Google helps Twitter in new emails

If you get an email from Twitter every time someone starts following you, congratulation! You’ve probably already joined campaign “twitter20080331162631.”

Last week, Twitter changed their email notifications to include a Twitterer’s avatar and number of friends, followers and updates.

New follower email

But another change wasn’t immediately visible to the naked eye. Each link is now tracked by Google Analytics.

What’s being tracked?

The link labeled “their profile” brings you to L.A. LIVE’s Twitter page and sends this information to Google:

  • You clicked because of a follow notification.
  • You received the notification via email.
  • The email was part of a campaign called twitter20080331162631.

Check out Justin Cutroni’s blog post to learn about campaigns and Google Analytics.

twitter20080331162631

I don’t know exactly what twitter20080331162631 is all about, but the numeric part resembles a date and time in ISO 8601 format. If that hunch is right, the campaign is tied to March 31, 2008 at 9:26:31 am (PDT). Digging through the Twitter blog archives didn’t reveal what happened in Twitter history on that date. If you’re an amateur Twistorian, please share your knowledge in the comments below.

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Retweetist and a new Twitter metric: RTPMF

RT me t-shirtRetweetist recently added a feature that begins to measures what I consider the “viral strength” of a Twitter user. (Read this if you don’t know what a retweet is.)

Go to retweetist.com, type a Twitter username in the box on the right and hit the “go” button.

Near the top of the page, you will see a number labeled “RT / 1,000 followers,” or what I call the RTPMF, following the CPM nomenclature from web advertising.

For example, @problogger Darren Rowse was retweeted 527 times in the last 7 days. Retweetist divides that number by 56.145 (Rowse’s followers in thousands) to come up with a 9.4 RTPMF.

Retweetist summary of @problogger

For masses without masses

There have been other sites that trackt RTs. Retweetrank, for example, ranks Twitter users by the raw number of times they are retweeted. As one might expect, celebrities and social media superstars frequently top it’s leaderboard.

What’s different about Retweetist’s RTPMF is that it is useful for Twitter users with small followings. If you have 531 followers and have been retweeted 5 times in the last week, your RTPMF is 9.4 — your tweets appeal to your friends just as much as Darren Rowse tweets appeals to his following.

More to consider

RTPMF is just part of an equation to measure viral strength on Twitter. Other numbers that need to be factored in:

  • Number of tweets posted be the user (fewer tweets suggest more powerful tweets)
  • Number of unique users who retweeted a single post (diversity suggest a stronger network of retweeters)
  • Number of non-followers who retweeted a post (non-follower RTs suggest a broader appeal)

What numbers do you use to measure the effectiveness of your tweets? What tools do you use to make those measurements?

Retweet links