What is the reach of a Tweet?
Posted on 5 October 2012 by Russell Taylor
Our corporate Twitter account (@DevonCC) has been live for over 4 years now, in that time we’ve gained over 8,000 followers (closing in on Lady Gaga) and sent over 4,500 tweets covering a variety of services and issues:
- press releases
- campaign messages – Car sharing, road safety, social care.
- road/highways updates – roadworks, travel conditions and journey times
- emergency alerts – severe weather conditions, flood alerts
- And giant spider attacks…well not many of these
We’ve also trialled tweeting live from public events such as our community roadshow, cabinet meetings and the county show.
We aim for our account to be more than just a broadcast of corporate messages we’ve tried to engage with the public by responding to enquiries, retweeting useful partners messages and encouraging conversation.
It is important to us that our account provides a purpose and adds value to our communications plan. We have always looked for best practice and used a variety of tools to assess progress and success.
The typical metrics that I’m sure most people are familiar with tracking are followers, mentions and retweets. These metrics can be pretty useful as an indicator of an accounts development and activity.
These are all useful tools in their own right, but there’s been one metric that we’ve been wanting to know for quite a while.
What exactly is the reach and engagement of individual tweets?
This is important as it allows you to judge the impact of tweets, question their success and test alternative methods. Did the tweet reach as many people as we hoped? What variables might affect the reach (Time of day, tone, content)? Did people engage with the message? How can we improve the message?
Now you can manually do this by looking at each tweet and checking the number of mentions and number of followers connected to account that retweeted you. However, doing this for every message would obviously be pretty laborious. I’ve been looking for a tool for a quite a while now that could do this for us, and the other day I found one.
Crowdbooster seems to have been around for over a year but I stumbled upon it a couple of weeks ago. It provides a dashboard displaying some very useful information such as follower growth, Influential followers, top retweeters but also impressions.
The Impressions dashboard visualises a record of your tweet history colour coding your tweets depending on their reach and number of RTs. You can then select individual tweets which then show the users that RT’d you and their follower count.
The next step is to capture this data and start experimenting with our account. We will be looking at the:
- types of messages we send (campaigns, alerts, information, multimedia)
- time we send them
- tone of message – formal vs informal
This tool will allow us to analyse the results and hopefully by the end of the process we’ll finally be able to answer some questions about what the impact of a tweet is and how we can tailor our messages to benefit our audience.
I look forward to reporting back you what we learn. Stay tuned…
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