• October 1, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Twitter Updates Its Analytics Offering

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In mid-July, Twitter released the Tweet Activity Dashboard, a free analytics offering that lets marketers and advertisers see how subscribers respond to and engage with content they post to the social media site.

With the new tool, verified users, Twitter Card publishers, and advertisers can see how often their posts have been viewed on mobile devices and the Web, as well as the total number of impressions received, retweets, favorites, replies, mentions, and more, in real time or in aggregate over a 28-day period. They can also see how many times embedded links, hashtags, and app cards were clicked and whether posts resulted in follows or profile views.

The data can be broken down hourly to show what times of the day are the most effective for posting to the site. Users can also evaluate daily, weekly, and monthly stats.

Additional Twitter Analytics capabilities allow users to see information about their followers, broken down by details such as demographics, locations, or interests. Professional users can also see graphs that measure follower growth over the past year.

"This new toolset can help you identify in real time which tweets are getting the most attention and how you're reaching your audience—information you can use to determine the Twitter strategies that work for you," Buster Benson, Twitter Analytics product manager, wrote in a blog post on July 10 announcing the offering.

The tool also includes a Web interface redesign and a comma-separated value export tool that shows data for up to 3,200 tweets, up from 500 in the previous product.

"What's important about the Tweet Activity Dashboard is that [Twitter has] opened it up for all tweets, not just the ads and promoted ads," observes Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "You can now pick up the number of clicks, replies, favorites, retweets, expands, impressions, etc."

Wang expects that the dashboard will be even more critical as Twitter use among businesses grows and "marketers try to understand the ROI for Twitter." For that, they will come to rely on the stats for click-through rates and conversion rate optimization, he says.

Simply Measured is a Twitter ecosystem partner and was an early tester of the Twitter Activity Dashboard. The metrics that the dashboard provides "are becoming more and more important as companies put more money into social," says Adam Schoenfeld, Simply Measured's CEO. "The number of impressions, from a branding point of view, is a very important metric."

The dashboard, he adds, "is an effort by Twitter to make more information available to its business users, and the more metrics available, the more ways there are to measure success, the better it is for brands."

Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal at Beagle Research, says the new Twitter Analytics product "might be bad news for Google Adwords," allowing Twitter users to test different hashtags and messages without going to Google. Marketers, he says, can also use it to pretest ideas "so that their first efforts are more zeroed-in."

At the same time, Twitter also released the results of research into the posts of 200 of its advertisers. Among the findings, it found that brands that tweet two or three times a day can reach at least 30 percent of their followers per week. Nabisco's Wheat Thins cracker brand reached 95 percent of its follower base by tweeting at least twice a day, and gum brand Trident reached five times its follower base by tweeting three times a day.

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