Twitter recently opened up their analytics product to anyone with a Twitter login. Previously it was reserved for Twitter ad customers only.
UPDATE: This is still rolling out slowly to all Twitter users. Most have access, but not all.
The Twitter Analytics product is actually only accessible through the Twitter ad tool. Not the best user experience, but better than nothing.
To access your Twitter Analytics, go to ads.Twitter.com and log in with the same username and password you use for the Twitter account for which you’d like to view analytics.
The Twitter Analytics tool is pretty snazzy for those that have never see it. Keep in mind this is only because Twitter has offered nothing in the way of analytics for the majority of their users for the entire existence of the service.
It is not likely that this will replace any of your existing analytics tools. But you will be able to gain insights and confirm data/assumptions. It makes it easier to get some data points that were a little more difficult to glean before now.
Depending on how you use Twitter, both as an individual and as a business, different elements of the Twitter Analytics dashboard will be more useful than others. As you review the list below, pay attention to the insights that best help your use case.
The 3 Sections of Twitter Analytics
- Timeline Activity – Measures follows, unfollows, mentions, and engagement with your content
- Followers – Measures longterm follower growth and follower demographics like gender, location, psychographics, and similar Twitter users
- Websites – Measures total tweets, clicks and engagements of content from your website (requires use of ‘advanced’ Twitter ads)
We will cover the Websites section within Twitter Analytics in a future article. This requires that you add a credit card and actually start a Twitter ad campaign. This is possible without spending money, and worth it to see some of the full potential of their analytics tool, but more on that layer.
The Timeline Activity and Followers sections provide plenty of insights for now. Check out some of the best features below and dive in to see what insights you can start gathering using this long overdue tool.
1. Are Your Links Getting Clicked?
If you look to the “recent tweets” section of the Timeline Activity you will see little click counts beside any Tweet with a link in it. This is a little hidden, but probably one of the more valuable pieces of data inside of Twitter Analytics.
Twitter has grown over the years from a mostly conversational forum to more of a link sharing and news aggregation tool. For better or worse. As a result their is more competition to actually get clicks on links. Take a close look at your links and see what is getting clicked and what is getting skipped.
2. Most Engagement
Also under recent tweets is a “Show” section that lets you sort by Best, Good, or All. The default is All. Click on Best to see your top 15% most engaging tweets. Twitter ranks these by showing messages that got above average favorites, retweets, and/or replies. It would be great if you could sort by click through counts, but alas no.
An evan more useful option would be to sort by one of these three engagement metrics and not a mashup of all three. A message high in replies tells you something completely different than a message high in retweets. I’m not a fan of lumping all three of these together as “engagement”.
Facebook is a big fan of this type of grouping as well with mash up metrics like “People Talking About This.” This might be good for high level glimpses at social account health, but cannot really convey any real actionable insights.
Ok, rant over.
This is still a cool feature of the Twitter Analytics, even if you have to visually sort for the intel you are after.
3. Best Time Of Day To Tweet
This is low tech, but timestamps are in your recent tweets section so we can gain some intel here on when posts are getting the most clicks.
For Social Fresh (@socialfresh), our click throughs are the most important metric for our Twitter account. For a few years now, we have measured when we get the most clicks from Twitter. Historically we see peaks at 8am, 10am, 2-3pm, and 8pm during the week.
If I go through the Timeline Activity in our Twitter Analytics, I can quickly see that these assumptions still largely hold true. Some outliers break through as they get popular enough to see a little bit of the viral loop effect. But overall this can be a good check of any timing assumptions or questions you have.
A negative, you have to convert from Pacific time. A setting to change this would be nice for the other 85% of the US and 99% of the world not on PT, but the timestamps can still be valuable.
Also, I would caution trying to build any timing strategy for your content based purely on the data in Twitter Analytics. It is better for visually scanning and checking. If the export feature included click through data, this might be a different story, but it doesn’t. With a little excel magic you COULD figure out when you are getting the most Twitter engagement, but it would exclude link clicks.
4. Follows vs Unfollows
Do not obsess over these day to day ups and downs. The nature of Twitter connections is one that fluctuates wildly. That growth you saw last week of 20 Twitter followers was more likely a gain of 50 and a loss of 30. Looks for peaks and valleys, in both your follows and unfollows and try match major events to learn what is gaining you the most audience and losing you the least.
5. Total Mentions
Mentions are another great metric for tracking what is successful (or not) for generating new followers. A large bump in mentions related to Retweets often correlates with follower growth. Weight the peaks and valleys of your mentions against follower growth to look for insights here.
6. Measuring Reach
Twitter Analytics labels which Tweets have a larger audience because of retweets with a multiple, i.e. 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x your normal reach, etc.
This would be more valuable if we knew the real numbers, but we can see how valuable our retweets are in extending the engagement of a message on Twitter. Look to the click through number as well for these and look for patterns of which messages are breaking through with high reach and high click throughs.
7. Backing Up Your Last 500 Tweets
Not all of the data in your Timeline Activity is available for download, but you do get the full text of your Twitter messages, a timestamp and all engagement counts for each post.
And of course if you are just looking to archive your Tweets every so often, this is an option. You can go back 90 days.
8. Similar Twitter Accounts
Under the Followers section of your Twitter Analytics, there is a section devoted to what other Twitter accounts your followers are also following. Audience wise, these accounts have the most similar audience to yours.
This can be very valuable if you are looking to run Twitter promoted account ads. Target some of your promoted account ads to followers of these similar accounts and test which ones produce the best results.
9. Twitter Follower Demographics
Discovering the countries, states, and cities where your followers are focused can be useful for your marketing, timezone targeting, and content relevance. You can also review the gender breakdown of your audience for similar insights.
10. Twitter Follower Psychographics
The topics that your followers are interested in can give you lots of insights. The two best uses for this information is helping with your content strategy and giving you potential targeting data for Twitter ads.
Have you been using Twitter Analytics? What is the most useful piece of data for your business?