Twitter clients throughout the years

I know I am a nerd, but when I got access to my full Twitter archive (details here) I found it fascinating to look back at the Twitter clients I have gone through over the years. So naturally, I had to visualise this and add some annotations.

Caution: Nerd Alert.

Twitter clients throughout the years

PS. I chose not to go back and calculate the cost of changing Twitter clients so often, nor the total amount I’ve spent. Moving right along …

#eMetrics Boston: Twitterific!

A few fun facts about eMetrics Boston on Twitter:

  • During the conference timeframe, there were 2,726 tweets from 499 users, averaging 5.5 tweets per user. (For comparison, eMetrics San Francisco saw 3,241 tweets during the conference from 622 users, but it was also a more heavily attended conference.)
  • The top 20 contributors to the #eMetrics hashtag were:

MicheleJKiss 295  (don’t judge me)
BloggerKrista 189
measurefuture 138
june_li 112
eswayne 76
andrewjanis 75
rdo 67
RachaelGerson 66
deniseburns 65
jimsterne 47
Stuart_Wood 45
AnyaPrimavera 43
LdsWebAnalytics 43
codydbailey 40
iwanttobesocial 40
SashaVerbitsky 39
tgwilson 39
Wilson_Lopez 39
johnlovett 35
emetrics 33
JoseAnalytics 33

The tweet that reached the furthest (thanks TweetReach!) with over 430,000 impressions was:

(And in case you’re curious, the second highest also mentioned Gilligan.)

And in case you’re curious what we were talking about:

Thank you to the lovely and clever people at TweetReach for the spiffy data!

eMetrics Tweet Activity

Tweet stats:

3,241 total tweets during the conference time
59 tweets per hour
38% of conference tweets were retweets
622 unique contributors to the #eMetrics hashtag

Top tweet topics:

Top tweeters:

Most Retweeted Tweets

This year, eMetrics had a competition for the most retweeted tweet. The winner received a blue bird (and fame and glory, of course.) The competition was judged by the lovely folks at TweetReach and announced on the last day of the event.

In order, the most retweeted tweets were:

 

Twitalyzer “Impact” Score

I also found it interesting to compare and contrast my Twitalyzer “Impact” score historically at different events. eMetrics SF 2012 led to my highest Impact score to date (but note that Followers is a consideration in Impact scores, so later conferences are likely to have a higher score.)

Definition of “Impact”:

Impact, as defined by Twitalyzer, is a combination of the following factors:

  • The number of followers a user has
  • The number of references and citations of the user
  • How often the user is retweeted
  • How often the user is retweeting other people
  • The relative frequency at which the user posts updates

Related post: Top Takeaways from eMetrics SF 2012

Top 10 Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

Anyone who knows me (or has had the misfortune of reading my Twitter feed when I’m attending a conference) knows it’s a tweetapalooza. When I first started tweeting and attending conferences, I found that if I could download my tweets after the event, there wasn’t a real need to take notes. For me, the tweets became my notes (and I write a lot of them!)

So I thought I would share a few tips for how I tweet at conferences, in case it is useful to anyone.

Top 10 Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

1. Warn your followers. Before the event, mention to people that you’ll be tweeting from it, and even that they can temporarily block you if they don’t want to read it all right now. Since you may clutter their Twitter feed, it’s just polite. (And don’t get offended if someone unfollows you because of it. They have every right to, if your content isn’t of interest.)

2. Use the event hashtag. For example, #ACCELERATE, #eMetrics, etc. Twitter hashtags group content by topic and will allow others to read your tweets, along with others attending the event.

3. Cite your source. Where possible, mention the source of the tweet content – the speaker. For example, “Blah blah something super insightful @speakersname #conferencename.” (If they don’t have a Twitter username, it’s up to you whether you include their name in the tweet. It can be helpful for those not attending to know who said what, but there is also, of course, a character limit that may restrict you.)

