Twitter Analytics: Your Best Free Gift

When posting on Twitter you can’t expect to read some how-to’s on what to tweet and expect to be an overnight Twitter sensation. Sometimes that happens to people, but when it does, it’s just very good luck! To be successful on Twitter, you can’t just post some content and hope for the best. You need to be smart about it, and in order to be smart about it you need to look at your Twitter analytics.

There are a ton of tools out there for looking at Twitter analytics and statistics, but lucky for you Twitter actually has a pretty comprehensive analytics tool. And as an added bonus, it’s pretty easy to use.

When you get to your analytics page (found under your profile menu) there are four main tabs that break down your analytics.

 

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Home

This is the overview of how your Twitter page is doing based on a monthly breakdown.

The top bar gives you a 28 day summary that looks at how your stats have changed since the last 28 days. This gives you a quick visual on how you’re doing.

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From there you can look at each month a little more in depth. Looking at the month allows you to see your top tweet, and your top mention. The top tweet is decided based off of impressions. And the top mention is a tweet someone mentions you in that got the most engagements. They also provide you with your top follower, and your top media tweet.

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Then there’s a summary of how many times you posted, how many people interacted with you (impressions, visits, and mentions), and how many followers you gained.

 

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Why is this helpful?

This overview gives you a quick glance at how you’re doing. Are you improving since the last month, or is there something that’s bringing you down? In addition, showing you what your top posts are each month lets you see what’s really working. And, finding out who your top follower of the month might help you make connections (or you can maybe show them some extra love).

Tweet Activity

This part of the analytics gives you a closer look at how your tweets are doing once you release them to the world.

The first thing you’re going to see a graph that illustrates how many tweets you posted (the grey bars) and how many organic impressions those tweets received. Organic impressions are the people who interacted with your tweets. These can be followers, but the organic quality means that they found your tweets without the help of your advertisements.

tweet activity

From there you can look at the stats of all of your tweets as well as your top tweets for your selected time frame. Twitter’s default is 28 day segments, but you can look at specific months, or other unique frames of time.

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Analytics also has a breakdown of people’s engagements with your tweets for the selected time period. They are each broken down into separate graphs that give you a quick visual of how you’re doing.

engagements

Why is this important to me?

Looking at what tweets get the most impressions and engagements is proof when trying to figure out what you should be posting on Twitter. There are two ways to look at it:

  1. If you’re stuck and don’t know what’s working for you, look at these analytics to see when there are spikes of engagement. If your chart is pretty consistent at 5k impressions a day, but then one day you have 12k impressions, look and see what was so special on that day. And from there you can post it again! Don’t be afraid to repost quality content.
  2. If you’re posting new content (for example, a new ad campaign with different visuals) you can look at your analytics to see how people are engaging with the new content.

Audience

Audience insights allows you to get a picture of who your followers are and what they’re interested in. In my opinion this isn’t as foolproof as the other tools, but it does allow you to get to know your audience, which is always beneficial.

When you open this tab, there is an overview of the total number of followers you have, and then it breaks down into what your followers are interested in. Twitter also lets you know what their occupation is, favorite TV genres, and other demographic information.

 

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Why is this important to me?

Like I said, this allows you to form a picture of who your followers are and what they’re interested in. You can create content and curate content that is more applicable to their interests. As long as it also applies to your brand! You can also look at your organic audience. So seeing what they’re interested in allows you to take steps to making them part of your regular audience.

Events

One last note is the events tab. This shows you past, current, and upcoming events that people are going to be tweeting about. Not only does it show you the event, it also shows you the demographics of who’s tweeting, as well as the most popular tweets, and hashtags for that event.

events

Why is this important to me?

Events allows you to stay current, and it also gives you an opportunity to engage with your audience.

Conclusion: Use your Analytics!

The tool is free, and for the most part, pretty easy to understand. It helps you take the guessing out of what’s working for you on Twitter, and it allows you to get a better understanding of your audience.

Optimizing Your Twitter Presence

Last week we discussed the anatomy of a great tweet. It’s great info to learn, but going off of that guide when tweeting is like following a recipe card. Today, we’re going to talk about making that recipe your own. We’ll be going into detail on the ways you can tweet that are specific to your business and will make people want to engage with your content.

There are two ways you want to go about getting the most eyes on your page. The first thing has to do with the content you’re tweeting out, and the second is with search engine optimization (commonly abbreviated as SEO). Both of these things are pretty easy to do, it’s all about putting out great content.

Creating Quality Content

Okay, so this might be a little easier said than done, but as the saying goes “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. So you’re creating content for Twitter, you have to make sure that it’s quality in the sense that it looks/sounds good, but that it’s also on brand.

