Twitter is about information, right, as opposed to the self-absorbed selfie game that Instagram is beating them at? Not that Twitter cares, since again, Twitter is an entirely different product. As co-founder @ev notes:
“Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this real-time information network where everything in the world happens on Twitter — important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter… Twitter makes a hell of a lot more money than Instagram, if that’s what Wall Street cares about.”
We have to agree that Twitter has so far managed to minimize the social media humbug that our extended circle of friends and peer networks subject us to. We’re not excited about, but kind-of-OK with the sneaky ad-tweets pushed right into our timelines. And Twitter’s minimalist ideology makes it a lot better tool for viewing data and analytics front and center. With a sleuth of third party data manipulation services hitching their wagons to twitter from the very beginning, where does the average curious george slash rockstar marketeer of the future start? Let’s find out!
The simplest and the best place to start is Twitter’s own analytics page. It provides no humbug, exportable raw data for your profile and helps monitor valuable engagement metrics like retweets, clicks, etc. It also provides demographic information on your followers.
You can take your Twitter analytics to the next level by implementing Twitter Cards. These are custom designed snippets that work like widgets for your websites and your Twitter timeline. They work for different forms of media (video, Image, audio/video stream player, multiple images’ gallery, article summary, product card, etc.). These cards are often seen in Twitter Ads but are also freely available.
Twitter Cards are free to design for various platforms (Web, Android, iOS, etc.) and are suitable for advanced web users (with basic web design skills). Creating these custom cards helps provide quick actions like Follow, Retweet, Favourite, etc. natively on your web page, without having to route to a Twitter timeline or a pop out window, providing a one-click solution that encourages a lot more engagement from viewers. It also helps generate segregated analytics for different campaigns and targets.
Among the freemuim third party analytics services, Simply Measured is a unique tool to get you started on understanding your followers and your current network influence. The basic service is free (pending, of course, a Twitter follow, iOath access for their app, disclosing your email address and an unsecure page re-route), but packs enough raw data in the exported spreadsheet that could keep you busy for a while. The key information it provides is the insight on your followers, their network standing and their key areas of interest.
Some of the most important Twitter insights circle around finding (and networking with) the right influencers and understanding which conversational points will resonate with them the most. So these insights can be valuable.
Our favorite service has to be Klout. It not only has a cut-throat 0-100 metric to measure your Klout (influence within the network of your friends, followers and extended network), it also has a complete suite to help you learn and improve your social media efforts (including Twitter, Facebook Profile, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.).
Besides analytics, Klout reads your profile and categorizes your interests based on your current data, and encourages you to explore selected topics, their influencers and related shareable content. With the specific target of improving your Klout score.
It provides a relevant content feed that also helps you understand other marketeers’ sharing habits (based on your selected interest, country and topics). It also helps identify the best times to share content and provides a scheduling panel to schedule posts based on that data.
A Google Chrome extension makes sharing across the web more swift and provides a quick view of Klout scores on your Twitter timeline against user names.
As opposed to the freemium models that encourage purchases, Klout promotes the reward system of ‘Perks’ with higher Klout ratings, which includes invites, passes and offers that benefit their partners, without having to charge the audience.
Finally, the tools you need for your specific needs may vary, but the idea is to know what similar tools are capable of, find the ones that work for you, and then focus on what matters: maintaining meaningful conversations with the right people at the right time for lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.