity does not equal quality
- How To Cheat This Metric
Number of ReTweets (RTs)
- Why people measure it – Similar to “Net Promoter Score“, it shows how often a user’s content is recommended
- Why it sucks – Automatic Retweet bots and hard to benchmark
- How to Cheat This Metric –
- Find an auto-retweet user like @CharityRT that RTs everything with a tag #CharityRT
- Partner with a spammer to retweet each others’ tweets
- Put “Please Retweet!” in every post; it works
- Provide leadership with a low target on # of RTs per week (no one knows what a “good number” is)
What Twitter Metrics Matter?
The problem with Twitter metrics is that we focus on the transparent metrics rather than the ones that matter. The metrics that matter is what happens on your site as a result of Twitter. Use your analytics software to compare Twitter traffic to Organic Search and Direct Traffic. My favorites are as follows:
- % New Visits
- Time on Site