Last week I shared 8 things I had learnt about making Twitter work for my business. The obvious next questions are, how do you know what is working and how do you improve your results? That’s where Twitter Analytics comes in; to help you track and optimise your twitter activity. This article focuses on showing you:
- How many people are seeing your tweets
- Which tweets were most engaging with your target audience (and why this is important)
- The optimum time for sending your tweets
- Understanding your followers and their interests
You can find this all out from two simple screens – the Tweet Activity and the Followers dashboards.
To sign up to Twitter Analytics go to analytics.twitter.com. It only starts tracking activity from the date you first sign up, so it’s a good idea to access it now so that you are building up a history of your twitter activity.
Tweet Activity Dashboard
How many people are seeing your tweets?
This is measured by the number of impression you get, i.e. the number of times a user is served one of your tweets in their timeline or search results. At the top of this dashboard you will see the total number of impressions your tweets have earned and a daily bar chart. Hovering over each bar shows you the number of daily organic impression (versus paid-for impressions if you are using Twitter Ads). In the top-right of the screen you can change the timescale you are viewing.
Under the graph is a scrolling section showing your individual tweets where you can see how many impressions each tweet has earned.
How engaging are your tweets?
Engagement metrics show the number of times a user has interacted with one of your tweets. This means clicking anywhere within the tweet e.g. hashtags, links, username as well as re-tweeting, replying, favourite-ing or following you. To the right of the individual tweets panel is a column of graphs showing total engagement metrics (for your chosen time period). In particular it shows metrics for total number of link-clicks, retweets, favourites and replies.
In the listing of your individual tweets you will see the total number of engagements and the engagement rate (no. of engagements divided by no. of impressions) against each tweet. Just click on an individual tweet and you will see the detail metrics for impressions and each type of engagement for that tweet.
Why is understanding engagement important?
In “Clearing the Twitter Fog” I mentioned the importance of setting goals for your Twitter activity; e.g. driving people to your website, developing a dialogue with your target audience etc. Understanding how your audience is engaging with your tweets lets you see if these goals are being met and which tweets are most successful at doing this; so you can optimise your future tweets. For example:
- Link-Clicks will show you if you are being successful at driving people to your website.
- Retweets are important if you want to increase visibility and mindshare with new audiences
- Gaining Favourites is important if you want to deepen the engagement with your audience. It shows they are enjoying/value your content.
- Replies – when people are replying (and you are replying to them) it implies a more active relationship with them.
What time of day are your tweets being read?
When you click to open up the tweet details for a specific tweet, you will see a bar chart (top right). This shows the total impressions your tweet earned hour by hour. You can see this for the first 24 hours from when you tweeted and the last 24 hours. By using this regularly you can look for patterns of when your tweets are being read so that you can optimise when you send them.
P.S. at the top right of the Tweet Activity dashboard there is an Export Data button so you can save and track your metrics data over time.
The Followers Dashboard
The first thing you will see is a graph tracking the growth in the number of followers you have gained over time. It’s useful to see how this relates to your twitter activity e.g. when you see a spike in followers – what activity was successful in driving that?
Where in the world are your followers?
Under the graph are three columns – the middle one shows you the top countries and top cites in which your followers are located. Depending on your type of business this may be more or less important. For example if you run a local shop in Manchester (UK) are you connecting with users in your local area or are you building an audience who are never going to visit your shop? In this case you need to think about geographic-specific content to connect with local users.
Understanding what your followers are interested in
The left hand column shows the top five unique interests and the top ten broad interests of your followers – based on their twitter activity. Using this may give you insight into content that may help you build a more effective relationship with your audience. It may show an interest that is not related to your business e.g. Cricket. Even so, it may be useful to work this into your twitter campaigns occasionally, e.g. during The Ashes, to build relationships and engage with your audience. Also check whether you are sharing content that is of no interest to your followers.
Similarly – the third column may be useful as it list the top Twitter users who are most followed by your followers. Although Twitter does not specifically ask for the gender of its users – it assesses this based on their activity (Twitter say they have about a 90% accuracy rate on this). The more you understand your audience and their interests etc. the better you can engage with them.
Learn from the Data
So when you are planning future tweets look at the data Twitter Analytics can provide and ask yourself a few questions.
- Who is my target audience and how do I attract them?
- What topics are most engaging to my target audience based on past performance and their interests?
- What type of engagement do I want and how does this influence my tweet content and strategy.
- Which tweets were most successful in the past and why – longer, shorter, with images…?
- On which days and at what times did I get the best results?
Use the data to look for patterns and trends and build on your success and minimise your “failures”.