I know what you’re thinking: “Twitter has analytics?!”

Yes, yes it does. Now, in addition to the plethora of free social media tools at our disposal, Twitter offers an in-depth view of how your Twitter account is performing.

Getting started with the platform is easy. As long as you have an existing account that’s more than 14 days old and isn’t deleted, restricted, protected, or suspended, just sign in with your account credentials at http://analytics.twitter.com.

After you log in, click get started on the Analytics homepage.

Twitter Analytics



This will bring you to your account homepage, where you’ll see a summary of your account, as well as a breakdown of additional data.

Twitter Analytics Dashboard

Twitter Analytics Definitions

Before we dive too far into the analytics platform, let’s define some key metrics Twitter covers.

Impressions

The number of times users saw the Tweet on Twitter.

Engagements

The total number of times users interacted with a Tweet, which includes all clicks anywhere on the Tweet (including hashtags, Tweet expansion, links, avatar, and username), retweets, replies, follows, and likes.

Engagement Rate

The number of engagements divided by the number of impressions.

Tweets Linking to You

The number of Tweets linking to URLs that have Twitter Cards* linked to your account.

*Twitter Cards are HTML codes you attach to your webpage. Users who Tweet links to these pages have a “Card” added to the Tweet.

Top Tweet

Tweet that received the highest number of impressions.

Top Media Tweet

Tweet with a photo or video that received the highest number of impressions.

Top Card Tweet

Tweet with a Twitter Card (linked back to your website) that received the highest number of impressions. This can include other people’s Tweets promoting your content with a Tweet Card attached.

Top Mention

The Tweet that mention your Twitter handle and received the highest number of impressions.

Top Follower

The account with the highest follower count that followed you in a given month.

When you log into your account, you’ll notice you enter on the home tab, which gives you a 28-day summary of Tweets, Tweet impressions, Mentions, Followers, and Tweets linking to you. This quick snapshot also shows a percent increase or decrease compared to the previous 28-day period.

If you scroll down the page, you’ll see Tweet highlights for the last three months, as well as for the current month. Or, you can navigate to the three other dashboards: Tweets, Audiences, and Events.

Twitter Analytics Dashboard

Understand & Use Your Tweet Data

Let’s talk first about the Tweets data. In this tab, you’ll find an overview of how your individual Tweets are performing. The data is automatically set to cover the last 28 days, but you can adjust it by using the calendar icon in the top right corner.

Tweet Activity

The bar graph gives a breakdown of Tweets (in gray) each day and their corresponding impressions.

Tweet Activity Zoom

The table below the graph shows you every Tweet you made within the time period, as well as its number of impressions, engagements, and the engagement rate. You can also sort the table by Top Tweets, and Tweets and replies.

Tweet Listings

The sidebar breaks down engagements by the engagement type: i.e. link clicks, retweets, etc.

Tweet Engagement

So, what can you do with all this data? A lot.

First and foremost, you can use the data to find the right Tweets to promote (or to spend money on).

Are there certain Tweets that are performing well but have limited impressions? If so, identify those cases, and see how paid promotion can help boost impressions and engagement.

You can also identify which types of Tweets work best for you and your goals.

Which do people usually engage with the most? Is it your blog content about your products, or is it the broader awareness content you write? Which types of Tweets get people liking, sharing, and clicking through to read what you have to say (or see what you have to sell). Find which type of Tweets work, and Tweet more of those!

You’ll also learn a lot about how Twitter fits into your overall strategy.

Unless you’re a Kardashian or some other celebrity big-wig, people don’t really care about your Tweets.

People care about your content and how you fit into their lives. Unless your Tweets are doing this (or have hit some humor jackpot), people aren’t going to waste their time reading or engaging with them.

Understand & Use Your Audience Data

The Audiences tab gives you tons of in-depth information about your followers.

When you first open the tab, you’re given a general overview, which shows your audience’s main interest and a list of interests (as well as the percentage of users with that interest), the number of followers you had each day over the last 28 days, your current audience size, and a breakdown of audience gender.

Twitter Followers

By filtering your audiences, you get more detailed information. For example, when I select “organic audience”, which is the audience I reach organically with my Tweets, I get information on this audiences’ household income categories and consumer buying styles.

Twitter Interests

After the Overview tab is Demographics, which showcases your follower’s top language, as well as a gender, age, languages, country, and region breakdown.

Lifestyles Tab on Twitter
Twitter Lifestyle

The Lifestyle breaks down top interests of your followers, as well as TV genres, which can be a cool tidbit if you want to know what your follower’s are commenting on, or how your products/services align with their entertainment interests.

Lastly, the Mobile Footprint tab breaks down your follower’s wireless carrier and mobile operating systems or other platforms used by your audience. Not that the device percentage may equal more than 100{89d1d164523b0340af83d38cee9eac273bbc1c646e392785ab50dcb1f0ba7066} if your followers are using multiple devices.

Again, keep in mind that when you filter your audience, you get different tabs. Looking back at my “organic audience” filter, you can see I have a new tab called “Consumer Behavior” that shows me consumer buying styles.