4. Bring your laptop. It is much easier to type tweets on a real keyboard than on a smartphone or tablet.

5. Monitor the conference hashtag. Use a Twitter client that updates the conference hashtag, so you can keep an eye on what others are tweeting about the event. Sometimes you may miss something, and it’s good to see if there’s anything you missed. (For example, I use HootSuite on a normal day, but use TweetDeck at conferences, because it will update the conference stream in almost real time.)

6. Make tweets informative and include context. Don’t just rush to tweet something first, if it’s incomplete. Make sure that what you are sharing actually makes sense to someone who is not sitting at the conference. After all, the people who are there don’t really need to read your tweets – they’re hearing it live. You need to ensure you keep context in your tweets so that those who couldn’t make the event can follow.

7. Keep it concise. Your content is more likely to get retweeted if you keep them short enough to allow characters to retweet. However – if you need to balance context (see #5) with characters for retweets, focus on making tweets longer but informative vs. shorter and useless. (Don’t forget, people can always do a “new school retweet” vs. the in-line “RT-style” retweet.)

8. Don’t forget to talk to people! Sure, it’s great to share insights from the conference with Twitter, but take time to put down the computer and meet people at the event too.

9. Share! If you’re going to go to the trouble of tweeting, be sure to make your tweets available to people after the event, in case they didn’t have a chance to read on the day. (After all, they will only be available for at most a week via Twitter itself, before they drop off the face of the earth.) Better yet, download the archive of the entire hashtag, so that people can download more than just your tweets. (It can be tough to find ways to do this these days. The most luck I’ve had is with The Archivist desktop version, which is available for PC only – and which I’m certain will stop working in the not too distant future!)

2013 Update: The good news is, Twitter now allows you to download your Twitter archive! This makes it easy to download your historical tweets, pull out those to the conference hashtag and share with others.

10. Wrap up the event afterwards. Don’t just bombard Twitter during the event itself. Consider your tweets (or the entire conference hashtag) as your notes, and be sure to wrap up your “top take homes” or other blog post, article etc afterwards, to share with others.

Anything I missed? Feel free to add your tips in the comments!

TakeFive with TweetReach interview

[Originally published on the TweetReach blog]

Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with notable members of the social media analytics and measurement community. This week we’re thrilled to welcome Michele Kiss Hinojosa, a self-confessed analytics geek and Director of Digital Analytics at Red Door Interactive.

TweetReach: Welcome Michele! Let’s start with talking about how you got started with social analytics. What got you interested in measuring social?

Michele: I first got into digital measurement through web and advertising analytics at Kelley Blue Book. As I started expanding my horizons and wanting to learn more about the digital analytics industry, I started joining in conversations in social media — the Yahoo Web Analytics group, Linked In, Quora, but especially Twitter. For me, social analytics started mostly as a curiosity, just playing around with different solutions and analysing social traffic to my little blog, or analysing the social media behaviour of the online web analytics community through the #measurehashtag.

Now, at Red Door Interactive, my team of Digital Analysts and I get to help clients understand the impact of conversations they’re having with customers, including on the website, in social media or through a variety of acquisition channels.

TweetReach: What metrics are most important for your job and your company? What should we be measuring? Beyond that, is there anything we shouldn’t be measuring? Are there any “bad” metrics?

Michele: I don’t think there are “bad” metrics per se, just less useful ones. There is an evolution as companies grow from a simple like/follower approach to looking more at business impact. This isn’t really surprising, given a lot of companies also embark on social “because we should”, but without strategy or goals for doing so. Ideally, companies should embark on social initiatives with clear goals (e.g., decrease call center volume, drive sales, drive traffic to the website, save on other marketing budgets, etc) and understand what, in a perfect world, you would want to measure. From there, figure out if you can. Do you have the right toolsets? The necessary data integration? If not, come up with something that gets you close, or gives you directional insight while you build out the rest. I’m not saying wait until everything is perfect before you do anything, but make sure you know where you want to get before you start working towards it.

