Twitter Empowers Small Businesses with Dashboard

Although just about every entrepreneur now knows how important a good social media strategy can be to the success of their small business, it seems that only a few have the tools necessary to facilitate that. Twitter must have seen this growing need as the company recently unveiled a new free product for businesses called Dashboard. Available both online and as an app, Dashboard empowers small business owners to take control of their Twitter accounts and use them more effectively to reach customers.

Twitter Dashboard offers a suite of features that were for the most part previously relegated to paid third-party services. For example businesses can now set up custom feeds (separate from your Timeline) that not only show you when someone mentions your Twitter handle directly but also whenever someone is talking about your company more generally. To set this up Dashboard will show you a list of suggested phrases it will then search for as well as allow you to add your own. Similarly you can also add a list of phrases that don’t have to do with your business and that you don’t want in your feed — this will presumably come in handy for businesses with common names. This set of tools allows you to monitor what people are saying about your business, address customer service issues, or use it as an opportunity to engage with a happy customer who may not have realized you were on Twitter.

Another plus that Dashboard offers is the ability to easily schedule tweets instead of having to send them out one at a time. When you go to draft a tweet, the option to schedule is accessible by clicking the arrow next to “Tweet” button (on mobile, clicking “Next” will ask if you want to send the tweet now or schedule) and a queue of your content is viewable under the “Create” tab. Speaking of drafting tweets, Dashboard offers a rotating list of suggestions for what type of content you could share with your followers:

While all of these features are great, perhaps the most powerful tool set that Dashboard offers small businesses is analytics. The “Account” section of the Analytics tab allows users to see an overview of all kinds of statistics ranging from how many tweets you’re sending out per day to the number of impressions those tweets are getting. Also available on the Account page is a look at your week in terms of new followers, the number the mentions you’ve received, and the how many people have visited your profile. These figures are also accompanied with percentages to let you know how the current week compares to your average.

Better yet the “Tweets” section of Analytics will present a graph of several recent tweets. This view essentially creates a spreadsheet that shows the number of impressions, replies, retweets, and likes each of your posts received. More than any other single feature in Dashboard, this one helps you figure out what types of content are working for you and what you should focus on.

Overall Twitter Dashboard is an extremely powerful tool that would be worth a subscription. However the fact that it’s free shows how committed Twitter is to growing their brand by allowing small business to better utilize their service. If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to improve their social media strategy and better engage customers (and you should be), I would highly recommend giving Dashboard a shot.

This article originally appeared on Dyer News.