ramblings from the hive mind

Social media measurement for free

14 February 2012 | View comments
Damien Austin-Walker

Let’s face it. There’s loads of free online tools out there. And some really affordable ones too. I use a lot of them. But the one I rely on as my Twitter measurement backbone is Rowfeeder.


For real-time monitoring I use TweetDeck, my favourite command and control centre for Twitter. But for capturing everything, for keeping an historic archive and for producing whatever reports I want from the data, I use Rowfeeder.

I will tell you how

Sign up for Rowfeeder - it’s free for one keyword and up to 500 mentions or posts a month. Enter your twitter name as your keyword (I do it without the @ but that will depend on whether your name is a real word or not). Next follow the instructions to connect Rowfeeder to your Google account so that it can pump every tweet mentioning or Retweeting your name into a Google spreadsheet in Google docs.

Stage one, done. Now you have a continuously updating history of all RTs and mentions in a Google spreadsheet.

The magic formula

You now want to count all that stuff. Stage two is all about the formula. In your Google docs account open the Rowfeeder spreadsheet. Leave the columns with named headers for the Rowfeeder data, then in the next free column add this formula, replacing ‘@b33god’ with your twitter name or search term

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("@b33god",C3)), 1, 0)

Where ‘C3’ is the cell reference of the first cell in the‘Tweet’ column you are measuring. Highlight the full column and paste the formula, (or paste in the first cell and click and drag it down to copy the formula down the column). In the column after that paste this formula

=IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("RT @b33god:",C3)), 0, 1). 

rowfeeder spreadsheet

Hey presto! The formula will show a 1 or a 0 depending on whether the search term is found or not. In this case an ‘@name’ or a ‘RT @name:’ but you can play around with different terms for whatever you need to measure.


Now all you have to do is copy and paste the rows in the time range you want from your master Rowfeeder spreadsheet into a fresh copy. And sum total the last two columns. First formula column will show the total RTs and mentions and the last column just the RTs.

If you need to capture more mentions a month you can upgrade to a paid plan (currently cheapest $35 pm for 5000 posts and 3 keywords1) or invite your friends to set up a rowfeeder account. For each friend that joins you both get 250 bonus posts per month forever. If you were a real cheapskate you could simply invite yourself again and again for each keyword you want to use - easy to do by signing up with a gmail email address and putting dots in different places of the email address for each account.2

  1. Simply Measured the company behind Rowfeeder also run a fully featured service at where they do all this for you along with fully featured excel reports and pretty graphs, but it does cost a fair bit more.

  2. For instance, if your email is you can also use or etc

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