This is our last week dedicated to digital media metrics and analytics. As with the lecture last week, there are 4 main points that remain valid:

  1. Objectives dictate tactics. Tactics dictate metrics. Metrics dicate analytics.

  2. Metrics are just numbers. They mean something only when to link them with your objectives and when you correlate them with other metrics.

  3. Digital media measurement comes with a lot of jargon. Learn it.

  4. Platforms tend to have their own associated metrics. Learn the rules, learn the vocabulary, check out the definitions they provide.

The lecture covered 2 main elements both for Twitter and Facebook:

  1. metrics and analytics tools available on the page without a login
  2. metrics and analytics tools available which require registration, authentification and login.

Twitter metrics and analytics

Twitter measures at face value:

There is a lot of information about an account’s activity that can be seen on Twitter account page. This includes number of tweets, number of followers, ration of following/followers, tweets/day, number of tweets with rich content (as in links, images, video or audio files), number of tweets with hashtags, most frequent hashtags, number of tweets with mentions, number of RTs, ratio of tweets/mentions/RTs, sentiment of tweets and topics of tweets among other things. Depending on what you are interested in, these numbers can tell a compelling story.
For instance, new accounts tend to display a bigger following number than of followers. Similarly, accounts in their early stages of using Twitter tend to sound more broadcast-like, displaying more push-type or pure sales-type messages. A reverse in these numbers is seen with more mature accounts. Also, accounts belonging to big companies tend to display disclaimers (such as “official account of”), more branding elements (clearer logos, custom backgrounds, standard bio) and sometimes a “Twitter verified” tick. Hashtags are generally associated with events, movements, topics or campaigns – see #openingceremony associated with the London2012 opening ceremony, #media2012 associated with a citizen journalism movement to cover the Olympics, #occupy or #solidarity generally associated with the occupy movement, #smmeasure associated with a chat about social media measurement hosted on Twitter every Thursday evening or #letsdolunch of Domino’s Pizza UK when for a limited period of time they offered to slash a penny off the price of their featured flavour each time someone tweeted with the hashtag. According to Edwin Huertas, “the campaign generated 85,000 tweets and a host of happy diners who were able to enjoy the pizza at a huge discount”(Huertas, 2012 –  Creating a #Hashtag Campaign on Twitter).

Hashtags serve 2 purposes: monitoring and archiving. If related to campaigns they can also help with conversion.

Twitter Metrics that matter and tools to help:


This is quite important when your goals are related to knowledge (exchange, building…). TweetReach calculates the reach of a given account using its last 50 tweets and defines it as “the number of unique people who received tweets about your search query [account/item you search for]” during a given timeframe (the one you select). Reach, in a sense, can be understood as potetial audience. The platform also provides a metric for exposure which is defined as “the total number of times tweets have been delivered to timelines (including repeats)”


Sentiment is related to the emotion/feeling expressed in the content of tweets. Content analysis (as in the qualitative  method of interpreting text and its meaning or the quantitative method of assessing the frequency of particular topics/metaphors/text construct) is one of the most common ways of assessing sentiment. While there some tools that provide automated sentiment analysis, they (like everything computer-generated) do not make a differene between sarcasm, double negatives, emoticons, double meaning punctuation marks or context. However, these automated tools are a good way of accessing data and a good start for a more in-depth analysis. The tools include SocialMention, Twendz, Sentiment140.


Influence is not a stand-alone metric. It could be useful when trying to identify opinion leaders online or more active members. However, if you have to choose between follower count and an influence score when it comes to assessing whether an account is more active on Twitter (an by that I mean that it tweets about relevant topics to you, tweets regularly, interacts with others and so on) then an influence score is much better. Caution however should be applied to these scores and careful attention should be paid to their calculation algorhythms. Rathern than taking them for granted, rather take them as pieces of information that need to be checked and correlated with other metrics.

Platforms that calculate influence are Klout, PeerIndex, TweetGrader and ReTweetRank.

Other Twitter tools good for Twitter monitoring and management:

Facebook Metrics and Analytics

Facebook too has a lot of data on a page that can used. These include the number of total likes, the number of likes/update, the number of comments/update, the number of shares/update, the number of “people talking about this”, the ratio between likes/comments/shares, sentiment of comments and more. In our lecture about user-generated content I showed you Dailybreak’s struggle for consumer engagement image which shows the low rates of conversion from likes and activity.

Facebook Insights

For those of you using Facebook as one of your channels for the group project, getting access to Faebook Insights would be a good idea. Apart from all the metrics that are directly reported on your page and are there for everyone to see, Facebook Insights provides you with a couple of more useful ones.

They include:

  • People talking about this – the number of unique people who created a story about your page post.
  • Engaged Users – shows the type of interaction per post (as in a breakdown what people click on; it also includes negative feedback)
  • Virality – reports the percentage of people (reported to your total number of fans) who have shared each piece of your content by clicking like or share to create a post of their own, on their wall about your post.
  • Viral reach – this shows the he number of people who saw your page post in a story from a friend.

Here are some great resources on Facebook Insights:

Finally, some of you might find useful the below Hubspot TV tip.


About Ana ADI

Professor of Public Relations/Corporate Communications @ | Researcher | PR & Social Media Consultant | Fulbrighter

One response »

  1. […] check last year’s lecture notes on Twitter metrics as it covers metrics with and without a login as well as provides definitions for reach, sentiment […]

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