TweetReach: What are your recommendations for someone just getting started with social analytics? What should they do first? What are some important considerations?

Michele: For an analyst thinking about diving into social media, they need to first get involved in social media themselves. I don’t think you can measure what you don’t understand, and getting involved in a variety of social channels is key to understanding them. (And no, just having a Facebook account doesn’t count.) Each channel is different and the goals of being involved are different. I try new social channels all the time. They may prove to not be “my kind of thing” (and no one can possibly keep up with all of them and hold down a job, too!) but at least play around and see what they offer, how the channels differ and how they might be used for different goals or different businesses.

There are key books I would recommend reading – John Lovett’s “Social Media Metrics Secrets”, Jim Sterne’s “Social Media Metrics” and Olivier Blanchard’s “Social Media ROI” (and converse with these guys on Twitter! They are great guys and are always up for a good conversation.) Not to mention a myriad of blogs out there.

From there, start doing it, even if you just start by analysing your own accounts. Better yet, find a local business or non-profit to help (so you can attempt to tie to actual business metrics.) You’ll learn more from doing (and, let’s be honest, making mistakes) than you ever will from a book.

But it’s important to keep in mind social media is just one marketing channel. It’s great to have an interest in social analytics, but like other areas, it needs to be kept in context of the overall business and marketing efforts.

TweetReach: Let’s talk about consistency in measurement. There are a tremendous number of tools and approaches used to measure social media performance, which can produce results that are difficult to compare. Do you see the industry evolving towards a more standardized set of metrics or do you think we’ll continue to see a lot of variety and experimentation?

Michele: I’m going to give the very on-the-fence answer: Both. While social analytics often starts as just “likes” and “followers” for companies, pretty soon executives (and hopefully, good analysts!) are trying to tie this to actual business value, and look at social media in the context of other marketing initiatives. Profit or revenue driven are standardised and can apply across all channels, including social. However, let’s be honest: sometimes that’s hard to measure! It involves tying together different data sources, understanding attribution, and trying to measure what may sometimes be unmeasurable. (Do I know that you bought my product after you saw your best friend’s Facebook post raving about it? Maybe not.) But while the answers won’t be perfect, companies have to try to get as close as they can.

On the other hand, new social channels crop up every day, and while these too need to be tied to profit, they’ll also have their own in-network metrics that marketers and analysts will keep track of, and use to understand behaviour. (After all, somewhere there’s a 12-year-old in his garage creating something that will blow Zuckerberg off the map.)

Ultimately, social needs to be tied to business objectives like any other initiative, but the methods we use to do this will get more sophisticated, and I think there’s a lot more experimentation still to come.

TweetReach: We’re hearing a lot about influence right now; everyone wants to measure influence and target influencers. What are your thoughts on measuring influence in social media? What’s the best way to determine who is influential for a particular campaign or initiative?

Michele: Influence is a great example of where social analytics has room to grow. What businesses care about is who influences sales (or leads, or referrals, or whatever your business objectives.) Social tools are measuring “influence” on retweets, or Facebook likes, or video views. I can understand why businesses want to understand who their influencers are, but I think we need to keep in mind the limitations of a lot of current measures of influence — they’re likely not measuring influencers of the business metric they actually care about. That’s when it will be truly useful.

At the same time, I worry about the uses that current influence metrics are put to. I can see a use in using influence to prioritise, for example, response to requests. (For the same reason that food critics get the best cut of meat, those with online influence can have a big impact if they have a negative experience, and I can understand companies wanting to provide excellent service.) But I hope it’s not used as a metric of “you’re not worthy of my time.” Simply put, I can see using influence to determine who to respond to first, but not who to respond to at all.

I also worry about the use of influence in areas such as recruiting. I hope companies make their decisions off more than one number, and look at a candidate or potential consultant’s actual track record, results and skills.