Written Content

Hopefully at this point you have a pretty firm handle on what your brand persona is. But if not, we’ve got you covered!  Here’s a fun chart to look at to help you figure yourself out. There’s a more comprehensive guide to the chart at Crackerjack Marketing, but ultimately what you’re trying to figure out is what your purpose is. What type of person are you trying to be? What is your tone, how do you want to sound when talking to customers? What kind of language are you using? And what is the purpose of your social media?

brand persona

An example for you might be: a playful-joking type of person whose tone is humorous. Your tweets are filled with technical terms, and you’re tweeting so that you can inform your customers while also being entertaining.

Visual Content

While Twitter is a microblogging platform, it is also important to post great visual content. According to a study done by BufferSocial, they found that tweets with images received 18% more click-throughs, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets.

twitter seo

And you don’t have to create special images just for Twitter. If you’re already posting on Instagram, feel free to cross-post the images back to your Twitter account.

visuals

Due to the amount of engagement that occurs when posting an image on Twitter, take advantage of it and pair your beautiful image with a strong Call to Action! If you’re running a special discount, or if you want people to check out your website, be sure to pair it with something pleasing to look at.

Upping the SEO

SEO sounds like one of those scary business acronyms, but it isn’t too difficult if you don’t want it to be. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and this ultimately means making your tweets and Twitter account extra easy for people to find when searching on Google (or their preferred search engine). Here are a few things you can tweak to maximize your SEO.

Bio and Profile Images

When creating your bio you want to make sure that you use keywords that are relevant to your business. In the example below, Door to Door Organics does a great job at being succinct in their description, and focuses on the organic and local aspects of their business. They also include a link to their website!

twitter bio seo

Both their profile image and header are great quality images that tie into the brand. And while posting quality images will get more people to see your content, you can also do more to optimize your images! The easiest way to do this is to include keywords that relate to the image, or your brand in the file name. AllBusiness suggests a few more ways to optimize your images if you want to get more in depth.

Hashtags

We talked briefly about hashtags last week, but they’re important, so we’ll touch on them again. Hashtags are tags that group your content with other content that has the same hashtag. This is beneficial in a couple different ways.

Hashtags can be used in general. For instance if you have a greenhouse and you’re posting about your new batch of succulents, you might want to write it as #succulents instead.

You can also create a hashtag that is specific to your business. This allows you to foster community with your followers. You can see what they’re tweeting about you, and it also allows customers join in on the conversation. In addition to that you can use hashtags for contests and games to boost engagement.

And if you’re wondering how many hashtags to include in your tweets, the sweet spot is one to two.

hashtag usage

But This is Just the Start

Yes, it is just the start for you Small Business Owner! Depending on how much time you want to spend on optimizing every single aspect of your Twitter, you can do it. But these tips are some simple solutions to help you get not only a lot of eyes on your tweets, but to get people engaged.

With that in mind, though, this isn’t a guarantee! You will have to try things out and see what really works for you and your business. The best way to do that is to look at your analytics, but that’s a whole other conversation for next week!

 

The Key Components of a Tweet

At its core, Twitter is a way for people to share whatever their thoughts are with the world. If you’re using it for personal reasons, that’s fine. But for your business, it’s a good idea to be thoughtful and purposeful when it comes to tweeting. For this reason, we’ll be looking at the anatomy of a great tweet today.

We will just be looking at the components of a great tweet today, this isn’t a guide on how to get the most eyes and clicks on your content. That will be next week when we talk about optimizing your Twitter presence.

Now, this is not a guaranteed formula that works for everyone in the same way. This is primarily a guide on what users put int

The Tweet

First things first, we’re going to break down what’s all in a tweet. Depending on your Twitter knowledge, this is either a crash course or a quick review. After that we will go in detail on the importance of each component. Below we have two examples of your average tweet.

The first one is a general tweet of information relevant to Target.

twitter tweet

In the body of the tweet there is the regular text of the message, and then there is a hashtag. This is created by using the “#” key. Next is a link. Of course, not all tweets must have a link in them, but as you can see the link is shortened in this example. We will go over that shortly (punny, ha!). At the bottom, there are tools of the tweet that let users interact with you.

Next we have a reply.

twitter reply

In the tweet we see the mention. This is including someone else’s Twitter handle in the tweet to alert them that you are communicating with them. When replying to someone else’s tweet, you’ll want to put a period in front of it allowing all of your followers to see it.

The Nitty Gritty

Here we’ll get into the details of what you should be thinking about when you’re sending out a tweet. We’ll talk a little more in depth about the things that we covered above, as well as some other things to consider.

1. Character Count

When composing a Tweet you are allowed 140 characters. With that in mind, research finds that the ideal length of a tweet is 71-100 characters long. This is long enough for you to get your point across, but short enough for someone to retweet and add their commentary

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2. Hashtags

Hashtags give you an added way to interact with your followers, they allow you to join “the conversation” that’s going on in the world. In the example above, Target included #LeapDay. Tons of people were using this hashtag on February 29th, so if someone was searching this hashtag, Target might pop in their results. Conversational hashtags can be integrated into your tweets.

