ROI or return on investment is different for every person, business, and situation. First you must look at your goals….what do you hope to obtain with your investment? Next, what are you investing, money, time, and/or resources? What is the timeframe for your endeavor and what milestones are you looking for along the way? It is not always about the end result, most often you get your greatest rewards during the journey.
Twitter is a social utility that is morphing into an everything utility….business, research, news, events, communication, media distribution. So far I have not found much that cannot be done on Twitter….the only limit seems to be the imagination. For most users the real challenge is not in finding ways to use Twitter – it is highly addictive, the challenge is in quantifying the time and effort that goes into using it.
Most Twitter users, if not all, are looking for exposure for a product, service, cause, or on a personal level. Quantifying exposure can be very difficult, because exposure is not just about purchasers, visitors, subscribers, or followers it is about quality. The quality of your message, your followers, and your reach. How many people are being exposed to you and your message, who is sharing it, talking about it, who are your advocates?
As your company grows it can become very difficult, if not impossible, to source where your clients are coming from. Let’s take Twitter for example, where are their users coming from? Are they finding Twitter from online or offline resources, were they directed by a friend, family member, or co-worker? Are Twitter users originating from seeing Twitter on television or hearing about it on the radio? News anchors, talk show hosts, and radio personalities use Twitter and promote their Twitter profiles. Was it a celebrity endorsement, print publication, a favorite product or service that directed them to Twitter?
Twitter is mainstream now, you see and hear about it EVERYWHERE. So Twitter is not lacking quantity, how much quantity even they can’t calculate, but what they also have is quality. Facebook and MySpace may have more users and unique visitors but who is still growing, innovating, and being talked about? Twitter’s brand is being spread far and wide, they aren’t focused on an end number, they are focused on providing a service that will result in brand advocates. They stay in touch, understand the power of relationship marketing, and they have not limited themselves with an end goal.
I just read a statistic that said 60% of Twitter users stop using Twitter in the first month. That says to me that these users did not have a clear well defined goal going in, they were not able to see the value in the resource, and they were using unrealistic timeframe’s. For me personally, I have gotten more out of Twitter then I have put into it. I have gotten knowledge that helped me improve my services, clients, referrals, exposure for my brand, and I have created some great relationships.
Every day that I get on Twitter I focus on creating value and giving back to those that have given to me. I share my interests, resources, and knowledge. I am authentic, interested in what others have to say, and I enjoy talking to people. In return I have great reciprocal relationships that benefit me and my Twitter friends. I quantify all of this – because I am still a business person/nerd, by using tools to watch the reach of my tweets, messages and brand.
TwitterGrader will show you your ranking in your city, state, and country. It will also show you active and influential Twitter users that you may find benefit in establishing a relationship with.
TweetStats graphs your tweets, calculates the volume of your tweets and retweets to quantify your tweet density. Most people who say they get no value from Twitter should first look at their usage and consistency to realistically evaluate what they have put into Twitter before they look at what they have gotten out of it.
TwinInfluence is a tool for measuring the combined influence of your Twitter account and followers, with a few social network statistics thrown in as bonus. This tool looks at your reach through the quality of your followers.
social network analysis teaches us that there is a “horizon of communication” that extends beyond your own direct contacts, and this is demonstrated whenever somebody “retweets” a message. The significance is that not all followers are equal. Imagine Twitterer1, who has 10,000 followers – most of which are bots and inactives with no followers of their own. Now imagine Twitterer2, who only has 10 followers – but each of them has 5,000 followers. Who has the most real “influence?” Twitterer2, of course.
TwitterAnalyzer has many of the functions listed in the previous three tools plus more. This is one of the most comprehensive Twitter analyzer tools I have seen so far. So why did I list the tools above if this one has everything they do and more….well it is about choices and different view points. I like options and second and third sources to substantiate my data these are just a few the tools that will help you do that.
Features: followers online when you are, number of readers that have exposed your message, your tweet habits, who is retweeting your updates, twitter follow statistics, growth rates, what is being said about you, the size of your audience, demographical information about your Twitter followers, map locations, detailed graphs, 3D Charts and more..
All of these tools will help you qualify and quantify your Twitter efforts which is something I urge you to do periodically not only for yourself but for your followers. We get so caught up in what we are getting out of something that we often forget to look at we are putting into it. Are you worth following, do you create value for your Twitter followers? Are you an observer or an active participant that is part of a collabrative community?
If you honestly look at what you are putting into Twitter I think you will find what you are getting from it is in equal proportion.