Twitter unveils analytics: What you need to know

Twitter LogoAt long last, Twitter has unveiled an analytics suite that is available to all.  For professional Twitter users, as all elected officials need to be, these analytics can be invaluable to determine what tweets are working, what isn’t, and what you can do better.

Here’s a quick look at some of the information that Twitter makes available:

  • It reviews each tweet that you sent by impressions (number of people who see it), engagement (number of people who click on the links, RT, favorite or reply to it) and the engagement rate.
  • It provides running averages of your engagement rate, link clicks, favorites retweets and replies, using a 28 day average.  
  • It also provides a section that shows a breakdown of your followers, including growth, top interests (surprise surprise, mine are political!), locations, gender breakdown and who else your followers follow.

The one thing that I really wish was available here was a breakdown of the success of a tweet by day of the week and time sent, but I guess you can’t have everything.  

Anyway, a periodic review of these analytics can be very helpful to any elected official who uses Twitter.  Everyone will have different experiences and engagement rates based on who follows them.  A quick look at my analytics revealed the following:

  • Engagements were highest on tweets with pictures.
  • After that, engagements were highest when I asked questions or made a specific call to action.
  • For me, funny tweets worked: They were favorited and retweeted at higher rates than the average.  Good to know that someone out there appreciates my sense of humor!
  • Impressions were higher on tweets that used hashtags.

The general conclusions are all relatively intuitive ones: use pictures, calls to action, interesting content and hashtags for increased engagement and impressions.  Still, I’m glad to have the data to confirm what I already knew.  If you are looking for a deeper dive based on these analytics, here are some thoughts:

1) Track your tweets against date and time sent: Obviously, the day and time that a tweet is sent will have significant impact on how much a tweet is seen.  This requires a bit of work, but if you create a spreadsheet that tracks when a tweet was sent, you can likely draw conclusions about when tweets are best sent.

2) Perform a content analysis: Twitter can’t figure out what types of content you are tweeting about (personal, constituent oriented, policy, etc), but you can.  In the same spreadsheet noted above, track your tweets against the type of content, and see what works and what doesn’t.

3) Are you hitting your intended audience?  62% of my followers live in Pennsylvania, and 47% live in Philadelphia – most of those are probably Allentown/Lehigh Valley, but it doesn’t look like Twitter gets that specific in terms of location.  Anyway, I was pleased to see the number so high in my geography – as an elected official, after all, having Twitter followers that don’t live in my district or my state isn’t doing me a whole lot of good.  Check your followers against where they live, and make sure that the majority of your followers live in your geographic area – otherwise, you are doing something wrong.

How are you planning on using the analytics suite? Any tips to add?  Let me know in the comments!

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