In this article, we take a look at some of the basic principles around analytics and examine how they can be applied to Twitter analytics. Many people use Twitter in an organic fashion, tweeting when they feel like it and engaging with other accounts as and when they navigate across the platform. This approach works fine for many users. However, when there is a business case for using Twitter, either for personal brand building or from an organisational perspective, Twitter analytics plays an important role in using the platform more effectively.
Firstly, what is analytics?
Analytics is the collection, processing and presentation of data to provide meaningful information. By looking for patterns, relationships and trends in information; analytics can be used to answer questions, reveal insight, make predictions and assist decisions. In general, there are four types of data analytics:
- Descriptive – What is happening?
- Diagnostic – Why is it happening?
- Predictive – What could happen?
- Prescriptive – What should I do?
Analytics provides a better understanding of systems and behaviours. This in turn leads to smarter decision making, error correction, optimisation, hypothesis validation and many other benefits.
How can analytics be applied to Twitter?
Every day Twitter generates masses of metadata. When we use Twitter we produce content in the form of tweets and engage with other accounts through follows, replies, likes and retweets. All of these actions generate data.
Twitter analytics can help you identify patterns, relationships and trends in the platform’s data, which you can then use to your advantage to gain insight, make predictions or assist decision making.
What types of Twitter analytics are there?
From a taxonomical perspective, you can segment Twitter analytics into two types: account-based which looks at the data generated by individual accounts and platform-based which takes a view of the entire ecosystem.
In practice, how you use Twitter analytics will depend on your objectives. There are a variety of tools on the market, each with their own unique approach to analytics and area of focus.
Twitter has its own analytics tool which provides insight into your own account. You can access it here or by clicking on the “Analytics” tab from the main menu. If you’ve used that tool and need more depth to your data, you can always try our platform Arcade Metrics – which has a whole host of additional metrics.
Why should I use it?
Incorporating Twitter analytics into your overall strategy can help you be more results orientated, provide a focus for your processes and improve resource efficiency. Examples include:
- Growth – To improve your Twitter profile, you can use analytics to track key metrics and ensure you take the right actions and correct any issues to improve growth.
- Evaluation – To assess the effectiveness of a Twitter marketing campaign, you can use analytics to review the results that were achieved.
- Reporting – To produce a report for your client, employer or sponsor, you can use analytics to pull together key stats to showcase your Twitter engagement levels and generated value.
What can’t Twitter analytics do?
Whilst analytics will improve your use of Twitter, it does have its limitations. It can’t tell you what to post or how to create engagement, you will have to work these out for yourself. However, what it can do is provide quantitative data that allows you to review certain strategies you have used. It’s up to you to use analytics to identify what is working and then continue or build upon that strategy.
How should I use Twitter analytics?
Analytics is only ever a tool to help you achieve a goal, so the way you use analytics will be unique to you. The first stage should always be to clearly define your objective for using Twitter. You should then develop a strategy to meet those objectives and work out how analytics will assist you on that journey. Analytics will start you on the right path, help you continually refine your strategy as you go and demonstrate if you have moved towards your goal.
Building proficiency in the understanding of your Twitter account data and learning to read analytics will significantly improve how you use Twitter. Whilst analytics is not a quick-win solution, it is a powerful tool which you can add to your skillset. Once mastered it will bring a better understanding of Twitter, and maybe even in other walks of life.