Hashtag Analytics 101: Tweets vs Impressions

May 23, 2013
Twitter Bird by chaztoo, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License??by??chaztoo?
Social media experts and marketers are trying to determine the difference and significance of number of tweets against hashtag impressions. The truth is, the tweet will be more effective for business if you have interesting and relevant content. Even with limited tweets or posts, the reach and impressions can grow.

The Difference and Advantages

REACH refers to the total Twitter users who had tweets regarding a specific term delivered. EXPOSURE refers to the total number of times that tweets regarding a specific search term were sent to Twitter streams. Exposure can also refer to the total impressions made. Impressions are made whenever a unique Twitter user mentions the same search term. When an impression is made, a tweet has been sent to the Twitter stream of a certain account. Some people will read it while others may not -- intentionally or unintentionally. Knowing the reach and exposure will greatly enhance social media strategy and marketing since you can determine what kinds of topics or issues are most interesting to your target clients or demographic. The trends and demands of customers in social media networks can change very quickly, which is why you have to regularly check how well the search term or hashtag did based on the impressions made and the total number of people these were made known to. Getting updates can be done by observing the reach, exposure and impression. Some topics or hashtags will rate well in terms of reach but only garner few impressions. You have to identify how well the target market responds to the tweet or search item based on percentage. For example, the hashtag for the famous Victoria?s Secret Fashion Show, #vsfashionshow, had a reach of 24.8 million. There were 69,100 tweets, 51,700 contributors and 43,100 impressions. Based on the numbers, you can easily tell how well the hashtag did and if people actually responded after the search term was delivered to them.   analytics1analytics2

Directional and Engagement Metrics

Social media users cannot identify for now if a certain tweet has been read by a certain online user. Some people may see an advertisement or tweet but choose not to respond. Directional and engagement metrics are vital in knowing how to address your target market and what types of topic appeal to them currently. The approach is the same as trying various approaches and introducing new offers to the real market. You cannot easily tell if the customers will like it or not until after they have responded or failure of a response. Using directional and engagement metrics will also keep you updated about the current size of the target market. Engagement metrics refer to actions in social media sites that show a response from your target audience. These can be in the form of a retweet, hashtag, reply or click. Giving new and interesting topics regularly will surely generate more impressions within a limited time period; such as #Harvard, which garnered close to 180,000 impressions with a mere 84 posts at a specific time (see analytics sample below). analytics3 analytics4   On Twitter, accounts will have followers. When you tweet or post an ad online, this appears on the stream of your followers. Therefore, the impression will rely largely on the total number of followers who actually respond to your tweet, compared to the total number of followers you currently have. With regard to the @reply engagement metric, it provides an accurate figure on exposure and reach but is harder to attain since @reply is only forwarded to a person who follows the account and if he has been addressed specifically by the message.

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