I think these concerns just speak to the overall reality with a lot of social media metrics today — they can be useful in context, but as one standalone metric, we may sometimes attach too much significance, without enough consideration, analysis and scrutiny.

TweetReach: Thanks, Michele!

#eMetrics Twitter Archive

Some of you may know that I tend to tweet a little at conferences. I don’t bother taking notes, but rather archive all the tweets for the conference hashtag (mine and others’) and use those as my conference notes. (A totally valid lifestyle choice, Jim Sterne! :-) )

Since I go the trouble of downloading a Twitter archive, I thought I’d share the archive from eMetrics NYC (held in October 2011), in case anyone would like to to read or analyse.

Twitter archiveemetricstweets.csv
(Happy analysing!)

From these tweets, I like to look at a few things:

  • Most popular words used in tweets (via a word cloud)
  • Number of tweets and retweets from the participating community and
  • Most popular contributors

Topic overview:

eMetrics Word Cloud

 

 

 

 

Total Tweets:

For 10/19 – 10/21 (the official conference days):

3081 total tweets, including 1176 retweets (38%)
That’s over a thousand tweets per day, and over 40 per hour!

Top hashtag contributors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I told you I tweet a little …)

For further information about the #eMetrics community, check out Twitalyzer’s Community Insight report.

Conference Overview

To read an overview of the conference, check out my Top Learnings from eMetrics post.

 

Getting into Twitter for Digital Analytics

[Originally published by IQ Workforce]

Perhaps you’ve been working in digital measurement for a few years, or maybe you’re new. You keep hearing about Twitter and wondering whether you should jump on the bandwagon. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Why should I join Twitter?

  1. To learn: Step outside the sandbox of your own company, your own analytics solution, and your own challenges. Your eyes will be opened and you’ll start thinking about the bigger picture, and bring your what you learn back to your organisation.
  2. To engage with others: It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and build relationships with others in the industry. You can debate, discuss challenges, throw ideas around and form connections that may benefit you in the future.
  3. Get help and help others: The web analytics community on Twitter is an amazingly generous group of people. Take @usujason or @VABeachKevin, who respond to fellow analysts’ Omniture questions on a daily basis. Oh – did I mention neither of them even work for Omniture?! Having a problem with Google Analytics? Throw it out. Others may have tackled this already and can give great advice.

So how do you get started?

  1. Create a Twitter account. You can sign up at http://twitter.com/
  2. Advice for choosing a username:
    • Twitter can be a great opportunity to create your “personal brand.” Using your name, or something close to it, is a good idea. Using your name also helps when it comes time to meet people in person, as they’ll recognize your name from your twitter username.
    • Try to keep your username separate from your current place of employment. (E.g. @TomSmith instead of @TomAtCompanyX.) If you change companies in the future, it’s easier to not have to change your Twitter username. (Obviously though, if you are using Twitter on behalf of your company, this will be different.)
    • Keep it short. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so the longer your username, the harder it is for people to retweet you. (I can’t really throw stones here, as my username is pretty long, but at least try to keep it on the shorter side.)
  1. Set your Twitter photo (because being a Twitter new user “egg” is totally uncool.) Try to pick one that will help others identify you, should they meet you in person. That means no blurry artsy photos, or pictures taken from a mile away. It can be helpful to keep a consistent photo across networks (e.g. Twitter and Linked In) and try not to change it too often. Remember, Twitter isn’t Facebook – people don’t know you personally, so changing your photo often will often mean they suddenly don’t recognize you.
  2. Create a bio: This will tell people a little about you so they can decide whether to follow you – so make it informative.

