Twitter, Twitter Analytics, How to use Twitter analytics, social media, social media marketing, marketing analytics, how to analyse Twitter, analyse tweets, tweet performance, content marketing, digital marketing, ROI, improve Twitter performance, increase engagement, Twitter engagement,
If you’re new to Twitter, it can take a while to get your head around all of its features. Surprisingly, however, even some of its most experienced users neglect to take advantage of its powerful analytics tools. These tools offer useful information that brands can use to give their posts a boost - plus they’re already built into the platform and totally free to use. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick tour of Twitter Analytics for anyone looking to make a start with tracking their post performance.
Your first step for measuring analytics on Twitter will be to log onto the platform as normal. Once you’ve done this, click your profile icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and click on ‘Analytics’ from the drop-down menu that appears.
Doing this will take you to the Twitter Analytics ‘home’ page, a dashboard which displays a brief overview of your post performance from the past 28 days. To begin digging into the most useful information though, you’ll want to navigate over to the ‘Tweets’ section, which you can do using the main menu bar in the top left-hand corner of the page.
This page will give you some more detailed information about how each of your individual posts have performed.
One thing to make sure you do at this point is to set your date range.
Twitter will automatically show you information from the last 28 days, but it may often be the case that you want to look at a specific month in its entirety, or at how your posts have performed over the course of the past 3 or more months.
To get the date-range set to your preference, you’ll want to click the calendar button displayed in the top right-hand corner of the page. From here you can select a custom date range yourself by picking out a start date on the left and an end date on the right, or you can click on one of the settings listed on the far right which will do this for you.
Once you’ve picked your date range and clicked the ‘Update’ button at the bottom of this panel, all the information displayed on the page will refresh itself accordingly.
At this point, it might be useful to get into some definitions for the words you’ll see on this page:
Impressions - This refers to the number of people who actually saw your post. You could have 2,000 followers on Twitter, but your impressions may only reach 600 for an individual post. This is because the other 1,400 of your followers were offline when you posted it, or didn’t scroll down far enough to see it, etc.
Engagements - This is a broad descriptor for any time someone interacts with one of your posts, whether it be by giving it a ‘like,’ replying to it with a comment, sharing it with a retweet, or even just by clicking on a link or picture you included in it.
Total Engagements - the sum of times that one of the above actions was performed on your posts within your selected date range.
Engagement rate - As the name might imply, this percentage refers to the amount of time that people, on average, engaged with your post in one of the ways described above. If your engagement rate is 1.5% on an individual post, this means that 1.5% of people that the post reached chose to interact with it.
(This number might sound pretty small, but don’t be disheartened! It’s rare to see an average monthly rate reach higher than 2.0%. Even the top most followed accounts on Twitter have average engagement rates below 1%.)
Why do these matter?
Your ‘impressions’ can often look like the most impressive figure, especially if someone with a lot of followers shares your post and suddenly the impressions skyrocket into the thousands. It’s certainly a useful metric to keep track of, as it can help indicate things like when most of your followers are online and therefore when the best time to post is - but it shouldn’t be your guiding figure. Just because your post showed up on someone’s feed and they saw it, after all, doesn’t mean it was a fantastic post.
A post’s engagement figures are much better indicators of how much your content is actually resonating with people. If someone has been moved to comment, like, share, or otherwise interact with your post - then you know that you must have created something of value, usefulness, or intrigue to them. The higher your engagement rate, the better!
Now, back to locating this useful information in Twitter Analytics.
Still on the ‘Tweets’ page, you’ll notice that on the right-hand side, under the heading ‘Engagements,’ there’s a list of colourful graphs. This will show you your overall engagement rate for your selected date range, plus break down how many link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies you received in total.
On the left-hand side of the page you’ll see all your posted tweets listed in chronological order, accompanied by information on how many impressions and engagements that particular post got - plus its overall engagement rate. You can also click on any of these tweets to get a more detailed breakdown of its engagements.
You may find it most helpful to navigate to the ‘Top Tweets’ tab at the top of this section. This will re-list your tweets in order of the number of impressions they reached.
The tweets on this list will also likely be the ones with the highest engagement rates, so to find out what your best performing post was, scroll down and find the tweet with the highest engagement percentage. It’s always worth taking a look at this post and making a note of anything about it that you might want to replicate in future to try and achieve similar success.
As well as analysing the performance of your own tweets, it can also be helpful to analyse what kind of audience you’re actually reaching. To take a look at this, navigate back up to the main menu bar in the top left-hand corner of the page and click on ‘Audiences.’
You’ll be taken to an overview of information all about the people who follow your account.
Depending on your audience size, the information Twitter Analytics gives you may be more or less limited depending on what data Twitter has been given permission to access by its users. On our Ember Television account with thousands of followers, for example, Twitter Analytics has been able to gather a wealth of information, from audience interests to buying habits, and even average household income. On smaller accounts we manage with only a couple of hundred followers, the information it’s been able to gather is sometimes limited to simple statistics such as gender and business sector.
Regardless of the amount of data available to you, any insights into your audience can prove to be a really helpful tool for making your content more targeted. You could use it to create customer profiles, for example, or to find key topics to talk about that you know will resonate with your followers.
There are a variety of more advanced tools you can explore within Twitter Analytics, from event tracking to campaign launching, but the ‘Tweets’ and ‘Audience’ section are all you should need to keep track of your basic stats. Checking in on your analytics even just once a month can be an incredibly useful aid in learning how to make your content more effective - and considering it’s free, there’s really no reason not to give it a try.