In the online world, we all love measurement. Especially when the numbers look good.

Twitter ‘reach’ is a metric that adds the sum of all users mentioning your brand handle to the sum of their followers. This allows you to quantify not just the number of fellow tweeters have you engaged with, but also the followers of those fellow tweeters.

In theory, this is an important metric as social marketing should help expand your audience and it is important to assess how far your message may be spreading.  Twitter should not be limited to engaging with your followers – you should be trying to grow and expand your audience.

We don’t really do as much as we would like on Twitter (cobbler’s shoes…) but I was excited to see some fairly seismic uplift in our reach a couple of weeks ago:

browser media twitter reach

By any standards, that is a fairly meteoric rise in any one week and it felt good to think that tens of thousands of people may have seen @browser_media and I naturally thought that I should have a look at the tidal wave of traffic that would have resulted from this incredible reach.

Would I see triple digit growth in traffic from Twitter? What percentage of all these potential eyeballs would we manage to pull in to our site? The answer is not very impressive:

twitter traffic

Just 8 more visitors than the previous week, despite the 49,988 extra reach through retweets and the staggering 263,032 extra reach through replies. A mere 8.25% increase in traffic despite silly increases in reach.

It naturally got me thinking and I decided that it would be down to 3 possible issues:

  • The ‘reach’ metric is simply load of b@ll@cks
  • Our content just didn’t appeal to anyone (I am (not so) secretly hoping that the title of this post is a better lure…)
  • Most of what happens on Twitter is lost in an ocean of digital noise

My vote is with the third point (although that then leads to the first being fairly true). Anyone who follows more than a handful of handles simply isn’t going to have the time in the day to view all tweets from everyone they follow.  There is simply too much going on Twitter to be able to see it all.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please don’t be shy and share your thoughts below and feel free to share on Twitter to see if a more interesting (I hope) title stands out from the noise.