Here are some thoughts on how to judge engagement on social media, particularly twitter. I originally posted them in reply to a post by Gary Dickenson (@GaryDickenson on http://www.creospace.co.uk/blog/2009/12/why-you-cant-base-twitter-success-and-expertise-on-stats/) and another by Sean Clark (on @SeanEClark’s blog http://seanclark.com/social-media/roi-in-social-media-taking-the-numbers-out-of-the-equation/) -their original posts are both worth reading.
Engagement means more than having lots of followers, as I have been saying for ages (well since last year). Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean they actively follow you (how can anyone genuinely follow 1000s of people). This habit of automatically following back is a particularly bad one. You should only follow people who interest you.
I follow people who engage with me (positively) – and who don’t fill their tweets with swearing (bit of a prude on that one). I also follow people who I see regularly getting RTs from other people I follow (and whose opinion I value). This is purely personal but I think businesses should apply a similar line of thinking.
Furthermore, I think the best way for a company to judge it’s influence is to look at the number of @ replies it gets – the number of @ tweets it sends in response (rather than the simple broadcast statements) – and, most importantly, the number of RTs it gets (either automatic or modified – MT).
In fact, I think MTs are particularly important indicators, even when a negative comment is added, because it shows that the person sending it is interested in the subject and wants to engage at some level. However, it is vital that the company doesn’t just leave the MT hanging – they have to reciprocate – acknowledge the MT and respond positively – in other words engage, wholeheartedly.
What do you think? Am I right – or is there a better way?