Update 7/21/14: In the week after I wrote this post, Twitter completely changed their analytics interface. This post now has been updated with the newest screenshots and information.
Tracking and interpreting Twitter analytics can be an intimidating task for anyone, but if looking at numbers makes your head spin, it can be downright painful.
Luckily you don’t have to be an analytics junkie to get use out of your Twitter metrics. Two tools give you all the information you need to see how your Twitter account is performing — and get the scoop on how your industry influencers’ Twitter accounts are working, too.
Built-In Twitter Analytics
Twitter actually has a built-in analytics tool you can use. Twitter doesn’t advertise this at all, which blows my mind because it’s a really powerful tool.
Twitter’s built-in analytics tool gives you a snapshot of how your account has performed in the last month. Just make sure you’re logged into your Twitter account, then go to this URL:
The first tab shows a graph of your impressions, engagement and engagement rate. This is a great overall view of your account and shows you any spikes or dips you might want to pay attention to.
For example, did you see a spike in engagement after you tweeted about your recent product launch? Or did you see a big drop-off after a period of time where you didn’t tweet much?
Under that you’ll see your recent tweets and how they have performed.
You can export all of this data and sort it in Excel if you want to get a microscopic view of your tweet performance.
On the right-hand side of the new Twitter Analytics dashboard, you will now also see small graphs of your engagement rate, link clicks, retweets, favorites and replies. Again, look at those spikes and dips and compare them to your activity on Twitter during those periods of time.
The second tab on the Twitter Analytics dashboard, called “Followers,” is great to explore, too. It gives you a bird’s eye view of your followers’ demographics, as well as a chart that shows your follower growth over time.
Moz is an epically smart group of SEO experts who I highly recommend you pay attention to. Followerwonk is their Twitter analytics app, and not only is it a great tool to take a closer look at influencers’ Twitter habits, it also gives you a great view of your own followers and their Twitter habits.
Followerwonk lets you go deeper into your Twitter analytics and discover who your followers are, where they are located and what days and times they tweet. The paid version of the app gives you greater access to analytics, but what they let you do for free is extremely valuable too.
Simply go to Followerwonk.com and sign in with your Twitter account. Then you can…
Search Twitter bios
Search Twitter bios to find people by keyword, location, name, URL, number of people they are following, number of followers and number of tweets.
You can use this information to find new Twitter accounts to follow — accounts that talk about the things you’re interested in, are located in your area or spend a lot of time on Twitter.
Compare yourself to other Twitter users, or compare other Twitter users to each other to find out what everyone has in common. Particularly useful to see who your biggest industry influencers are all following.
Here is one of Followerwonk’s sample reports, comparing three celebrities:
Analyze users someone follows, or analyze the users that follow them. This is useful to find out more about the demographics and habits of Twitter users.
Why is this good to know?
1) You can better understand the people and businesses the leaders in your industry are following
2) You can better understand the types of users who follow businesses similar to yours
Learning more about people’s Twitter habits helps you provide content that is going to be interesting and relevant for your target audience. Seeing how the big dogs in your industry are managing their Twitter accounts and who they’re following gives you an insider peek at where you might want to be focusing some of your attention.
All of this analysis is, in the end, to better understand your audience, your market and your competition. In the words of GI Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.”
No More Head-Spinning
I admit it. I’m a word girl, not a numbers person. Analytics are not my forte – but they are really powerful indicators of how my business is doing and where I need to make changes.
Let me know what you think about these two easy-to-use Twitter metrics tools and if they make analysis easier for you like they do for me. Comment below.