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GraphEdge Twitter Analytics: Focus on Your Networks

This is the third of four innovative tools we're looking at in the Better Twitter Analytics series, seeking a new way of looking at data to help you shape and improve your nonprofit's social media strategy.

GraphEdge screenshotGraphEdge is a tiny company with a new social analytics tool that's primarily designed for organizational use, rather than individuals, and nonprofits may want to grab a free trial while it’s still available.

(Yes, this is a paid Twitter analytics service but it is surprisingly affordable, with the pricing based on the number of followers you have — currently that's just under $5 monthly for an account with fewer than 10,000 followers.)

GraphEdge can tell you:

  • How many of your followers you’re really reaching
  • How quickly your network is growing (or shrinking!)
  • Who’s dumping you
  • Who your most influential followers are, and how to reach them
  • Who else your followers are following

GraphEdge gets a “gold star” right away by providing definitions for the terms they use to interpret your Twitter data — Churn (rate of turnover of your followers), Legitimate Followers, Loyalty (length of time people stay following your Twitter account), and Second-Level Network (who your followers are following).

While I’m not wild about the idea of any application deciding who is and is not “legitimate” on Twitter, this is one of the more reasonable ways to approach weeding out the unengaged and downright spammy accounts that may be following you:

“Legitimate Followers” is a measure of your true, realistic reach. To find this number we take the number of people that Twitter says are following you, and then subtract the following:

  • Any of your followers who are following more than 2,000 people are considered not-Legitimate… they’re probably not really monitoring your feed, so we don’t count them as “Legitimate”.
  • Users who have been suspended by Twitter can’t read your tweets (and probably weren’t interested in the first place!). We don’t consider these Legitimate Followers.

Why should “legitimate followers” matter to you? Because number of followers is next to irrelevant if they’re not like to be paying attention or open to engagement with your organization on Twitter.

We need to be tracking ears, not bodies!

The feature of GraphEdge that may be most interesting to nonprofits, however, is the information it gives you on Second-Level Networks — who is following your followers. When your followers retweet your message, their own followers (the second-level network members) become an extension of your own effective reach. GraphEdge can give you a solid idea of who those people are. And the more we  can know about the people we’re trying to communicate with, the more effective our outreach has the potential to be.

Second gold star for GraphEdge: transparency. The company’s blog gives a play-by-play of what’s going on in the mind of founder Waldron Faulkner, both a roadmap for development of the social analytics tool and a real-world case study of an evolving business model.

And another half-star for recognizing a great gap in the analytics tools available to social network members  — Faulkner said on Twitter recently that he plans to fold Facebook into GraphEdge, too.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that development!

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