Social Media Commerce: Rank Your Followers on Twitter

If you want to use the social media tool Twitter to increase your sales, you need to have demographic information on the people who follow you back on Twitter.

If the type of person following you on Twitter is not equal to your business demographic profile, can your efforts on the site really help you? Outreach should equate to sales and connections. On Twitter, as on any other platform mentioned, you have to figure out who these people are.

Currently, the best way to get this data is through a service from Schmap: Know Your Twitter Followers, a tool used by many Fortune 500 companies. You may know Schmap from their real-time city guides that cover more than 400 million locations worldwide. They have been producing these for the web since 2004.

In an interview with Mashable, Schmap CEO Paul Hallett said “Know Your Twitter Followers fills the void for audience measurement in social media and provides a breakdown of your followers so that you can understand how to target your audience.”

With Know Your Followers, anyone can get immediate access to a free summary demographic analysis of a portion of their Twitter followers. The price for a full, in-depth analysis is based on the number of your followers: $3.95 for accounts with up to 5,000 followers to $249.95 for accounts with more than 2 million followers. This figure shows a portion of a full analysis of a Twitter account.

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After you buy a report, you can compare your demographics to Twitter averages, graph and map these comparisons, and then print or download the statistics to a PDF file or a CSV file (for use in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and most other spreadsheet or database software) so you can seriously dive in.

Data is available for many data points aside from demographics, including where your followers shop, buy clothing, and eat, as well as their hobbies, professions, likes, and interests. This information could be invaluable if you are trying to see whether you have built the right audience for your brand or business.

Schmap makes no bones about where the data comes from — they use the data people make public from posts and social media reference. The magic lies in their use of a series of fuzzy logic algorithms developed by their own team. Fuzzy logic, first theorized in 1965, is based on probabilities and reasoning (and is also applied to artificial intelligence systems).

From their website:

“Put simply, we make statistically sensible deductions based on multiple bits of data. The multi-signal statistical approach is necessary, because computers, by and large, still suck at interpreting natural language, particularly the kind of culturally diverse and informal language your followers use on Twitter.

“In terms of accuracy, we strive to make sure that any given conclusion (regarding marital status, profession, location etc.) for any given follower has at least a 95% chance of being correct. As a result, an aggregate analysis for an account with even just a few hundred followers stands up very well indeed.”

Although the information isn’t as accurate as the data you would get if every follower filled out a form, it’s as accurate as any system mentioned here — and perhaps even more accurate.

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