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


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