The key to social media success is knowing what’s working and what’s not.
And that applies to Twitter as well.
Facebook might be the behemoth and what most people think of these days when considering social media marketing, but Twitter has about 328 million active monthly users as of this year, according to TechCrunch.
Depending on your audience, Twitter can better connect you with your customers, so if this is a platform you’re building a brand on, you shouldn’t operate in a vacuum.
There are many analytics tools out there, but if you’re using the native Twitter Analytics dashboard, here are some tips to help you make sense of what you’re looking at.
How do I find it?
If you’re on a computer, log into the Twitter website and click on your profile circle in the top right-hand corner of the screen. That’s where you’ll find your profile and settings options. Select “Analytics” from the drop-down menu.
You also can go directly to the Twitter Analytics dashboard by typing “analytics.twitter.com” into the URL field of your browser. Just make sure you’re signed into the correct account.
What am I looking at?
There is a lot of information included in the Twitter Analytics overview dashboard. Don’t get overwhelmed!
Across the top of the screen is a 28-day overall performance breakdown that automatically compares itself to the previous 28-day period. At a glance, you’ll see how many tweets you sent out, how many tweet impressions you earned, the number of visits to your profile, how many times your account was mentioned and your total number of followers.
Below that, you’ll notice a monthly breakdown starting with the current month and working back from there.
Within that, you’ll see your top tweet of the month, your top media tweet (a tweet containing an image or video) and your top follower, which can be very handy if your Twitter strategy includes tagging influencers who would care about your content.
What are the most important numbers to pay attention to?
This ultimately will come down to your goals.
Beyond the overview dashboard, you can use the top navigation pane to dig deeper into tweet performance, who your audience is, see an events browser of upcoming holidays and popular events that generate a ton of tweets, a video analytics dashboard and an optional conversion tracker.
If follower growth is your goal on Twitter, you should start with the “Audiences” option in the top navigation. You’ll find a wealth of information about who your audience is (from a high-level demographic perspective), what they’re interested in and how they act online.
Knowing whom you’re actually talking to (which tends to begin with your followers first) on any social platform is vital to thinking about not only what content you should tweet (hopefully tweets that are in line with your audience’s interests) but also what your account’s “voice” should be. Your voice is likely obvious on a personal account, but more forethought and consistency is required on a brand account. Who is your brand to your follower base? Who should it be?
If engagement on Twitter is your goal, start with the “Tweets” navigation option. There, you can find what performed the best and with the highest engagement rate. Be aware: There are no black-and-white, if-this-then-that decisions to be made on social media analytics. It’s about being aware of and documenting the trends to help inform future decision making.
For example, maybe you notice that one tweet went viral. And maybe that’s because you tagged an influencer who retweeted it to his/her large audience. That doesn’t mean that every tweet in which you tag an influencer will go viral or even get retweeted.
Just be aware of what worked, what didn’t and pivot from there.
One thing you can guarantee not just on Twitter but on any social platform is that the more authentic you are as a person or a brand, the better your audience will engage with you. Be wary of posting too much promotional content. Your Twitter audience (and everyone else) will see right through it.
Looking for more guidance when it comes to Twitter or social media in general? Contact my colleague, Brook Bentley, social media and content manager at Sierra Nevada Media Group, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free social media consultation.
Caren Roblin is director of content at Sierra Nevada Media Group, which publishes the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. You can contact her at email@example.com.