Twitter’s Analytics Dashboard: A Crash Course for Brands

By Syafiq Rahman, Zeno Group Singapore (@syafiqrahman)

Last week, amongst a slew of announcements from Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, Twitter announced it would be opening up its analytics platform to all of its users. Yes, everyone — even the average user next door.

Though many might not take an interest in engagement metrics beyond a simple curiosity about how much attention their tweets are getting, access to Twitter analytics opens up new doors for community managers and digital marketers to gain insights into their communities and pull out top-line actionable data which can inform community strategy and content.

We’ve pulled together a crash course on how to use Twitter Analytics:

How To Access:

For now, you can’t get to the dashboard through your home screen, so go to https://analytics.twitter.com while logged in to your Twitter account.

Right away, you’ll see three tabs that you can access: Tweets, Followers, and Twitter Cards.

Tweets Tab:

This tab allows you to decode the performance of your tweets, by providing metrics such as how many impressions your content is generating and how many engagements result. There are also some useful graphs provided on the right side of the page covering Engagement Rate, Link Clicks, Retweets, Favorites, and Replies over a 28 day period.

Let’s start with the Impressions chart:

Also covering a 28-day period, the chart gives you an idea of what is working with your audience and what is not by breaking down the performance of your content into easily digestible numbers.

Image courtesy of Twitter.com

Under the Impressions graph, you can access data for your Tweets only, Tweets together with Replies, or Promoted Content. From the image above you can see that this Twitter account has 255.4M impressions over the last 28 days, a top-line indicator that the account has been doing well. Improvements and declines in numbers are color-coded for easy interpretation.

Below the impressions chart, you will also be able to see top-line Impressions, Engagement, and Engagement Rates as well. This provide very good insights as to whether your Tweets are resonating well with your audience, or simply going unnoticed in their feeds.

Image courtesy of Twitter.com

Click on a specific Tweet, and you’ll get data on how that piece of content performed over the first 24 hours:

Image courtesy of Twitter.com

As you navigate through the Tweet tab, here are a few definitions:

  • Impressions – Number of times users saw this tweet on Twitter
  • Engagements – The total number of times a user has interacted with a Tweet. This includes all clicks anywhere on the Tweet (including hashtags, links, avatar, username, and Tweet expansion), retweets, replies, follows, and favorites
  • Engagement rates – Engagements divided by number of impressions
  • Link clicks – Clicks to URL in tweet
  • Retweets – Number of RTs
  • Detail expands – Number of times someone clicked on a tweet for more details
  • Favorites – Number of Favorites
  • Replies – Number of Replies

Moving on to the right side of the Tweets tab, you can see some of the other metrics (Engagement Rate, Link Clicks, Retweets, Favorites, Replies) being represented in graphs. Similar to Impressions, these are covered over a 28 day period with daily frequency, enabling you to zoom in to the period of time when your content did exceptionally well. For example, the image below shows that this Twitter account saw a spike in engagement on August 20.

There is also an export function, so you can save your performance data in Excel format for retrospective perusal and reporting. The screenshot below shows a sample of the output:

The Tweet tab is extremely useful just to get a sense of how content is performing and how to tweak content strategy to align with what your audience finds useful and engaging.

Followers Tab:

Next up is the Followers Tab which provides an overview of demographic information of people who are following you. In addition to providing a breakdown of gender, geographic origin, and interests, the app also provides insight into who else your followers are following.

Here lies the usefulness of the Followers tab, because it opens up the opportunity for community managers to better tailor content to their audience’s palate. If your followers are most interested in Technology and Tech news, the ideal next step would be to start publishing more technology-specific content and even tech news.

Location and gender information will also go a long way in helping you determine and refine content strategy. For instance, the graph above indicates that a significant portion of this account’s followers come from Singapore. This makes location-specific content (e.g. Singaporean holiday posts, buzz-worthy content specific to Singapore) extremely relevant for this Twitter account. The only thing that this does not have is an age breakdown.

Some Definitions for the Follower Tab:

  • Followers by interest – Top 5 unique interest of your followers; Top 10 interests of your followers
  • Followers by country – Top countries, states, cities
  • Followers by gender – Gender breakdown
  • Followers by followers – What your followers are following other than you

Twitter Cards Tab:

Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich media experiences to Tweets. Via this tab, you can evaluate their performance off your Twitter Cards.

In a nutshell, Twitter Card analytics tells you how many people are clicking through to the URL that has been posted along with your tweet and the relationship between Tweets, Impressions, and URL Clicks.

The tab also presents data in Change Over Time graph, to outline trends related to performance of that content.

Lastly, Twitter Cards analytics also gives you a detailed breakdown of the click rate of the different types of cards that you have been using. You can also find out how effective your Twitter cards have been relative to industry benchmarks, so you can refine your Twitter Card strategy over time.

Some Definitions for the Twitter Card Tab:

  • Snapshot – provides a holistic view of how your content is performing on Twitter, showing the number of Tweets containing a link to your website or app
  • Change Over Time – compares the top performing Twitter Cards that drove clicks, allowing you to measure the results from different types of cards that you have implemented
  • Sources – segments the apps, websites, and widgets that your influencers tweet from
  • Links – ranks the pages with Twitter Cards that got the most clicks, making it possible to determine what content is driving the most interaction
  • Influencers – surfaces the top accounts that tweeted links to your content, so that you have the option to converse with influencers
  • Devices – indicates the percentage of users that have viewed your Twitter Cards that also have your app installed

All in all, Twitter analytics is a treasure trove of insights for marketers, on who their audience is and what kind of content is resonating with them. For companies using Social Media Management Platforms, you’ll already have access to a lot of data — on top of which Twitter analytics adds additional layers of insight that can inform and shape your strategy.

From our perspective, the most useful pieces of data can be found on the follower tab. In the short run, understanding your audience will lead to the most immediate changes and adjustments to content and community tactics and strategy. Imagine if your followers follow a popular gaming magazine and you’re a brand looking to better engage them. Courtesy of Twitter analytics, you’ll now know that initiating collaborations with that publication could very well be the answer.

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