How many people are seeing your tweets? A Followerwonk case study

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With a total of over 645 million users and one of the top 10 most visited websites in the world, twitter is definitely an awesome social media giant for businesses or advocates or anyone really to get involved!


twitter statistics taken from – data generated 1 Jan 2014

Twitter is a great platform to push out information, events, gossip, news, business progressions and more. With so many users and about 9,100 tweets happening on twitter each second you will think that the more people you connect with the more impressions you will get for each tweet? As much as I would like to think this is the case, there is much more that goes into who actually see’s your tweets. The amount of followers your followers have impacts the amount of times your tweets are actually being seen.

To better explain this I have taken a case study of a twitter user which has many followers and assessed how many impressions he is actually getting for each tweet.


The name is Antonino, Matt Antonino. SEO strategic and technical guru. Matt was one of my team members from my previous role, he is also a social media genius with many followers, hence the reason why I am basing this case study around him.

In order to get a deep understanding of Matt’s followers I used a tool called Followerwonk. It allows me to search twitter bios, track followers, analyse followers, and compare users and much more!

Looking at mapped locations of Matt’s followers we are able to see where most of his loyal fans are located for up to 5,000 users. The locations are not exact.


A pretty decent following from a people all over the world.

The truth about twitter followers and impressions

Now in order for us to determine how many of the 24,200 of Matt’s followers are seeing his tweets we actually had to take a look into the amount of people that they are actually following. From the chart below 17,185 of Matt’s followers are also following another 1000 – 5000 other people. So it makes you wonder – How many times they actually get to see Matt’s tweets?


Now let’s just say (which is highly unlikely) that all of Matt’s following is on twitter within a few hours when Matt makes a tweet. We presume that people 15% of the people following 500 to 1000 other users will see Matt’s tweet totalling approx 830 impressions from his total following. We have measured this against all the amount Matt’s followers are following in column A against the approximate amount of impressions in column B. We didn’t even bother to measure against people with over 100,000 followers. Now looking at the numbers, out of Matts 24,200 followers only 11% of them actually see his tweets due to the high amount of other people they are following.


Please keep in mind, there are so many other factors which influence impressions such as the time of the day that you tweet. So if you look at the below chart, it breaks down the hourly Twitter activity of Matt’s followers. Since most of his followers as in America, Matt will need to tweet between midnight and 4am (Australia GMT + 10).


Now we will look at the times when Matt composes most of his tweets. Because of the time difference it is unlikely he will be able to be online when most of his followers are. So he is tweeting the most at 1pm which is on his lunch break (I know this as I used to sit behind him). See chart below:

  • @contact tweets means when Matt is tweeting at someone
  • Non-@contact is when Matt tweets normally
  • Retweets is pretty self-explanatory…

Due to the time difference Matt is missing out on a lot of impressions from his twitter followers.


So basically, of his approximate 24,200 followers he is getting a very rough approximate of 2769 impressions per tweet. Then we must consider the times that these people are most active on Twitter and the times when Matt tweets. If we take those variables into account, then the 2769 impressions may be actually lower. Well it should be.

There are so many factors that come into play when we look at how many of your tweets are actually being seen. Apart from the small tests we have completed with the help of the awesome Followerwonk we need to look at other implications that effect reduced impressions. Yes, it is true that if you have more followers your tweets will get seen more often, but when most of your followers are also following thousands of other people then obviously the chances that your tweets are seen are minimal.

I recommend you try the tool yourself and see how it works!