Twitter Lifestyle Data

The Audiences section is great for getting an in-depth look at your followers to help you really understand them. It gives you info on their interests, technology preferences, and demographic information all in one place.

But perhaps the best part of the Audiences tab is that you can see how your audience compares to other audiences on Twitter. By clicking “+Add comparison audience” under your avatar, you have the option to compare your followers with other personas, demographics, lifestyles, consumer behaviors and mobile footprints Twitter organizes for you.

Twitter Personas

However, this data isn’t just limited to Twitter. You can use these insights for non-Twitter content and ad campaigns, too. The Audiences tab gives you trends about who your followers are and who is engaging with your content.

These demographics and interests can be used to inform other content you create (such as Facebook posts or blog content), as well as how you set up targeting for your ad campaigns to increase the chance of you targeting the right people with the right message.

Understand & Use Twitter Event Data

The Events tab gives a thorough overview of key events happening around the world that tend to get a lot of buzz on Twitter.

In the overview tab, you’ll see an overview of main events, as well as the total Tweets, reach, and impressions the event generates. Twitter also gives you demographic information about the event, such as “People in the US talk about this 5.1 times more than anywhere else”.

Twitter Event Data

As you can see, you can view more details about a specific event, or create a campaign focusing on this event from this view.

By clicking “View Details”, you get even more info on the event,such as demographic information, top Tweets, and which devices people tend to use to discuss the event.

The other views in the Events tab offer tables with event information, such as the start date, duration, and audience size (where applicable). Twitter divides these into Events, Sports, and Movies.

Event Views
Event Views
Event Views

The last view displays recurring trends/hashtags. These are popular topics that typically are trending (such as #MCM, or Man Crush Monday).

The Events section is great for digging up trends and popular hashtags for planning purposes. You can see which Events or recurring trends your audiences are likely to engage with and join the conversation. You can also engage with potential new audiences in this way too.

Events are also a great way to mine audience data and best practices for Tweets.

You have a ton of demographic information at your fingertips here: which topics males are more likely to engage with than females, which events people chat about on the computer vs. their phone, and even the ages of those talking about the events.

Dig into the information and see how your audience aligns with these demographics. You can learn a lot about how to engage with your existing audience this way.

Just like the Audiences section, the Events data can be used for non-Twitter content and ad campaigns as well. Trending topics and upcoming events can be great for editorial planning, while geographic insights can help you nail down targeting for your ad campaigns.

Understand & Use Conversions

Under the “More” tab, you’ll find conversion tracking.

This enables you to measure how your Twitter followers interact with your promoted Tweets. So, if someone clicks on a your Tweet and then converts, or clicks on your Tweet, visits your site, and then converts within your specified window of time, Twitter Analytics will show it.

Twitter Conversions

Back in the early days of Twitter Analytics, you used to have to generate multiple website tags for conversion tracking. Now, you can use one tag in the global header of your website to track as many events as you want.

After you generate the website tracking code and install it on your site, you can set up conversion events. These refer to the actions you want to track. You can use whichever actions you want to note; even more than one! These “conversions” break down as follows:

  • Site visit – A user visits your site
  • Purchase – A user completes a purchase on your site
  • Download – A user downloads a file from your site (think webinar or whitepaper)
  • Sign Up – A user signs up for a service, such as a newsletter
  • Custom – A catch-all category for any custom action that isn’t included in the above

Name your event first. Be as specific as possible.

For example, if you’re tracking website visits from your Fall tee-shirt sale, name the event fall tee-shirt sale 2016 – website clicks. Next, select the type of conversion you want to track. For this example, it would be site visit.

Twitter Event Details

After you have your event name and conversion metric, you’ll want to specify the conditions that should Twitter should track. For example, say you want to track website visits to a certain page called Brown Shirts. You can specify the condition as URL contains: brown-shirts to tell Twitter to only track the site visits to that page.

Event Tracking Rules

Once you’re done setting the conditions of your event, it’s time to set the attribution window.

This tells Twitter how long after an engagement and view they should attribute a conversion to. In the image above, I have mine set to 30 days for engagement and one day after viewing the ad. This means anyone outside of these time parameters will not be counted toward my conversions for this campaign.

Finally, accept the terms and conditions, and you’re ready to go! Now you can apply certain audiences to your event, or ask Twitter to tailor your audiences for retargeting purposes.

Next Steps

Aside from the obvious benefit of making your Twitter campaigns better, Twitter Analytics is a great way to understand your followers and even improve your marketing efforts elsewhere. To get started, check out these next steps:

  1. Determine if Twitter is right for you. If your audience isn’t here, don’t waste your time! There are plenty of other effective social media platforms you can dive into.
  2. Set up Twitter Analytics. You should start tracking from day one, or as soon as possible, to have baseline data.
  3. Get tweeting. Like lots of content, tweets can be trial and error. Try out a few different approaches, see what works best, and optimize the ones that don’t.