Playing The Stupid Numbers Game on Twitter

Playing The Stupid Numbers Game on Twitter


The best you’re going to do on Twitter, without paying for reach, is about 3%. No matter how many followers you have, only about 3% of them will see your tweets. And this is your best tweets, mind you. More likely, you will reach about 1% of your followers each time you tweet. There are a number of reasons for this. And there are a few reasons the Twitter Analytics system does not accurately measure your reach.

First let’s talk about why your reach is so low.

  1. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not filter your tweetstream. (Meaning, if you follow someone, you are going to see their tweets.)
  2. If you use you will see the firehose of tweets cascading before your very eyes. You will miss a lot of tweets, even while you are online.
  3. Most people don’t use tools or lists to follow you. Again, if your tweet is one drop in the firehose of Twitter, there is a very slim chance your followers are going to see it. That’s the 3% – 1% average.

Now let’s look at why’s analytics are not representative of your actual reach.

  1. Power users don’t use to follow or respond to tweets. Twitter analytics only tracks clicks and RTs that are initiated on
  2. Tweets are often read in tools or website widgets and these interactions are not measured by


Alternative Click-tracking services like can give you more accurate numbers on your Twitter interactions. But even can be off when other services remap the link to yet another tracking link.

The take away:

  • Building a large following is tedious work.
  • The larger the following the larger the 3% reach potential is.
  • By tweeting the same information (different tweet) several times a day, you are exponentially increasing your reach. And while 3 tweets in one day doesn’t equal 3% + 3% + 3% doesn’t equal 9% due to overlap, you can start moving the needle significantly with multiple tweets.
  • Use to track your tweets specifically outside to analytics.
  • Twitter analytics can give you insights into what types of tweets are working with your followers, but does not accurately represent the total influence of your tweets.

Don’t get carried away like the uber-Twitter-spammers. Don’t put your Tweet on repeat and blast out duplicate tweets automatically. But don’t be afraid to over-tweet. The concept used to be valid when there were fewer people using Twitter and fewer tools to help you filter your own stream, but today, tweet all you like. Don’t be an auto-bot. But don’t be afraid to tweet about your new post several times a day.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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