Twitter Metrics Using TwitClicks

Using Twitter for data mining and information gathering isn’t new. Most Twitter users effectively search for key terms using Summize, and for PR professionals this is almost a must-do these days to monitor your brand.

I regularly use Twitter (and other microblogs) to direct my “followers” to stories of interest, which can be pieces I’ve authored or news stories. But I have no idea if people actually like the stuff I post unless I get positive feedback (which I occasionally do). I do know that on sites where I have administrative control I notice a steadily increasing amount of traffic from these posted links.

One of the key tricks to posting links on Twitter is using a link-shortening service. TinyUrl was one of the first, but these days I prefer Is.Gd because it uses less characters. Less is more on Twitter because you can do more commentary.

But now there is a new link-shortening service that also has some incredible metrics built in. TwitClicks shortens your url, but also tracks everyone who clicks on it. This way you can see which stories actually attract the interests of your professional and social connections, and which ones are total duds. And hopefully improve on it in the future.

I tried it out a little on different sites and I was surprised how many people actually click on the stories I post. If you are reading this article from a link I’ve posted elsewhere, I used TwitClicks to do it. I was not surprised to see almost half of them come from Facebook and my personal site. But here is where it gets a little creepy.

In addition to the site that people click your link from, TwitClicks also tells you what browser they are using, their location, and their IP address. Using this information, they also estimate which specific Twitter user was likely the one who clicked on the link.

I can understand trying to fine tune my “tweets” to make them more popular. But do I really want to know which specific user is clicking on them, and what would I do with that information?

More importantly, now that everyone knows I can get that information, is anyone going to click on my links any more?

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Comments

  1. Great tip … I’m checking it out as I write here. What will they think up next via Twitter?

  2. Pretty wild. My stats package on my blog gives me those metrics, but does not estimate which person. A little creepy, although always interesting.

  3. Yes, I’ve been limited to using stats boxes on my sites too. But now I can link to CNN, for example, and get stats of how many of my connections are going to that story through me.
    That’s a little different.
    I got your ReTweet on this story too, which gave the numbers a boost. No surprise, most of the traffic is coming from Toronto.
    For more Twitter apps see this. I haven’t had a time to play with them all yet, but they look interesting.

  4. Hi Omar,
    Thanks for posting this article. I’m the creator of twitclicks.com and perhaps I can shed light on the possible uses of the “specific user” feature.

    Realizing that Twitter is a great tool for connecting with your blog readers and followers, I created TwitClicks to help users prioritize these efforts. As social media evolves in 2009, “information overload” will increase and online business owners will continue to become fragmented in their efforts to succeed in this new media arena. More tools like TwitClicks, Google Reader, PopUrls.com, and others will arrive to assist in the “filtering” of all this data.

    In short, TwitClicks helps users to better determine who to focus their efforts on in their online strategy, whether it’s determining who to network with, knowing how to refine their tweets for maximum effect, and the like. Without filtering tools like TwitClicks, information on the internet will continue to grow and users will become more and more overwhelmed with the increase of information to sort through.

    I hope that helps and didn’t get too philosophical. All in all, I’m thrilled you decided to write about it and it was rewarding to see your personal take on the possibilities of its use.

  5. Great post Omar. I have been trying to get my arms around Twitter for the last few weeks. This is just another great thing in my findings. I is getting tough to keep up. Ha :-)