Now for some Twitter basics:

  • Retweet: Reposting another user’s tweet, either as-is or with your own comments, indicated by using “RT” or “via.” For example, a retweet with comment might look like this: “Great article! RT @useryouareretweeting: I like this article: http://www.somearticle.com”  Keep in mind that while a retweet isn’t technically an endorsement, but it can be construed as one, so add your commentary if you are retweeting something you don’t necessarily agree with.
  • Mention: A mention involves you referencing another Twitter user. Mentions can go back and forth as you have a conversation with someone on Twitter.
  • Hashtag: Twitter users will preface a term with a # symbol to allow easy searching for tweets on the same topic. For example, “@user: I love #knitting”

Next, you’ll want to find people to follow.

A good place to start is by finding the main hashtag used by a community. For web analytics, this is the #measure hashtag. Start reading the #measure hashtag, and follow users whose content you find interesting.

You may also want to look at the hashtags for vendors you use. #Omniture (or #OMTR) is a popular one for Adobe Omniture users, but you can also check out #webtrends, #coremetrics, etc. In fact, following the vendors themselves can often be a good place to get started – most typically have a corporate Twitter account and post industry news.

Do I have to follow someone if they follow me?

No! Twitter is not reciprocal like Facebook. Just because you follow someone doesn’t mean they have to follow you, and vice versa. This makes it easy – follow someone if you want to read what they have to say. Don’t follow them if you don’t. It’s really that simple.

Keep in mind, one of the benefits of a mutual follow is that you can send each other Direct Messages (DMs.) These are 140 character messages that are “private” between you and the person sending it. However, while these messages don’t show up in a Twitter stream, applications can access DMs, so to be safe, don’t include anything truly private in them.

Start posting

There are lots of Twitter users who just lurk (read but don’t post) but to get the most out of it, start posting. Throw in your viewpoint into a discussion (if they’re happening on Twitter, they’re not private, and no one will complain that you’re butting in!) or post links to interesting content you think others would enjoy.

You can also ask questions. You would be surprised who participates in the #measure discussion and is willing to take the time to answer. You can ask questions about the analytics tool you’re using (e.g. “How do I do XYZ in #Omniture?”) or even just a general “Has anyone seen any research on XYZ?” The #measure community is an amazingly generous community who really do help each other, so start asking – and answering others.

From Twitter.com to Clients to Apps

You can choose to use Twitter via the main twitter.com site. However, many choose to use a Twitter client such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck to allow them to customize their layout. For example, you may want to be able to view your home feed (the tweets of everyone you follow) plus a list, plus a search, all side by side. Check out some of the different Twitter clients and see what strikes your fancy. You may even bounce back and forth between different clients.

There are also great apps for your smartphone or tablet. On the iPad or iPhone, my favorite is Echofon, but there is also the official Twitter app, HootSuite or Tweetdeck. On Android, I primarily use TweetCaster, but you have HootSuite, TweetDeck and many other options too. Play around with a few to see which works best for you. Most have a free version with ads. Once you find one you like, you can pay a few bucks for the premium version for ad-free tweeting.

Create lists

Once you start following users, you may choose to start creating Twitter lists. A list is a group of Twitter users that you group together. That way, you can read just content from your list, rather than from everyone you are following. For example, maybe you would have a “Web Analytics” list vs. “Social Media” vs “Email Marketing.”

I have a list called “Favs” – I follow a lot of people, but these are my “core people”, so if I’m busy and don’t have a chance to read what everyone I’m following is posting, at least I will keep up with my must-read folks. Feel free to check it out: http://twitter.com/#!/michelehinojosa/favs

“But I don’t have time!”

We’re all busy, and in the case of web analysts, normally overloaded. After all, it’s hard to hire good people so most companies are strapped for resources.

My advice if you’re “too busy”:

  1. Start small. Just follow 5-20 key people. It’s not hard to keep up with a small number.
  2. Check in regularly, for short periods of time, to break it up. It’s easier to find five minutes at a few times than an hour block of time.
  3. Mark posted articles to read later, when you have more time.
  4. Use Twitter to actually help you do your job. If you’re struggling with something, seek out help from the community. (Make sure you are abiding by your company’s social media and non-disclosure policies, of course.)
  5. Smartphones can help, by turning time you’d be wasting in a doctor’s office or waiting for a friend into valuable catch-up-on-Twitter time.

