Gather and Use Twitter Metrics

Are you using Twitter to gain more visitors to your site? If so, do you know how effective your efforts are in achieving this goal? Twitter metrics are numbers related to Twitter that can help a person evaluate their standing in the social media community, or determine the effectiveness of campaigns on Twitter. There are a number of different tools for getting data regarding your twitter activity.


Follower Count

Follower count is a metric that you will need to know when looking at other metric data as you may want to divide this number by other numbers.

  1. Go to and the profile of the account you want to get a followers total for.
  2. Look for the box in the upper right hand corner. It should say Name, Location, Web, and Bio. Below this, you should see the number of followers and the number of people the person is following.
  3. Record those numbers as you will need them for other metrics described later in the article.
    • As metric data, the general thinking is that for a company, the more followers the better. The ideal number for a company would to have over 2,000 followers. It shows interest in the general public of the company. A large number of followers also tends to demonstrate a degree of consumer awareness.
    • If there is a huge difference between followers and following where the following far exceeds followers, then this metric generally indicates that the account belongs to a spammer.


Twitterholic is a site which shows the growth of a Twitter account over time in relation to the number of new followers and follows. It also compares Twitter account follows based on region by ranking them.

  1. Go to .
  2. In the box, type the name of the Twitter account you want to check the metrics for.
  3. After you finish typing, hit the Go button. You will be taken to another page. The page will tell you, based on number of followers, what the account is ranked compared to all people on Twitter and in the region the person lists in their profile's location field. It will also show you a graph which shows the number of followers over time. Below that, a table will appear which also shows the same information as found in the graph.
    • This metric can be useful in terms of identifying celebrities on Twitter as they will frequently be ranked highly in their geographic location and will have a graphs with steep incline because they will get a lot of followers in a short period of time as people find them.
    • The rank for a region may be a helpful number in terms of identifying if your account has the right amount of recognition for the size of the geographic location it represents. Example: If you run a candy store in a small town in South Dakota, 300 followers may put you in the top of your region and you might have good recognition in your market area.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a common metric tool. This section presupposes that you have Google Analytics installed on a site and that you have access to it. This section looks at this metric to help you determine how effective Twitter is at driving traffic.

  1. Login to Google Analytics.
  2. Select the site you wish to measure how effective Twitter is. For example, let's say you want to see how much traffic your Twitter updates drive to your blog. Select your blog in Google Analytics.
  3. Click on Traffic Sources on the left sidebar.
  4. Click on Referring Sites.
  5. In the Find Source box below the table, enter Twitter and click go. (If you see Twitter in the table, do not click on it as you will not get a clear picture as does not include mobile Twitter and Twitter search.)A new chart and table will appear. Below is an example of such a box from Fan History Wiki at
  6. Look for the number of visits in the period. In the case of our sample, the Twitter account (fanhistorywiki) sent 157 visitors per month to the website in question. The Twitter account, as of this writing, has 2901 followers.
  7. Calculate visits per follower. In the FanHistory example above, the site only receives a disappointing 0.05 visits per follower in a month period. Some higher benchmarks include wikiHow at 1.98 visits per follower or TechCrunch at .6 visits/follower. [1]). If your number is above 1.0 visits per follower per month, you are probably delivering compelling information for your followers. If your number is well below that, you are not doing so well and you may want to consider changing your Twitter strategy.
Site Visits Followers Visits/Follower
wikiHow, 4/29/09 4427 2206 1.98
TechCrunch, 3/09[1] 150,000 250,000 (estimated) 0.6
Fanhistory, 3/15/09 157 2901 0.05
EncyclopediaDramatica, 5/11/09 21,971 579 37.9

Tracking Retweets

  1. Do a Twitter search for the name of your Twitter account and "RT". Then repeat with your Twitter name and "retweet" (because some people spell out the word when they retweet). The results will show which of your posts were retweeted, which means that your followers found them interesting enough to share with their followers. The higher percentage of your updates that get retweeted, the better.
  2. Go to and enter your Twitter name into the text box. This will tell you how many retweets you're getting in relation to other Twitter users. Seek to raise your percentile.

Tracking Links

  1. Create custom links for Twitter. Let's say you're tweeting about a particular blog post. Create a short URL under your domain that redirects to the actual blog post. Then see how much traffic that intermediate URL gets.
  2. Use to shorten and track links. To see how many clicks a link is getting through Twitter, add a plus sign (+) to the end of the URL. For example, J5JCZ links to How to Unclog a Toilet. If you go to J5JCZ+ (note the plus sign) you will see traffic stats for that link. If you create an account with, you can create your own custom link and track its performance separately from other links pointing to the same page.


  1. Go to and type in the name of your account, or any account that you would like to research.
  2. Read the results. The account is analyzed in five ways: influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, and clout. See Understand Your Twitalyzer Analysis.

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Sources and Citations