Setting a Baseline: The Great Twitter Follow Project

Every time I need to collect and study any type of information, I always find it helpful to establish a couple of things:

1. Getting baseline information - What point am I starting off from when I begin the study? Am I starting completely from scratch? If I have existing data, what are they and how did that come to be? What kind of information am I going to collect?

2. Setting goals for the study - Why am I doing the study - and what do I expect to gain from it? How am I going to use what I learn/gain? What tools am I going to use? What's my strategy to achieve my goals?

In this post, I would like to focus on sharing about how I developed a baseline for The Great Twitter Follow Project: A Case Study.

Collect Basic Twitter Numbers

For this study, as I mentioned, I was going to focus on playing around with my personal Twitter account, @shaicoggins, which already has an existing following.

For the basic stats, these are what I needed to know:

  • My following and followers count.
  • Following:Followers Ratio.
  • Average daily follows
  • Average Tweets/day
  • My existing Tweet Grade

Ideally, I would've liked to have some kind of an average on what types of content I share as well, but I think that would've been a bit too ambitious.

Twitter Tools for Collecting Baseline Data and My Statistics

In any case, here are my numbers at the time that I started this study (14 Dec, 2011):

If you wish to find out your following:follower ratio, you can use this Unit Ratio Calculator (scroll down, second calculator).

Following: 1,840 Followers: 3,427. This gives me a following:follower ratio of .56:1. Meaning, for every 1 person that follows, I follow .56 in return. Personally, I like to keep things in this ratio for a variety of reasons. I don't want to follow too little that I'm seen as a "snob" and/or that I miss out on making new acquaintances and finding new sources of information. I also don't want to follow too much because I don't want to mess up my Twitter stream too much that I miss out on valuable information easily. This topic of following:follower ratio is probably a different blog post altogether, but I do believe that each person would have a different comfort level when it comes to choosing their personal "magic ratio number". For me, it's .55 to .65 at this stage. But, might need to adjust this accordingly.

Need to know your official Twitter joining date? Check out When Did You Join Twitter?

To get my daily follower average, I thought I'd check when I officially joined Twitter. And, I found out that my sign-up date was 25 May 2007. This date is based on my existing personal Twitter account, not the first time I actually did sign up, which was some time in January 2007. Anyway, based on that date, I believe I have been on Twitter for 1,665 days when I started this case study.

So, it appears that my average daily follower is: 2.05 followers/day. That's based on the formula: Follower Number / Days on Twitter.

To get my daily Tweet number, I checked out How Often Do You Tweet?. And, based on this Twitter tool, I Tweet 8.1 Times a day.

As I way to measure any type of improvement in what I'm doing, I thought I'd use Tweet Grader. I was going to use the baseline points I get there to see if I can bring it up in any way using the strategies I employ in this study. Unfortunately (but THANKFULLY!), I got a 100/100 on my Tweet Grade. It's unfortunate because I won't be able to show any "improvement" on how I'm using Twitter based on this tool, but I guess, I was also relieved to know that I did all right in the ranking. I suppose, at least, it can tell me if I did something wrong if my grade goes down (hoping not, of course!).

What's Next?

So, after I've established baseline information, my next step is to identify my goals and strategy.

Read Part 3:
Setting Up Goals and Strategies to Increase Twitter Follows

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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