Twitter RT Effect

I have been analyzing Twitter patterns such as number of updates, follower ratio and @replies. There are many tools that talk about these ratios and how it can be useful in gauging your true twitter network value. One thing that I follow closely is which messages are ReTweeted (RT) and how far they propagate in my network.

Twitter RT

Why is Twitter RT important?

This is important because RT messages are very valuable to your network. Understanding these messages can make your Twitter efforts more effective. Your RT messages can be categorized in two groups:

  • Primary: These types of RT are directly related to your business. For example RTs about your time-limited promotional offer or the news about releasing a new upgrade, etc. If these type of messages are retweeted then you are doing your job very well – they add immense value to your social media branding efforts
  • Secondary: These RTs are of indirect nature. I.e. Industry related news, a humorous post, or an inspiration quote, etc. These RTs are of lesser value, but nevertheless create social chatter with your twitter name.

So understanding which message fits in which category and how far it goes in your network is very important. I use the following formula to figure out my RT Effect for each category:

The RT value is a number that gives me an idea on how far my message was carried on my network (my connections as well as their connections and so forth.) The total RT Effect is the summation of how many times it was repeated and the number of followers per each repeat wave. The effect weakens as if goes further away from the source – very much as it does in a ripple effect. This formula is explained below using a simple example.

Twitter RT Diagram

RT value explained

How you can use the RT Effect/Value?

You can use this to figure out which of your messages drop like a stone in water, or which messages “skip” on the surface and get bounced around further away. This type of analysis can yield a new dimension to understanding your Twitter efforts and hopefully lead to a more effective Twitter campaign for your business.

Update: Check out to see some cool Twitter influence analysis.

Zaki Usman

Hello, I'm the founder and CEO at ShoutEx. I like to blog about marketing, mobile and web topics. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Comments (2)

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    Interesting but too complex. I think its easier to use Twitter tools to figure out your social ranking, depth and reach. Tons of tools out there already and if you think about how important it is towards your overall goals then Twitter isn't really that important as a large business.


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