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Using TweetReach to determine the reach of a tweet

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You already know TweetReach reports are great for measuring the reach of hashtags and Twitter accounts, but how about an individual tweet? What if you want to analyze the reach of a tweet (and any retweets of or replies to that tweet)? Our reports can do that, too! In fact, that’s where our name comes from and one of the original problems we set out to solve more than three years ago. Tweet. Reach. TweetReach.

There are a few options for measuring the reach of a tweet. You can paste the entire text of the tweet into the search box. Since Twitter works best with shorter search queries that’s ideal if you have a shorter tweet. And if you have a longer tweet, you can select a few unique words or a phrase from the tweet to search for.

Let’s try it with this tweet from @Disney.

Since this is a pretty short tweet, we can search for the full tweet text (minus the URL to keep it simple): disney #DisneyFact: An estimated one million bubbles were drawn in the making of The Little Mermaid. We also included the original Twitter handle, minus the @ sign, to be sure we’re catching all attributed retweets of the original tweet. Here’s the TweetReach report for this query:

This report includes 108 total tweets, which includes the original tweet. So that’s 107 retweets. However, you can see that the original tweet only has 73 actual retweets, according to the Most Retweeted Tweets section. What’s going on?

This is where it gets a little messy. Some people will retweet a tweet with Twitter’s official RT button (we call this a new-style or automated retweet). Some will copy and paste the tweet and add “RT @username” to retweet (old-style or manual retweet). Some will modify the original tweet by adding their own commentary or abbreviating the text (modified retweet or MT). Some will simply quote the tweet without adding any RT language (quoted RT). Twitter typically only associates that first type (new-style RTs) with an original tweet to count them as retweets.

But in a TweetReach report, if a tweet starts with “RT @username”, regardless of how that retweet was generated (new-style or old-style), it will count as an official retweet. But if there’s anything in front of that retweet, such as commentary or other characters, then it will not count as a retweet, but it will show up in a report for that tweet. So that’s why the above report only shows 73 actual retweets of the original tweet, but there are 108 total tweets in the report. One of those tweets is the original tweet, 73 are official retweets, and the 34 remaining tweets are modified or quoted retweets. So the full reach of this @Disney Little Mermaid tweet and all its various retweets is 1,322,791.

A few more examples:

Search for: SFGiants amazing pic bradmangin melky cabrera 7th inning

Search for: wired “Hot New Characters Will Invigorate Game of Thrones”

Search for: tweetreachapp measure share of voice on twitter four steps

Tips for measuring the reach of a tweet:

  • Keep search queries short
  • Include handles without the @ sign
  • Put exact phrases in quotation marks
  • Select unique words for your query
  • Leave out URLs to keep it simple

And that’s how you can use a TweetReach report to analyze the reach of a tweet. Try it for yourself! And if you’re wondering what else you can search for, check our helpdesk or ask us.

PS – Have you ever tried our TweetReach Labs Retweet Rings tool? It’s a fun, animated visualizer to see how retweets spread.

Written by Jenn D

June 5th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Guides,Help

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Learn more about your impact on Twitter by understanding retweets and retweeters

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One of the best ways to measure engagement on Twitter is by understanding how your tweets (and tweets about you) are retweeted. There’s a lot more to it than just how many retweets you’re getting or what day and time you get the most retweets. You might also want to investigate:

  • Repeat retweeters. Who are your top retweeters? Who retweets you most often? These frequent retweeters are likely your biggest advocates – how can you reward and engage them better?
  • High exposure retweets. What tweets reach the most people and generate the most impressions? Sometimes just one retweet can result in a very large amplification. Do you know when that happens?
  • High influence retweets. Which tweets are retweeted by influencers? Influence isn’t just about who has the biggest following, but also about who can make an actual impact. Klout is one good way to measure influence, but there are many others.
  • New retweeters. Has someone recently retweeted you for the first time? This could be great opportunity to start a conversation or learn more about how someone learned about you. Engage with new retweeters.

An interesting note about retweets – did you know that Twitter will only show you up to 100 retweets per tweet? If you’re getting more retweets than that, there’s no way to find out how many – and who they’re from – from You could be missing retweets!

Let’s look at an example tweet. This tweet was originally sent to 2,173 followers, and after retweets it resulted in more than 22,000 impressions.

This tweet was retweeted 6 times. Now depending on your particular benchmarks, 6 retweets might not seem like very many, but in this case these few retweets generated an additional 20,000 impressions, thanks in part to contributions from @rickoshea and @iia. That’s nice amplification! Plus, @pkellypr has an impressive Klout score of 56.

Truly understanding your impact on Twitter requires more than simple quantitative measures like the number of retweets of your tweets or the number of followers you have. There’s a wealth of informative and actionable data just waiting to be explored. Try digging a little deeper into how and by whom your tweets are retweeted.

If you’re tracking tweets with a TweetReach Tracker, then you can quickly and easily get answers to all these questions about retweets. We have tons of data about each tweet, retweet, and contributor who mentions your brand on Twitter. And we can track all your retweets, no matter how many there are. There’s a short demo of the Tracker here, and we’re happy to answer any questions you might have.

Written by Jenn D

June 14th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Guides

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