Twitter Lists to Followers Ratio: The new social media metric

Twitter has been aunching a slew of new functionality recently, most notably Twitter Lists. I say most notably because Twitter Lists addresses one of the most pressing problems with using Twitter.com as a primary Twitter client. It's very easy to follow so many people that you wind up really following no one. People's tweets just get lost in the stream.

Until now, I've solved that problem with 3rd party apps like Seesmic on my desktop and Tweetie on the iPhone that allow me to create groups of followers so I can filter down tweets to a manageable thread and actually keep tabs on the people I'm most interested in. Twitter Lists, however, allows me to do that right on Twitter.com and even better, share those lists with others. The lists I aggregate can become little tidbits of value I share with the masses.

That's really relevant to brands seeking a meaningful metric for how to measure the success of their social marketing programs. Just acquiring followers is really quite meaningless. It's relatively easy to do (follow a bunch of people and some subset will just follow you back), but says nothing about the relevance of those followers or if they are getting any value out of following you.

However, if someone adds you to a list, they are making a small, but conscious effort to say to the world, hey this dude's got some good tweets over here.

I propose that this will evolve into a truly meaningful metric for social marketing effectiveness. The more of your followers that put you on Lists, the more relevant and valuable your social media presence is. As of this moment, @adamkleinberg (that's me) has 1852 followers and I'm on 60 lists. That means I have a marginally respectable 3.2% List to Followers Ratio. This is a measure of my perceived relevant value on Twitter, and one I hope will improve over time.

There are holes in this theory of course. Take this Twitter thread for instance:

jack_benoff: @adamkleinberg but how many of your followers have even created lists?

adamkleinberg: Lists to Followers Ratio = new value metric for soc. media. Currently 3.2% of my followers think I'm valuable enuf 2 put on a list.

But even if this is brand new stuff and only active Twitterers use it, doesn't that add to the argument that it's a great metric to measure value of your Twitter presence? It's no secret that ninety-something percent of people on Twitter sign up, tweet once and disappear. Those aren't exactly valuable followers and they definitely aren't creating lists.

Stick that in your PowerPoint and guru it. As always, I love to hear your thoughts.


Marketing Megatrends redux

The "5 Marketing Megatrends You Cant Ignore" article I wrote for iMedia last week has gotten quite a bit of buzz. I did a search on twitter and nearly 400 people have tweeted about it since it was released on Monday (writing this on Wednesday). It's fascinating how Twitter allows you to watch something "go viral" in real-time.

It's also spawned a few interesting blog posts around the web. I thought I'd collect a few links to them here.

When Do Megatrends Matter? by Small Business Labs:
"What's interesting about these "new" megatrends is all have been talked about, at least in the trends community, for many years - even decades. This does not mean the list is bad or late. Trends take a long time to reach the point where they matter.

One of the key indicators that a megatrend is starting to have broad impact is discussion and activity across multiple disiplines. All of these trends have reached that point - and all of these trends matter or are starting to matter to small businesses."

Five “Megatrends” to Watch by Ed Lee at Blogging Me Blogging You:
"For discussion: is mass collaboration the answer for pervasive distrust in big corporations? It is interesting that big corporations are deliberately using social media to both seem smaller and encourage that collaboration.

We use the following formula when explaining this stuff to clients:

Engagement = Transparency + Co-Creation

5 Marketing Megatrends by Healthcare Strategist
"#4 is, I think, under-appreciated in health care. Doctors and hospitals like to think of themselves as the last of the white hat-wearing good guys, and maybe they are. But trust is a funny thing - built over decades and lost overnight. Screw it up and watch the laser beam of populist rage move from Wall Street to Medical Avenue."

sarica’s posterous
"I like the difference the author establishes between "regular" trends and "mega" trends, this is a quite interesting article... althought it takes a small effort to read it."

Five Megatrends--and how they are shaping crisis communication
"I'm once again stealing brilliance from others, but, hey, isn't that what blogging is all about?
Here's a very insightful article about the Five Megatrends impacting marketing. But these are also impacting crisis communication and the way we think, work, socialize and exist together in community. So here is my crisis communications take on these big ideas..."

Megatrends also drive new funding models
"I would say #1, #3 and #4 are exactly things we thought when we founded Grow VC. 1. Collaboration is needed for funding. 3. New funding models must be global. 4. Startups are important for growth and entrepreneurs don’t feel that large VC’s and banks are always the best source to get funding. I think #2 and #5 are also linked to the funding world.

We can always be sceptical with trends and especially with megatrends. But together with very practical experiences from the startup world, I see these trends are definitely shaping the funding models of the future."


5 marketing megatrends you can't ignore - iMediaConnection.com

"I just wrote this article for iMedia Connection and it's gotten some buzz (I measure buzz by retweets these days — this one got over 90 the day it was published). I'd love to hear your thoughts in comments."
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