While this is a specific example, in general hashtags are used for categorizing tweets. When you click on a hashtag it will take you to the results of all other tweets that contain that same tag.

3. Links

Links are important for getting people to visit other platforms that you are connected to, or other information that is relevant to your business. Due to the length of some links it is best to shorten the URL.

All you have to do is copy your website URL and head over to a site like bitly or ow.ly. They will take the URL and create a new, shorter link that won’t eat up your precious characters.

4. Mentions

Mentions are used when you want to alert someone to your tweet. Whoever it is that you are including in your tweet will get a notification that you mentioned them, and then it also links back to the account of the person that you are mentioning.  

5. The Period

It might seem a little funny to do so, but putting a period in front of tweet reply is actually quite the handy tool. When you reply to someone on Twitter, their handle pops up and this alerts them to your action. However, this becomes a conversation between you and the person, and whoever is following both of you.

By putting the period at the very beginning of your tweet, it makes it look like the tweet is a regular reply, but it goes on your timeline like any other normal tweet. Meaning that anyone who’s following you can see it. This means, based off of the example above, that if you’re following Target, but not Kerry Washington, you still see Target’s reply to her.

It might seem tedious, but it’s a little extra effort that can be a great benefit to you!

So for now, this is just an overview of what goes into making a great tweet. You do not need all of these things, for instance the link or the period. Those come into play situationally. But everything else is pretty standard, and helpful when it comes to tweeting.

Next week we will be getting into how to optimize these things in order to get the most eyes on your tweets!

How to Advertise on Twitter

As we discussed last week, Twitter has a large user population, making it an excellent place to post your ads. If the demographics haven’t convinced you about Twitter, then let me tell you, in a survey of 1,000 people, 57% of them found small-medium sized businesses on Twitter through the “Who to Follow” section, or through promoted tweets.  

At first glance Twitter’s ad options, I admit, can seem a little overwhelming. But that’s good for you, Small Business Owner! This means that there are a ton of options for you to pick from, and therefore you can market in a way that is best suited for your needs. And while it looks a little intimidating, it’s actually a pretty easy service.

When looking to advertise on Twitter there are three things to consider: what is your main objective, who is your target audience, and how much is the ad worth to you?

Looking at Main Objectives

To advertise on Twitter, you have to know what your main objective is with a particular ad campaign. For example: Are you just trying to gain more followers, or do you want to get people to visit your website? You can also run multiple ad campaigns, depending on your needs.

There are 7 campaign options, but today we will be focusing on the main four options.

ad objectives

Followers

The simple explanation for this ad campaign is that you are looking to grow your Twitter following.

This is like a regular text-based tweet, but the purpose is to be clear and concise. You need to tell people what you want them to do (follow you!) and then tell them what the return benefit is. Maybe you have deals just for followers, or maybe it’s just to get the latest news on your brand. Either way, you want to make it worth their while!

These ads will show up on a person’s timeline, as well as in the “Who to Follow” section.

promoted twitter accounts

Tweet Engagements

Generating engagements on Twitter means that more people are interacting with your tweets. They can do this through replying, retweeting, and linking your tweets.

If you are launching a new product, running a contest or promotion, or are utilizing a specific hashtag, you will want to run this ad campaign. This type of ad will help get your followers more involved with your brand/business.

Create a tweet explaining what it is you’re advertising, and then pair it with a beautiful image. This should either be something related to your brand in general, or specific to what you’re promoting.

This ad will show up in the user’s timeline and in their search results. (This will be the placement for the rest of the ad campaigns.)

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(http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/build-a-twitter-ad-campaign/)

Website Clicks and Conversions

Twitter is often seen as a conversational platform. You can talk about your business, and interact with your customers, but it isn’t your actual store. With this campaign option you can direct their eyes to your website– the online house of your business! Whether it’s an online store (like an Etsy shop), or more concrete info (like a menu to your restaurant), getting people there should lead to more sales!

Much like the previous campaign, this is a mix of a regular text-based tweet, and a picture. The picture is what Twitter calls a “Card”. The image should provide an example of what users can find on your site. There will also be a Call to Action on the Card that will take them to your site.

This ad will show up in the user’s timeline and in their search results.

Generate Leads

There’s only so much that you can say in in 140 characters on Twitter, sometimes it’s nice to have an email address from your followers. That way you can send out newsletters, or advanced promotions, just to name a few.

Depending on the posting guidelines you put on the ad, getting emails from this campaign will provide you with a very specialized list that should hopefully guarantee some turnaround on sales!

This Card will have a Call to Action, as well as a strong image to attract people.  

