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5 Metrics You Should Be Tracking on Twitter, But Probably Aren’t

TwitterTwitter is a fantastic medium for delivering your message and engaging in real time communication with your audience. Too often though we see many brands getting tied up in the faulty notion that the more followers they have the better they are performing on Twitter. They carefully track how many followers they have and report on this statistic, but rarely do they ever measure anything of true meaning. This type of tracking may be simply because they are unsure of what to track or maybe they don’t know there are better metrics to track to prove their time and effort on Twitter are being rewarded.

Below we will explore 5 metrics other than your Twitter follower count that could provide you with the information needed to determine weather your Twitter efforts are successful or not.


    Retweets as shown in Hootsuite

    A retweet is a way of someone resharing your information to their followers. As a metric this is a good way to measure how effective your message was, when it performed the best and how influential you are by how many people are listening to what you have to say. You can measure your Retweets inside a tool such as Hootsuite by adding the stream My Tweets, Retweeted or when signed into Twitter you can visit

  2. Mentions

    Twitter mentions as shown in Hootsuite

    A mention is someone who is using the @yourname inside Twitter to get your attention or to engage in a conversation with you. This is a good measurement of how your audience perceives you and the more people that are talking about you the more likely they are to share your content and encourage others to follow you as well. If you are mentioned a lot it could also mean that people want your attention as they believe you to be an influential person.

  3. Link Shares
    Click Stats

    Summary of click stats using the Hootsuite analytics

    If you are sharing content from your website one metric you should be including in your reports is how many times your content has been shared on Twitter. You can accomplish this in many ways including using a URL shortener such as or from Hootsuite. These tools not only shorten your link but also include analytics to help you determine which of your content is the most popular which in turn allows you to determine which type of content you should focus on creating. You can also go to the Twitter web interface and in the search bar paste in the URL that you want to view shares for and Twitter will return a list of users who shared that link, the only issue being you don’t get a number of shares instead just a list of who shared it. If you’re looking for a really simple tool to use, I found that Link Tally does the job, simply paste in the URL you want to check and it will return a number of shares it received on Twitter.

  4. Lists

    Lists @The_Social360 is a member of, as shown by Twitter.

    One of the best ways Twitter has to filter  all the external noise and focus just on what is important to you. If you have been given the position on a list it is likely that the person who put you on that list considers you to be influential to them and wants to ensure that they see the messages that you are sending and does not want to lose what you have to say to all the other tweets flowing through their stream.

  5. Follower Growth
    Follower Growth

    A chart showing Twitter follower growth

    While the amount of followers you have is not the greatest measurement of success on Twitter, your follower growth can be a good measurement of how things are going for you . As your follower count grows it increases the chance that the message you are sending is amplified by your followers. If you are showing no growth at all it may be time to rethink your Twitter strategy and try something new but if your follower count is growing it shows at the very least that what you are doing at this time is working.

Final Thoughts

When Twitter first arrived the number one metric that everyone was concerned about was Followers, this was seen as the definitive measurement of success on Twitter. The race to reach one million followers was on and was eventually won by Ashton Kutcher, soon after though, people began to realize it wasn’t the amount of followers you accumulated and instead was the quality of the follower. If you purchased 10,000 followers for  50 bucks, how many of them truly cared about your message?

Now that social media has evolved and brands are starting to see the big picture it has become imperative that we move away from followers as a metric and instead embrace what we can truly measure and you can plug these metrics into an excel sheet to see if your efforts on Twitter are successful or not allowing you to quickly adapt to a new strategy if they are not.

We Ask

What metric do you track on Twitter religiously?

Join The Conversation

  • Stacy Jackson's picture
    Sep 6 Posted 3 years ago Stacy Jackson

    Nice post -- I think the tide is turning on the notion that follower count is the end all be all.  These metrics are good tips on measuring the effectiveness of your Twitter profile.

  • Aug 29 Posted 3 years ago SirScribe

    Chad, I don't quite understand how the click tracking equates to link shares. The way I interpret it, it shows that people clicked your link, not necessarily shared it with anyone.

  • Chad Egeland's picture
    Aug 27 Posted 3 years ago Chad Egeland

    Good point about the unfollowers and combined with the follower growth should work nicely as a tracking metric. I do worry about the if you don't follow me I unfollow you mentality which may skew some results.

  • Chad Egeland's picture
    Aug 27 Posted 3 years ago Chad Egeland

    Thank you for the kind words.

  • Urooj Kazi's picture
    Aug 27 Posted 3 years ago Urooj Kazi

    Common, but often overlooked metrics. Good post, Chad. 

    I'd add unfollowers as metric too (since it gives you an idea of which posts aren't working). But, then again, maybe I am biased, since I work for JustUnfollow. :)

  • Aug 27 Posted 3 years ago Ajay Prasad (not verified)

    Great article Chad! The 5 metrics discussed above are excellent and was interesting to read here.

    Specially liked the point about the re-tweets which show the number of people influenced by the posts. 

    Thanks for posting such a great article!

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