Mastering Twitter as a marketing strategy is one thing; learning to read and use Twitter analytics is another. While some small business owners are comfortable with the former, many still shy away from the latter, perhaps out of intimidation or lack of understanding.
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Twitter analytics help you improve your social media strategy. They tell you what updates are getting shared, and which links people are clicking on. With that information you can optimize your tweets to get more shares, likes, clicks, and responses.
Step 1: Decide on Objectives
Being on social media just for the sake of being there won’t do your business any good. Instead, decide on your reason for being there as well as what you hope to achieve.
In SproutSocial’s whitepaper, Maximize Your Twitter Metrics, readers are encouraged to think how Twitter (and social media in general) align with larger business objectives:
- How do my social goals support greater business goals?
- Have the right stakeholders contributed to setting objectives?
- What resources (human or tech) do we need to flourish?
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Starting with these objectives can help you as you look at analytics and metrics over time and assure your efforts on social media are aligned to your business goals.
Step 2: Figure Out What You Want to Measure
You can go as deep as you want to go in Twitter analytics, but for most small business owners there are just a few metrics that are really beneficial. Those objectives you first established will guide you to determining the best metrics to pay attention to.
For example, if brand awareness and visibility are your primary goals with Twitter, you should pay attention to the number of new followers you’re getting and how many people mention you or retweet your content (as well as what content they’re sharing). For audience growth, examine the trajectory of the number of new followers you’re getting as well as your tweet impressions and reach.
If customer service is an area you’re concerned with, you’ll want to examine response time and rate as well as individual and team performance. For better sales and conversions, look at how many clicks you’re getting back to your website, along with the number of sales leads you generate with your efforts.
Step 3: Set a Timeframe
Peeking at your metrics daily won’t do more than waste your time, so set a period after which you’ll look at them. Three months is a good place to start for more long-term goals, like growing your audience, while weekly check-ins may be better if you’re observing customer service.
This gives you time for your efforts to actually net results, and it’s not so long that you can’t take corrective action if the numbers aren’t where you’d like them to be.
Step 4: Take Action for Improvement
If those metrics aren’t where they should be for optimal success, determine what you should do to change them. If, for example, you aren’t getting the clicks back to your site or blog that you want, try including a call to action to get people to click, or vary your shares to get better engagement. If you’re not seeing a steady rise in the number of followers you have, be more strategic in whom you follow (use Twitter’s Who to Followlink for suggestions based on people you’re currently following), and aim for quality over quantity. Fifty engaged followers beats 500 followers who don’t care about you and your brand any day.
Analytics can help you identify weak areas in your Twitter strategy as well as set you on the right course to better engage with followers, see an increase in the number of people following you, and generate more sales leads.
Brenda S. Stoltz is the CEO and founder of Ariad Partners and has over 20 years of experience in helping companies of all size, from Fortune 100 to startup, generate leads, increase sales and accelerate value. Through Ariad Partners, Brenda provides creative, practical, sales-driven integrated inbound marketing and strategic planning services to software, technology, manufacturing, professional services firms, and other industries. Read her content about inbound marketing on her blog .
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