HubSpot_LGC_example

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Now that you’ve looked at what type of objectives you are looking to accomplish with Twitter ads, it’s important to look who exactly you want to target with these ads.

When I first looked at the “Audience Features” section, I was surprised by how detailed you can get!

audience overview

Hopefully if you’re creating these ads, you have a pretty firm grasp on who your target audience is, and what kind of keywords you associate with your business. But if you’re looking to broaden (or even hone in on) your audience, Twitter allows you to browse different categories. You’ll find some examples below.

browse interests

You’ll find that as you add or remove certain specifications you can see whether it will increase or decrease your potential audience size. It will also give you an audience summary.

audience summary

How Much is This Ad Really Worth?

That might seem like a pretty deep question, but it’s an important one to think about when setting up a budget for your ad campaigns.

To pay for these ads, you must set a daily budget. After that you have the option to choose your bidding process. The recommended options are either automatically, or based on the highest bid. Automatic pricing allows Twitter to work with your daily budget and maximize the amount of engagements based off of that budget. The highest bid opens you up to more views. If you have the highest bid, you end up paying a penny more than the second highest bidder. Meaning, if you big $5, but the second highest bid is $2, you will only have to pay $2.01 to get the view/follow/etc.

Just like the target audience, you can adjust the variables and see what will maximize your views/engagements/follows.

pricing

So What Does This All Mean?

For you, it means that there are endless possibilities in ad campaigns that you can produce for your business at a cost that’s flexible with your own budget. And if you already have experience with Tweeting, it isn’t even that hard to do! Plus if you get stuck on something, Twitter has a comprehensive guide to help you out.

 

Who’s on Twitter? (Looking at the Demographics of Twitter)

Welcome to Twitter!

With more than 100 million daily active users it’s no surprise that Twitter is one of the three top social media platforms used by small businesses today. According to Social Media Examiner 79% of small businesses are using Twitter for their social marketing/customer service needs. Right now they’re just behind Facebook, but are expected to catch up with their new advertising options. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves right now. For now, let’s just take a closer look at what Twitter and who’s spending the most time there.

A Brief Intro to Twitter

As you may know, Twitter is considered to be a micro-blogging website due to the limited amount of characters users are allowed in their posts. A Twitter profile consists of a brief bio, a personal icon, a banner, and the timeline of all of your posts. These posts are in reverse chronological order (starting with the newest posts first). This adds to the charm of Twitter being a real-time platform. Below is a look at Ben & Jerry’s twitter account, just to give you a look of the land.

twitter platform

Twitter has come a long way from it’s early days in 2006. At first people weren’t really sure what to make of the new social media platform. According to one of the founders, “it was hard to define because there was nothing like it.” Initially Twitter was only receiving 20,000 tweets a day, but by 2007 they had a huge tipping point, breaking 60,000 tweets one day. From there it continued to grow to the 500 million tweets per day it’s currently getting. Now let’s get to know who’s using Twitter.

Who’s Tweeting?

Due to the the ease of use and accessibility of Twitter, it makes sense that of the population of adults (ages 18+) using the internet, just about a quarter of them are using Twitter. It’s quick to setup and easy to keep track of. Below, you can see a quick breakdown of demographic info from Sprout Social.

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Getting into specifics, the breakdown between male and female users is split almost right down the middle. However, it should be noted that it is the male user population that has grown more than the female population in the past year.  

The age of users is primarily 18-29 years old, making it seem as though Twitter’s main target audience is a younger crowd. But, due to the way Twitter has integrated itself into everyday life, the age of users is increasing. In addition to that, most of the users have either finished college, or have completed some of their degree.

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More than half of Twitter’s users live outside of the US. As a small business using Twitter, you can expand the horizons of your business to almost anywhere in the world. Most of the users on Twitter live in either an urban or suburban setting.

So a lot of people are on Twitter, that’s pretty cool. More importantly, though, how much time are people spending on Twitter?

How Much Time?

In general, people are spending over a quarter of their internet time on social media. And a third of all total internet usage is happening on mobile. With the rise of mobile useage, most people are able to have all of the internet at their fingertips. People can check up on their favorite celebs, favorite brands, and favorite business (that can be you!) whenever they want.

With that being said, a majority of the users check Twitter daily. Based on a recent study, most people check their Twitter accounts 17 times a day, meaning that they’re checking their timeline almost once every hour they’re awake.  

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Well, what does this mean for me?

As a small business, this is pretty great info! There’s a wide range of users who are on Twitter, and who are checking in daily. It’s simple to use, and it doesn’t really take a lot of time to set up. Besides that people enjoy using Twitter, and like to use it to keep in touch with businesses they’re fans of. It also lets you get to know the people who are interested in, or are actually customers of your business!

Moral of the story, Twitter is pretty cool. And for now we’re just at the top of the iceberg when it comes to using Twitter. Keep an eye out for the next post on Twitter ad options!