Here at Startacus there’s nothing we like more than a nice bit of data… we’re kidding obviously, but what we do rather like is when interesting data is laid out in an visually pleasing and easy to follow way.
Twitter's own new and improved analytics tools are a nice example of this, and a marked improvement on their last offering which wasn’t very ‘inspiring’ -to put it kindly.
For those of you who are new to this sort of thing, Twitter analytics is an easy, non technical, user friendly way for you to measure the level of engagement (or lack thereof) that your Twitter communications are creating. Sounds fairly straightforward…and it is, unless of course you get carried away start creating your own charts, graphs and spreadsheets based on the information it yields… hmm hmm.
The Data and its uses
There is absolutely no denying that if you use Twitter to help with the marketing of either your business or your project, then it is well worth taking a look at Twitter analytics every now and again for a more detailed view of how things are going.
There are huge volumes of information available through this free tool which is all laid out in simple, colourful graphs and charts which make it easy to identify patterns and trends as well as making us feel rather clever and ‘on the ball’.
Here’s some of the most useful information that you can see:
Impressions - This is the number of times that your tweets have been seen - note that it doesn’t mean that any engagement has taken place, but rather allows you to gauge how many people are seeing your tweets.
Engagements - As the name suggests this shows you the number of times that someone has interacted in any way with your tweets. This interaction could take the form on expanding an image, favouriting, retweeting etc
Engagement rate - This is perhaps the most useful tool in Twitter analytics as it shows you what percentage of people who saw the tweet decided to engage with it in some way.
Link Click, favourites, retweets and replies information is also displayed giving you a good overview of how effective your twitter presence is.
The percentage change in all of these figures between the previous two months is also automatically displayed allowing you to easily see any improvement or decline.
Aside from this information about how well your tweets are performing on Twitter, analytics also provides a decent amount of collective data regarding your users including; location, gender, age, interests and so forth all of which can be very useful in planning your future use of the platform.
Whilst we don’t profess to be experts in the use of Twitter analytics, to increase your impact on Twitter it’s pretty much common sense that having key information about your followers (such as their location and interests) will have an impact on the level of engagement that you get from them. It can also help with the planning of your Twitter schedule by indicating the days (and times) when your followers are (on average) most active on the site.
On a point of personal preference, to us data analytics and Twitter, don't seem to make particularly good bed fellows. Twitter is supposed to be about people, conversations and the like, not charts, graphs and figures…the whole thing can feel a little unnatural. Twitter followers are people (rather than data) this certainly isn’t an exact science and as anyone who uses Twitter knows, it is prone to sudden inexplicable bursts of rapid activity and periods of eerie silence…
Be sure to remember that whilst increasing your Twitter following and coaxing a higher level of engagement out of them is great, it doesn't necessarily mean an increase in customer base - don't be fooled into thinking that your Twitter followers have in some way endorsed your products or services - it takes an infinitely small effort to click a ‘follow’ button and equally little to unclick it.