I am like many others who didn’t realize “tweet” wasn’t already an official word up until yesterday when the good people atThe Oxford English Dictionary quietly announced that it had added it as both a noun and a verb – along with other new words such as “big data” and “crowdsourcing.”
What I have known for a long time is that Twitter has never made performance analytics available to users. Those of us who manage personal and corporate accounts on behalf of employers and clients have been forced to cobble together data collected manually using the few things Twitter makes available, data from third-party services like TweetStats, click-thru data from Bit.ly, and data from paid services like SimplyMeasured and Hootsuite PRO.
Finally, the era of frustrating Twitter analytics may soon be over. Twitter hasannounced analytics for a select few. The analytics dashboard is a simplified version of what is offered to advertisers, but it is certainly a step in a better direction.
For a while I worried that Twitter was holding off until the company could figure out how to charge for the use of its analytics dashboard. Fortunately, this service will be free for all users as they have realized that only by knowing how Twitter content is performing, will brands invest money on the platform.
Below are highlights, including tips for social media managers:
- Provides snapshot of activity, including mentions, follows and unfollows over a month’s time.
- Users can see how many faves, retweets, replies and click-thrus each of their tweets receives.
- Users can sort by “Best, Good, All” for at-a-glance ranking of tweet performance. “Best” being the top 15% tweets that received engagement in the last month, “Good” being the top 66% of tweets that received engagement in the last month, and “All” being all tweets.
- Users can learn more about their new followers, including unique interests, demographic information (location and gender), and the top users also followed by your followers.
- Users can export analytics as a CSV for later use and reference. This makes it easier for social media managers using templates for social channel metrics to accelerate reporting and even reallocate time spent counting tweets, retweets and mentions, to actually digging in deeper into insights.
- Hashtag information, including click-thrus
- Deeper “influencer” insights.
- The whole thing still has some kinks to work out, but it is very promising indeed.
My agency works with several clients who are key players in big data and data-driven innovation. I would be remiss if I did not mention the importance of leveraging performance metrics to guide content strategy. As such, it would not be a bad idea to set up some A/B tests for content. If you have a launch coming up, try drafting tweets that include calls to action, link to multimedia, true/false questions, data points, etc. and determine which type of content your audience responds to.
To see if you have access, visit https://analytics.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter user name and password. If you are one of the lucky few you will see an “Analytics” tab at the top. You should be able to toggle between “Timeline Activity” and “Followers.”
Do you currently measure Twitter performance? Why? Why not?
How do you use analytics to inform your content strategy?
What specific metrics would you like Twitter to add to its performance analytics dashboard before it becomes widely available to the public?