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(Excerpt from the Geneva Engage Study – to be published during the Geneva Engage conference on 26-27 January 2016)

The 2015 Geneva Social Media Index (GSMI) is based on a carefully balanced analysis of social media activities and their reception by the Internet public. By taking a multidimensional approach to the analysis of Twitter activity, the index aims to compress a multitude of information about that activity in its total ranking, while the whole GSMI methodology provides an in-depth review of the many sub-indicators that comprise the analysis of a particular Twitter account. The GSMI includes social media activity and reception indicators.

 

Activity indicators

1. Production: the number of statuses published since the registration of the account, including all re-tweets and replies, divided by the account’s current lifetime in weeks. Production is the most straightforward measurement of Twitter activity used in this study, providing simple information about the account activity per week.

2. Contribution: the proportion of original tweets (the account’s production after removing all re-tweeted statuses) relative to the total number of tweets retrieved from the account’s timeline. This is a straightforward assessment of the amount of new content provided by a particular account.

3. Responsiveness: the proportion of replies to other Twitter users relative to the total number of original tweets. How often does the user of the account engage in communication?

4. Interest: the number of Twitter followers  (accounts followed by the account under analysis), divided by the account’s current lifetime in weeks. Essentially, this is a weekly rate of engagement in following Twitter content and developments.

 

Reception indicators

1. Re-tweets: the total number of re-tweets made by other users, of all original tweets made by the account, divided by the number of original tweets. How many of the account’s original production is passed on to other users by the account’s followers?

2. Popularity: total number of the account’s tweets favourited by other users, divided by the number of original tweets.

3. Followers: total number of followers on Twitter, divided by the account’s current lifetime in weeks. This is a weekly rate of audience gain.

4. Publicity: the total number of public Twitter lists that including the account, divided by the account’s current lifetime in weeks. This is another way of rating weekly audience gain,, this time based on the count of public lists that include the account.

 

Aggregation and Ranking

All accounts were first ranked on both the activity and reception indicators. The aggregate activity and reception scores were calculated in three steps: (1) first by summing the ranks of the indicators; then by (2) reverse-scoring the sums (since having the rank of 5, for example, is better than having a rank of 6 or 20); and finally (3) by expressing as percentile ranks. The total score for each account was computed in the same way.

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