I have been on a bit of Twitter bender as of late. I recently joined and, as more of a how-to guy, have been looking around at tools to help Tweet. So far, I like TweetDeck for iPhone, and TwitterFox and maybe Twitterbar, both add-ons for the FireFox browser. I’ll post a video review of my findings about those. My marketing intern, Lenny, has been scouring the web for Twitter stuff and come across something interesting, a “Twitter Grader.”
The Twitter Grader is put out by HubSpot, an inbound marketing company we have been following. Their algorithm comes up with a grade and rank for Twitter users by crunching factors such as:
1. Number of Followers
2. Power of Followers
3. Number Updates
4. Update Recency
5. Follower/Following Ratio
6. Engagement i.e. number of retweets (or times someone else posts to their account exactly what you just posted to yours)
With respect to the first factor HubSpot states “Yes, I agree that it’s easy to game this number, but we are looking at measuring reach and I did say all other things being equal.” And indeed it may be easy to game the number because Lenny also found a program called “Twadder” , a program that automates adding followers. Because it seems that many people follow those who follow them, it could be an effetive but I think dangerous tactic. It smells to me a little like black hat SEO.
But on the other hand, the point is to get acquainted with new people, find out about interesting things, and otherwise expand the human experience 140 characters at a time. On those grounds, might the judicious of some Twitter automation targeted to a finite and highly relevant group be alright? Maybe.
I joined Twitter (@EsqTech) about a month ago and check out each follower and each user before I follow and I’m sticking to the personal approach of slow and steady.
According to the Twitter Grader, my grade is 85 of 100, sounds ok but the associated rank is not so great. But I have been following a few Tweet gurus; @nikiblack, a lawyer and technology consultant has a 99.99 rating and Tweeted a series today on the subject of how lawyers could use and benefit from Twitter, one of the Tweets included a link to an article she wrote on the subject. Others include, @adriandayton, Father, Husband, Twitter Lawyer, CEO of Comrad Esq, writer 100 rating and top Tweeter in NY and @grantgriffiths, Blogger and Co-Owner of G2 Web Media and Blawging Lawyers with a 99.97 grade.
By following these three and others, reading their Tweets, things they have written, and information they pointed to in their Tweets I am better off than I was before and I try to return the favor.
I think that’s the core value of Twitter and Web 2.0, and I am happy to see that being a person and selling what one does has begun to collapse together. And from a more technical perspective, SEO, once exclusively an esoteric field filled with snake oil salesmen, is now being handled in increasing numbers more naturally by people writing about what they know and being who they are; and I think that’s the important part of all this.
But rankings are fun and who can resist an ordinal list. Check your Twitter Grade.