Twitter is undoubtedly a very important medium for most businesses. One of the big questions people ask is “what sort of return am I getting back for my investment?” Any return on investment is likely to have two components:
- the influence of any activity on Twitter: how many people see it and how long any effect persists for
- the nature of the sentiment generated by the activity: whether it is positive, negative or neutral
This article looks at influence. There are a number of free tools available. Some of these allow you to look at only one site, while others allow you to compare several sites.
Given the nature of social media and the difficulty in measuring the effects accurately, we prefer tools that allow you to compare, either your own influence over time, or your own influence against the influence of your competitors, and we have listed five of our favourite free tools here.
Great for: General statistics
Twitonomy is a great tool for monitoring your own activity on Twitter and comparing it with that of your competitors. It is a really good place to start. Under the Profile tab it provides easy to understand statistics and graphs on a whole range of basic important statistics including:
- General data on the account you are looking at: how many tweets were sent and when they were sent; how often the content is re-tweeted
- Most popular topics: What content was re-tweeted and which tweets were favourited the most; what hash tags were used by your competitor
- Most useful people: which people your competitors engaged with; the people on lists that your competitor is also on
Great for: comparing influence levels
Tweetlevel enables you to analyse particular twitter accounts and rate them in terms of their influence. You can also compare the influence of several different accounts and build up a picture of where your brand sits within the comparative set.
In the example below you can see that David Cameron and Nick Clegg have some way to go before they equal Ed Miliband’s influence on Twitter.
As well as a pictorial representation of influence, the tool also shows you:
- Popularity score – related to the number of followers you have
- Engagement score – related to the frequency with which people engage with you
- Influence score – related to the number of followers who find you interesting
- Trust score – related to the frequency your content is re-tweeted
Great for: finding out what other people are talking about
Foller.me looks at the last 100 tweets about a particular twitter name (your brand, your competitors, an event etc) and provides a useful analysis that includes some of the basics you will get in tools like Twitonomy.
Its particular strength is the way it includes an analysis of the topics discussed in the form of a word cloud, together with hashtags used and mentions given.
Great for: finding out when your competitors are tweeting
Tweetstats is good for finding when people are tweeting. With it you can time your tweets to coincide with or avoid theirs, depending on what you are trying to do.
Great for: micro examination of individual tweets
Tweetreach is a nice way of seeing how far your influence reaches. The free version provides you with a snapshot of the estimated reach and impressions of up to 50 of the most recent tweets for a particular hashtag or string of text – including a whole tweet if you want to track how a particular tweet went, together with data on the timeline, contributors and the people who re-tweeted it.
We will look at Free tools that help you measure sentiment in a future post.