Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 2, 2009 6:31 AM

Tracking The Power Of Twitter

There are many tools out there that allow you track Twitter. Some will show you just how popular an individual is, and some will list off mentions of a specific term. Some will help you understand how many people have retweeted (RT) what you wrote, and then there's one that seems a little bit more powerful...

The truth is you can never really know how many people have seen your tweets. We don't know how many people on that given day, at that given time who are following you are around to see your tweet, and we also don't have any specific ways to see how big the network of those who retweeted your bite-sized blast is. We do know that one of the better ways to get people interested in what you're tweeting about is to embed links in your tweets. We also know that using a URL shortening service (which takes a long website address and makes it nice and compact to fit into 140 characters or less) is standard operating procedure for the Twitterati.

Enter tr.im. 

tr.im doesn't just shorten URLs, it also adds on a very interesting layer of analytics. All you have to do is sign up for an account, add the provided bookmarklets to your default web browser and use the service when you tweet.

Here's how: 

  1. When you find an item you want to tweet about - click your bookmarklet button.
  2. As long as you are already logged in to both Twitter and tr.im, the URL you selected will be automatically shortened and placed in a new tweet.
  3. Simply add your thoughts surrounding the shortened URL and publish.

After that, you can head over to the tr.im site and under "Account" and then "URLs", you will be able to see how many people clicked on the link within your tweet, where they came from, a timeline, where they were referred from (in this case it will mostly be Twitter), what web browser/platform they used and more.

Getting someone to Retweet your content is a huge compliment and getting someone to click on a link is also very high praise.

From an analytics perspective, you are now able to see the type of content that is most relevant to your community by knowing who is clicking on your links. It's also a great way to track the popularity of your content and more.

But wait, there's more...

If you usually add a link from your own Blog posts on Facebook as well, you can use tr.im for that too. This way, you can also track similar usage on Facebook. You will be able to tell which one of your Blog postings on Facebook got people to click. If you also tweet when you have a new Blog posting, use the same tr.im URL shortened for both Twitter and Facebook, and then you can compare which online social network sent the most traffic to your content.

Do you track Twitter and Facebook usage? How do you do it? Do you have any tips?

(special thanks to Avinash Kaushik, Blogger at Occam's Razor, author of Web Analytics - An Hour A Day and the Analytics Evangelist at Google for this technique)

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Todd Jordan
    Mitch Joel

    Another on that tracks, bit.ly. Though I find it a bit more cumbersome to find the stats for the links, it doesn't require you to register.

    Reply
  • Posted by Corby Fine
    Mitch Joel

    You can also use http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url which is part of the HootSuite application. It gives you built in analytics as well as a multi user interface to share a single Twitter account (you can also pre-schedule tweets - awesome application)

    Reply
  • Posted by Khayyam
    Mitch Joel

    I've been monitoring my tweets to be a more effective communicator. And I also take it to extremes. I used to run all my links through HootSuite which would give me comprehensive statistics of click throughs for any given time period. Problem with this was there is an iFrame attached to the links which is a.) aesthetically displeasing and b.) takes a long time to load. There is no other service that gives this intense of data. In the 5 months they were open they served out 500,000 link throughs and I made up 50,000 of them. One user?! Yes, i will go on record that I am one of the most analytical tweeters out there :)

    I've been using tr.im for all my custom urls. Data analysis is mediocre with this, however it at least lets you store your custom urls whereas other don't.

    Then I moved over to bit.ly which gives phenomenal real time tracking. On any bit.ly link just add a + symbol after the url and watch the magic unfold. You can observe how your link reacts within the twitter stream. Go play with it yourselves...

    And then we come to BackTweets now. Not necessarily a url shortener. However, once it has been shortened, it's going to show up here. Invaluable tool for tracking back comments for any particular url.

    Try those out... from a seriously addicted Twitter user to you... "I'm giving you pearls here"


    Reply
  • Posted by SharonHill
    Mitch Joel

    Being a blogger, I have used so many URL shortening tools, but I like http://aafter.us/ , the most. It shrinks large URLs within few seconds. I use it for Twitter as well as Facebook postings. However, your recommendation is also good.

    Regards,
    SharonHill

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I'm a fan of hootsuite too. I've been told by the company that an option to opt out of using the iframe toolbar. It's the best out there for free easy tracking and tweeting. Especially if you have multiple authors and accounts.

    Reply
  • Posted by Daniel
    Daniel

    Actually what you describe sounds similar to bit.ly. Check it out.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Adding bud.url to the list of similar tools.

    Reply
  • Posted by theWeir
    Mitch Joel

    Like a few others have mentioned, Hootsuite and Bit.ly do it for me (the former having more detail to it's analytics and the timing is pretty nifty to.

    I'm interested to see if Tr.im works inside Facebook too tho.

    Thanks for sharing,


    W

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    This sounds amazing! I've been looking for a tool similar to this. I will let you know how it works out for me.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tiffany
    Mitch Joel

    I love tr.im - I use it for my personal and business Twitter accounts. I also love learning from the service.

    If you pay attention, you can see directly how an RT from certain users can impact your sharing of a link. You'd be suprised - many of the power users with huge networks get fewer clicks when passing along links than smaller, more focused users who hare trust and relationship with their audiences.

    Reply
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