How To Leverage Twitter Analytics

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I use Twitter on daily basis — so much so that I sometimes overlook how some people still struggle with understanding how to write a basic tweet.

Twitter has answered that struggle in launching Twitter Analytics, a dashboard suite. The dashboard is helpful in highlighting how well a profile is engaging with its followers, but is also supports the reach strategy for Twitter’s recent advertising services.

Here’s how reporting in Twitter Analytics can ensure that your social media strategy is effective.

How Am I Doing?

The arrival of Twitter Analytics enhances Twitter’s discovery of customer engagement strategies for mobile devices. The Next Web reported that 184 million Twitter users or 75 percent of active monthly users access their accounts from a smartphone or tablet.

To help marketers connect to their mobile audience beyond tweets, Twitter has rolled out advertising options such as Promoted Tweets, Twitter cards and a “buy now” button. These options have ushered a need for users to monitor their performance more accurately. The Twitter Analytics dashboard is meant to answer those needs.

I took a look at the dashboard, and while I wanted more options, I felt the dashboard offered the potential to seriously enhance the social media measurement options a marketer typically faces. Here are some starter ideas as to how to best leverage the features in Twitter analytics.

First, to view Twitter Analytics, log into your Twitter profile and go to the settings cog at the top of the page (It’s the second icon to the right of the search window). Click on “Twitter Ads” on the settings drop down menu to go to the ads manager. You’ll see an “Analytics” selection in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Twitter Analytics has two major dashboard sections: The one that appears when you first enter the ad manager is the campaign dashboard, meant to create ads and record ad performance. The other dashboard section contains pages of tweet usage metrics (Tweet Activity) and demographics metrics (Followers).

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To start developing an advertising strategy, begin with the Followers page. Its graphs exhibit the follower breakdown of the Twitter profile: the top 10 regions from which most followers arrive, top cities, and the male/female demographic. There is a Top 10 follower interests. All these indicators can be helpful in developing regional specific content tailored to a Twitter engagement plan.

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Review Your Ad Options

Next consider creating one of the ad units – there are several card options as well as an ad creator. The Ad Manager present basic reports that are somewhat familiar to those who have seen in Google AdWords or Bing ad managers. A timeline graph shows the impression per day, with tables below that can segment by location, device and demographics (male versus female, language). Interestingly, there is no breakdown for interests or hashtags.

The Tweet Activity page shows organic activity. A top bar chart displays impressions, the number of tweet views. Below that chart is a table of each tweet, listing engagement, impressions, and the engagement rate.

All the charts in the Tweet Activity page displays data over a rolling 28-day period. This report can provide a means to monitor influence activity over time, though the lack of date range adjustment forces the user to make daily analysis to view trends.

In fact, a few shortcomings occur when deeper analysis in Twitter Analytics is attempted.

Not a Perfect Tool

While engagement rate is useful, it is the only “conversion” metric with no means to connect results to deeper insights about followers. The rolling date range is not adjustable, giving users no means to adjust data to desired ranges. 

There is no means to sort the tweets listed. You can export data into a CSV file, but like all the features, the export is just a general option. But a positive for Twitter Analytics compared to other dashboard platforms is that only tweets sent through the dashboard URL shortener are recorded. This lowers the actually count of tweets and responses.

Twitter Analytics serves as a link for a cross device strategy. Combined with a solution like Google Analytics, a comprehensive look at Twitter influence becomes possible - first on the profile through Twitter Analytics metrics, then on conversion for a site through a web analytics solution. Metrics from both can be combined in a dashboard – for dashboard ideas on combining data sources, read How to Use Sophisticated Dashboards for Sophisticated Marketing.

There are a number of ways that Twitter Analytics can be used. But no matter the strategy, users will clearly capitalize on Twitter engagement, benefiting companies that value their Twitter presence. 

Title image by Ron Adams (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.