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Apr/14

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Dan McDonnell on Evaluating Your Tweets

Hello, my name is Dan McDonnell and I am a Community Manager at the AEA. 

I’ve written much in the past about different tools and tricks that can help evaluators be more productive in using Twitter, which hopefully have proved worthwhile in helping you make smart use of your time on social media. By evaluating your Twitter activity and engagement, you can better understand what content resonates with your followers, and how your tweets might help you expand your network of contacts and followers.

Hot Tip: Monitor Tweet Click Throughs with a URL Shortener

While you can’t necessarily measure if people are reading your tweets, you can see who is taking action and clicking the links that you share – which in turns lets you know that you’re sharing content your followers find interesting! Using a link shortening tool like Bit.ly or Ow.ly (HootSuite’s built-in shortener) will automatically track the number of times followers click on your links. Periodically check in to see the types of content that get the most attention. Are tweets using certain hashtags or are shorter tweets getting clicked more often? Let that help you inform future content and topics for things you tweet about.

Hot Tip: Measure Your Most Engaging Tweets

Another set of metrics that you can look to for wisdom is engagement. Keep an eye on the number of times your tweets are being retweeted, favorited or replied to through the basic Twitter client, or sign up for a free tool along the lines of Sprout Social or HootSuite. This lets you keep track of your top-engaging tweets so you can easily see what stories, resources and thoughts are most likely to be be engaging to your followers.
Hot Tip: Evaluate your Favorite Hashtags

In my last post, I mentioned Tweetbinder as a handy tool for digging into hashtag data. The amount of data you can find is staggering! Simply visit the site and type in your hashtag of choice. The report you pull up with show you the top contributors, when the hashtag is most active and examples of recent tweets. With this knowledge, you can find new, interesting people to follow, analyze good times to tweet on the hashtag and see where you rank among tweeters for impact, influence and more.

This is really just scratching the surface on what Twitter metrics can tell you, and how you can use them to your advantage in evaluation. In a future post, I hope to be able to expand upon these topics and provide additional tips and tricks on digging into the data. How do you use Twitter metrics to your advantage?

 Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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4 comments

  • Dan McDonnell on Setting Up Your New Twitter Profile Page · AEA365 · May 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    […] Manager for the American Evaluation Association. My last couple of posts have been focused around evaluating Tweets and sharing useful Twitter tools for evaluators. In my last post, we previewed what some upcoming […]

    Reply

  • Dan McDonnell on Upcoming Changes to Twitter · AEA365 · April 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    […] Manager for the American Evaluation Association. My last couple of posts have been focused around evaluating Tweets and Twitter data as well as sharing useful Twitter tools for evaluators. This week, I’d like […]

    Reply

  • Admin comment by Susan Kistler · April 8, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Stephanie,

    This article may be of use, in part because it gives resources for its background search for categorizing tweets:

    Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value
    http://paul.is/pubs/whogivesatweet-cscw2012.pdf

    You likely can import your tweets into any qualitative analysis software, depending on what format they are in currently.

    I’m sure Dan will have further suggestions.

    Susaan

    Reply

  • Stephanie Sutherland · April 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks so much for your insightful and extremely helpful tip!

    I’ve been asked to evaluate tweets that came out of a medical education conference. I have the twitter data but could you recommend a good program to use?

    Thanks SO much,
    Stephanie

    Reply

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