So what are you waiting for?

 

A Penny For Your Thoughts on Influence?

[Originally published on the Measure Mob blog]

I was disappointed to not be able to join Keith, Jason and Olivier on the first two Measure “Mobcasts” – those darn international flights sure do get in the way! However, that doesn’t mean I won’t take the opportunity to put in my $0.22. (It would be my $0.02, but I was in Australia, and their dollar is worth more, so I figure I’ve got the exchange rate working for me.)

I wanted to add what are just a few (minor) “parting thoughts” after having an opportunity to hear the guys so deftly discuss their opinions on measuring social media influence. So here are mine …

1. Measuring Social Media “Influence” is Necessary

The reality is, while companies (and even individuals) would love to have an opportunity to engage with every voice that reaches out to them via social media, that kind of engagement isn’t necessarily scalable or realistic, and even if it was, there would still be a need to prioritize the order in which a company reaches out to people.

While that doesn’t mean, to Jason’s point, that anyone should be ignored because their Twitalyzer scores aren’t high enough, some kind of measure of where to start is realistically necessary, especially for companies with a large number of social interactions.

2. Social Media Influence Measurement Isn’t Perfect

I feel like part of where we get hung up is in thinking that if a measure isn’t perfect, it’s not useful. I agree with the guys that a measure of “influence” should be considered in context of other data, and I also agree that it’s probably more realistic to call it “potential influence.” After all, you never know whether someone who is considered to have social media influence is actually going to influence behavior of fans/followers/friends.

As we love to say in the analytics industry – you can’t manage what you don’t measure. However, the unfortunate reality is that you can’t measure everything that you would like to manage. (And our attempts to do so often end with “KPI” Dashboards that show fifty metrics instead of the one thing that executives want, because that measure isn’t truly possible at this stage.)

How could we measure true influence? Maybe: Person A engages with Person B, or shares a positive experience with everyone. Person B then goes, “Huh – I hadn’t thought of going to Restaurant X for dinner” and heads on over. Well, sadly we don’t have that insight. (Yet, or maybe ever.)

So what do we have? We have measures that look at, in the example of Twitter, how many contacts someone has, how often their tweets are shared or responded to, as a proxy for influence. Does that mean that the person following will “monkey see monkey do?” No. Is the measure perfect? No. Is the measure useless? No. Understood for what it is, it can be helpful. Blown out of proportion, of course it’s not. However, I know one thing – digital measurement is a constantly evolving industry. We will get better at this. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something with our “first draft”.

Omniture Summit 2011 on Twitter (Day 1)

So, because I’m a huge nerd (and I assumed others might be too) I thought folks might enjoy some information on #omtrsummit (aka the Adobe Omniture Summit 2011) on Twitter.

Half way through the opening session today (I’d say around 9.30AM Utah time) I started a hashtag archive using Twapper Keeper.

Some completely fun but not very actionable findings:

Approximately 17% of Summit Attendees tweeted: 441 unique usernames tweeted at least once, compared to 2600 attendees. (Note: I’m sort of assuming that if you didn’t tweet in the first day, you’re not likely to throughout the rest of Summit, but I’ll gladly check those findings on Friday!)

Top 10 Tweeters, in order of volume of total tweets:

dennisy
omtrsummit
michelehinojosa
RudiShumpert
johnrmatthews
EndressAnalytic
ad0815
bill_ingram
pvanhouten
c_sutter

Total 10 Tweeters, excluding retweets/via:

dennisy
omtrsummit
michelehinojosa
EndressAnalytic
kennovak
craig_burgess
spike96
pvanhouten
lorriegeek
theshammond

Oh yeah – and 1.4% of tweets on Day 1 included a reference to Charlie Sheen.