Twitter unveils new audience insight tool, gives impressive range of data about your followers

Wowzers.  Twitter has unveiled a brand new tool that you can take advantage of to better understand your followers: it’s called Audience Insights, and it can be accessed by visiting the Twitter Analytics page, then going to “Followers.”

The data now available about those who follow you is incredibly impressive.  It includes:

  • Interests
  • Occupation
  • Consumer buying tastes
  • Wireless carrier
  • Gender
  • Household Income
  • Net Worth
  • Marital status
  • Education level
  • Home types and value
  • Location
  • Lifestyle information: Where they donate money to and what TV they like
  • Consumer behavior
  • Phone type

Umm…wow.  This information is impressive, but having a slew of information available to you isn’t going to do you any good unless you know how to use it.  So, how can you take advantage of this information?  Here are some basic questions to ask yourself:

Does your audience look like what you want it to?

If you are using Twitter for a specific reason (promote your career, sell a products, etc), then you probably have a rough idea (or, hopefully, a very specific idea) of what your followers should look like.  For example, as a politician, I want my audience to be my constituents, and the initial read looks good: 70% of my followers are from my home state of Pennsylvania.  The same principles apply to other demographics: If you are trying to sell a product, you want the demographics of your followers to line up with the buyers of your products.  If they don’t, you’re doing something wrong.

Looking for comparisons?

This tool allows you to compare your followers with other Twitter accounts, Twitter users in general and your “organic audience” – meaning the people who tend to see your tweets the most. This is one of the best functions of this account.  For example, I can compare my account to the accounts of similarly situated House members.  If I see someone with a better audience with me, I can examine that account and it’s content in more depth to determine what they are doing right.

Do you use Twitter ads? If so, try to contain your joy

As Twitter notes in its blog entry on the subject, you can use this data to better segment and target ads.  Really, it’s a wealth of data.  It’s also a good way for Twitter to compete with Facebook, who had previously had this type of information and targeting available.

Any other thoughts on how this incredible amount of data can be used? Let us know in the comments!

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