Cli.gs is a tool for social media analytics
For those of you who are happily using Twitter as a business tool, it probably won’t take long before you start to wonder if all those shortened links are doing you much good. Certainly you can look in your analytics for Twitter as a referrer. But that won’t tell you much as the link itself gets passed along. Also, if you’re linking to a site for which you don’t have analytics access, you won’t know your level of influence (or your followership’s interest in the topic you posted). Cligs similar to ListingNumber: a service that will give you a short URL along with some basic tracking information. You can track your link as folks pass it along from Twitter to blogs to wherever. Just like comparing impression-based advertising with click-based advertising, you can measure your influence and the “quality” of your followership. What’s your click-through rate on Twitter? Use Cligs and find out: Clicks divided by followers. Sweet. Another handy thing with Cligs is that they forward with a 301 redirect. This means that search engines will index your content directly. Pretty handy for SEO. To make things easier, Cligs has a bookmarklet, so you can quickly shorten links and dump them into Twitter. Then all you have to do is watch the clicks roll in. Simple, fairly blunt instrument.
What kind of insights might you discover by measuring click-throughs from Twitter?
Image by Josh Russell via Flickr
Well, as with most social networking tools and sites, there gets to be an obsession with how many followers anyone has. At first, that’s always the easiest metric to gather: “I have 70 followers, I must be important.” But if you post your blog link and no one clicks on it, maybe you’re just a blowhard and folks are ignoring you. Or maybe all those followers are spambots or something. Who knows. Since you are tracking your click through on a per-post basis, you might also use Cligs to help figure out what interests your followership.
Using Cli.gs to help you listen to your audience
As of today I have 71 followers. So outside of random people clicking from the Twitter home page, if I completely overload the Interest circuits I’ll get all 71 of those followers to follow the link. Pretty unlikely, I’ll admit. Here are some real world examples from some recent links I sent out on Twitter:
- 13%: A mention of the internet marketing intern position that is open at Union Street (incidentally, I added the USM careers page as a result of feedback I gathered from 4q… boy I’m a good listener)
- 18%: Quick thoughts about some information that @jowyang shared
- 20%: Union Street’s Groundswell Award submission.
- 21%: A link to my old animation reel
- 34%: A notice about AnalyticsView having a free options
Based on this raw data it looks like I can maybe count on about nine or ten folks to follow my links on a regular basis. And perhaps upwards 15 if it’s something that really gets them. Suggestion for Cli.gs: Add the time of day the clig was created. Twitter, being mostly ephemeral, is very sensitive to time-of-day differences. We could, of course, Twitter-stalk all of our followers to identify when they are most likely to be active and then make your most important Tweets at that time… but the “time created” would probably be quicker and effective enough. Update: Day after I posted this, Cli.gs updated their analytics interface. Now they have a graph how the Clig is used over time (at the resolution of one day). It would still be sweet to get a time-of-day chart for all Clig’s so we could identify what time is best to release our best Tweets.
Review of uses for Cligs in measuring Twitter
Here’s the rundown in a bullet list because everyone loves bullet lists:
- Measure your influence
- Find out what your audience’s interests are, based on what they click
What have I missed? How would you use the service?