Like any good social media manager, you’ve measured your Twitter account’s engagement and now sit on a glorious pile of positive data that confirms your organization’s content is indeed reaching a lot of people.
But is it reaching the right people?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, that pile your sitting on is built on a very volatile foundation that is likely to crack any moment, sending you tumbling back down to Earth.
So, how does one go about analyzing the audience it is reaching on Twitter? The best way to go about discovering how well you are communicating with your target audience is by measuring key influencers.
Defining and Counting Key Influencers
Key influencers are those Twitter users who your organization wants to reach. They are members of your target audience, but also individuals or organizations that have contact with members of your target audience. For example, if you are running an association’s Twitter account, a key influencer would be both a member of that association or a member of the media who publishes articles about the industry. In this way, you are counting both the direct and indirect pathways to increased brand awareness.
The first step in determining who your key influencers are is to establish what audiences your organization wants to reach. Think about the different categories of individuals or organizations that would be interested in your content and that your organization would want to connect with. Think about it this way; if Twitter was a matchmaking website, which users would your organization want to be paired with? These are your key influencers. Connecting with them means having a chance to be valuable to them. Adding value to their lives means an increased likelihood that they invest in your organization.
Breaking down your target audience into key influencers must be done according to your organization’s specific circumstances. Here is one example of how an association might define key influencers vs. non influencers
– Individual Industry Members
– Organizations and Businesses in the Industry
– Industry Media and Communication Professionals
– Individuals and Organizations with no Tie to the Industry
Once you have defined how you will count your organization’s key influencers, it is time to go through your list of followers and calculate how many key influencers are following your content. By calculating the total number of key influencers as well as the number for each category, you can get a better sense of your success rate with reaching your organization’s target audience. Remember, quality is better than quantity when it comes to Twitter followers. Having 500 followers with 300 key influencers (60%) is always more effective and efficient than having 900 followers, but only 150 key influencers (16.7%).
Measuring The Engagement of Key Influencers
Measuring the percentage of followers that are key influencers is helpful in establishing whether you are reaching your target audience on Twitter, but if you want to take the next step, you’re going to want to measure how well you are engaging these key influencers.
You probably know how to measure the engagement statistics for your Twitter account, but here is a quick refresher just in case: Counting interactions is one of the best way to determine how much engagement your account is receiving. Interactions include retweets, favourites, mentions/replies and URL clicks. Since determining who clicked on which link is extremely difficult to determine, we are going to focus on the first three engagement numbers.
Review your interactions on Twitter in monthly periods. Determine if each interaction was from a key influencer and or a non influencer. Determine the percentage of interactions from key influencers. It is also helpful to compare your monthly numbers to see your success from month to month and across broader periods, such as quarters or even years.
Calculating The ROI
The final step in determining your success with reaching your organization’s key audience on Twitter is calculating the return on investment. There are two numbers that are vital in determining the ROI; cost-per-key-influencer (CPKI) and cost-per-influencer-interaction (CPII)
Calculating the CPKI is done by using a simple formula. Define your date parameters (ie. the month of June) and calculate how much you spent on Twitter as well as how many key influencers you gained as followers during that period of time. Then, divide your money spent by key influencers and you have your CPKI. For example, if you spent $100 and gained 20 key influencers in June, your CPKI is $4. That is how much you spent to get the attention of a key influencer in June.
The second calculation, CPII, is determined by using a similar formula. Again, you need to define a time period (ie. June), calculate the financial investment during this period and how many interactions your account received from key influencers. Dividing the money spent by number of interactions gives you the CPII. For example, if you spent $100 and received 52 influencer interactions, your CPII would be $1.92. The lower this number, the better ROI you are getting. It is also helpful to compare this number to the money spent on gaining interactions from non-influencers. If the CPII is higher than this second number, you are not achieving success at reaching your target audience.