What tools and tips do you use in order to find out what's working for you on Twitter? There are many out there, but often it can be difficult to determine the ones that are relevant. When you do find them, how do you then drill down into the metrics to find out the return you're making? In this article, we'll talk you through the 5 key metrics to track when you want to find out what's working for you on Twitter and how to go about finding them, in order to ensure you're getting the most out of your current Twitter strategy.
This may seem simple, but working out how often your posts are shared, is key to finding out which types of content works well for your audience. From this key metric, you are then able to define other parts of your Twitter strategy, such as what is the optimal time to post and which types of headlines resonate most with your audience. To do this easily, you can split test tweets and then keep track of the results, for example if you wanted to share a link to a new blog post, you could test two different headline formats and schedule them for the exact same time, two weeks apart. By looking at how many shares you had on each, will give you a great insight into which types of headline format your audience is most responsive to.
There are a few simple ways to track how many shares a post received but the one we use is through the free social media scheduling tool Buffer. Within Buffer you can select the analytics tab, which will give you the number of retweets and favourites a post has had, making it easy for you to see which ones are more effective.
Like most social channels, not every tweet you send on Twitter will be seen by all of your followers. But unlike most other social channels, this is due to how many of your followers are online at one time, rather than how many Twitter thinks should see it. Twitter is very much a 'live' channel and if your followers aren't 'tuned in' when a tweet goes live, it's very likely that they might miss it. This is why Twitter uses Impressions as a metric by which to measure how often your tweets are viewed. You can view impressions by logging in to the fairly new 'analytics' panel of your Twitter ads account (you have to enter a credit card, in order to verify your account even if you aren't planning on running ads but it won't be charged unless you use it). As you can see from the screenshot below, despite our Twitter account having over 3,000 followers, the number of those who view each tweet can range from 200 - 2000 at any given time.
So what to do if your impressions are low? Typically, if you're finding that your impression rate is less than 1% there are a few things you can try to improve this. Firstly, find out what time your followers are online. Tools such as Followerwonk can help you to determine the optimal time your followers are online so that you can post during those times and increase the level of engagement as a result. Secondly, try resharing previous content and tweeting more. According to Twitter, brands that tweets two to three times per day reach an audience that's equal to 30% of their total followers. This suggests that consistency is the key to improving Impression rate and seeing higher engagement on Twitter.
Watching your follower-count clock up is one of the most rewarding experiences on Twitter and can go someway to showing that you're on the right track. But it's also important to track the type of followers you're procuring, particularly in light of how many fake Twitter users there are currently on the channel. UnTweeps is a super simple tool which scans the users you follow to find those who haven't tweeted within the last 30 days, so that you can decide whether they're still worth following. If they're not, then this frees up more space for you to follow the users who are engaged with the channel and are more likely to respond to your tweets and follow you back. Followerwonk, that we mentioned earlier, also allows you to search for new users to follow, based on keyword which can be a useful way of targeting your dream audience.
One of the easiest ways to quantify your social media activity is to use it as a way of directing traffic to your website, a blog post or a specific product or service. This is easily trackable and helps you to ensure that the time you're spending on crafting updates, is actually contributing to your wider sales and marketing goals. The easiest way to track this is through good old-fashioned google analytics. By selecting 'Acquisition' - 'Social' and 'Network referrals' you can view how much traffic you've had from Twitter (as well as any social channels you're working on).
Buffer, again, is also a great tool for seeing the exact tweets that have a high number of clickthroughs, so that you can monitor which format of tweets tend to do better at directing traffic from your audience.
5. Brand Advocates
A metric which is more difficult to quantify, but which has one of the biggest effects on the numbers of followers you see, is your number of brand advocates. These are the champions of your brand, the people who shout about you often, yet aren't on your payroll. They help to spread the word about how great your brand is, just because they love it and as a result, other users are guaranteed to take their word for it, knowing that it's authentic. Finding these people doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems either. Twilert, a Twitter monitoring tool, allows you to save the history of anyone who's ever tweeted about your brand, so that finding the people who tweet often is much easier.
To do this, just create a Twitter search for your brand name. As soon as this is setup it will begin to log the history, so after a few weeks it will be easy to log back in and see who tweets about you most often and also, what they say. By rewarding the brand advocates and thanking them, it will help your success on Twitter and help you to measure your reach across audiences other than your own.
What metrics do you use to determine how well your brand is using Twitter? Make sure you comment below and share them with us!