the complete guide to twitter analytics
Knowing that your social media strategy is working feels good.
Being able to prove it is even better.
Twitter analytics lets you do just that, providing key insights to up your strategy, maximise ROI and show your team what works, and what doesn’t.
This complete guide will show you what all the organic metrics are, and more importantly, why they matter.
They’ll be tips for increasing key metrics from experts around the web and our in-house team.
We’ll touch on everything in your account, but this guide is only going in-depth with the organic metrics in your account which are relevant to most of our readers.
Check out this guide from Hootsuite if you’re running ads on Twitter.
Let’s get started.
Benefits of Twitter Analytics
Before we dive into what’s in your analytics, let’s first talk about why you should care about them in the first place.
Twitter Analytics is part of Twitter, it’s free to use, and you don’t need a special account type to access it.
While you can get some data, like the number of likes and retweets from scrolling back through your feed, is that really the data your boss is going to be happy with?
Or data that’s valuable to you?
Twitter Analytics shows your content performance and shows what tweets have performed better than others.
Can you categorise these tweets and see trends. Perhaps tweets with GIFs get more likes, where’s list tweets may get more retweets.
You’ll also see what content isn’t working, that maybe goes unnoticed with only a couple of likes.
Knowing what works and why are the most important factors in any social media strategy. Being able to explain the why behind tweets that have done well is far better than merely listing your top tweets.
Not only will you be able to bring data into discussions, but you’ll also get to see if your metrics are heading in the right direction and if not, implement the changes to make them.
Maybe you’ve just taken on a new hire, or outsourced to an agency and you want to get a baseline so you can see what difference they make.
If you’re actively trying to grow on Twitter, you’re going in blind if you don’t have the data.
For anyone using Twitter professionally, analytics are a must. They give you the data that forms your whole strategy from what to tweet to how to tweet it.
How to Access
Before we get into the metrics of Twitter Analytics, we first need actually to get in.
You can access your analytics from analytics.twitter.com or the menu in your Twitter account.
If you have an Ads, account you’ll also see a tab for your analytics to access.
You’re only able to share access to your analytics via Twitter Ads. To do that you can add a user and set their permissions to “organic analyst” (which can only see non-promoted tweets or “campaign analyst” which can see the performance data of Twitter ads too.
Analytics only shows you data from after you create your account. It also only shows your last 3200 tweets.
While it’s usable the site isn’t currently responsive on mobile.
You can also see the metrics for tweets individually by clicking the bar chart on the tweet.
When you first log into Twitter Analytics, they’ll be a snapshot of your 28-day account performance with the percentage change on the last 28 days.
This section will run through how to read those numbers.
How many times you’ve tweeted over the last 28 days.
While HubSpot found the more you tweet the better in terms of impressions, the number varies depending on what blog you turn to. CoSchedule rounded up 14 studies, and answers are ranging between 3-5 tweets a day to 50 tweets or more. We recommend tweeting at least once a day as a minimum.
But that isn’t a reason to go and spam your followers.
Keep things consistent at a manageable level you can keep reproducing. If you’re in marketing, there’s new content to tweet all the time. In other industries, you might be burning through your ideas faster than you can make them.
The number of times a tweet has been seen. This number could be more or less than your followers.
- Not all your followers will see your tweets if they don’t log in or the algorithm doesn’t show them.
- Retweets may reach more people.
- Impressions count the views in search as well.
- People can also get notified based on interactions with your tweet by the people they follow.
With an average of 6k tweets a second, you’ll want to be maximising the eyeballs all your tweets get. But with all that competition they have to be engaging too – more on that in a moment.
Impressions get the largest graph in your analytics, which tells us Twitter think they’re as important as we do.
As we’re just covering the headline numbers here, we’ll them down some more later in this guide.
People checking out your profile shows you’re getting discovered on Twitter.
And from there they can connect with you, see your about and head into your website.
Here’s a reminder on how to make your profile stand out to make the most of those visitors.
Profile photo – shows your face or logo (400 x 400 px- don’t forget rounded crop).
Header image – shows what you’re all about – maybe that last conference photo when we’re doing them again (1500*500 – remember photo overlays on the left).
Bio – 160 characters to say who you are, what you do, and why should people care.
Location – if you’re a remote team like us, you can use your area (such as London) or even an email address.
Website – Link to a relevant campaign or your homepage. If you have time, create a landing page on your site rather than using one-link page services like LinkTree to get complete customisation & control over your page.
Pinned tweet – Get across an important message. This could be a special offer you have on at the moment or your latest blog post. If you’re stuck for ideas, take a top-performing tweet that’s proven to be good content with your audience and pin that instead.
We keep this up-to-date guide from Sprout Social bookmarked to know all the different image sizes.
Reflects people who @ you to have a conversation. Not everyone who mentions you will directly @ so it can be helpful to search for your URL / brand name to pick up people who don’t explicitly mention you.
If you already have customer service software check to see if you can add Twitter as an integration as when it comes to customer service, 42% of consumers want a response within the hour.
Followers will fluctuate, but if you’re actively growing your Twitter account, you should see aim for a steady increase. If there’s a big drop, it might be worth reviewing some of your comments to see if you’ve posted something that didn’t go down well.
Month so far
This section shows you an overview of your stats highlights for the current month. If you keep scrolling you’ll be able to see the months before that too.
Why did that tweet get more impressions? Did you jump into a trending topic, or build traction with a lot of retweets?
Understanding why some tweets do better than others is essential, so you’re able to work out how to replicate that again.
Top Media Tweet
This is like the above but will show you what photo or video got the most views. Again ask yourself why a particular photo or video is doing better than others. If you haven’t posted any media in the month, they’ll just be a placeholder.
Remember, don’t just look at the numbers, empower yourself with the data they give you.
This is whoever has followed you with the highest number of followers themselves.
Knowing the influential people who follow you on Twitter can help you tap into their audience.
Even if you’re not doing any influencer marketing, make sure to build a connection and get involved in their community.
Check out this guide if you want to see how to find all the famous people who follow you on Twitter.
This is the tweet that @s you that has got the most engagement. Make the most out of this tweet, and be sure to respond to it.
Have a process for dealing with negative tweets and make sure you don’t exacerbate the situation.
The next tab in your analytics gives a drill down into your tweet performance tweet by tweet and lets you see impressions and engagement.
By default, Twitter shows you the previous 28 days although you can change that to a custom date range up to 91 days. Only your latest 3200 tweets will be shown.
You can also export your data by tweet or by day which you can then save to csv to play around more with or to save it over an extended period. Buffer has some great examples of how you can explore this with formulae.
By default, you’ll see your tweets (minus replies) from latest onward. You’ll see the impressions, engagement and engagement rate of your tweets.
The largest graph is all about impressions. If you’re running ads, you’ll see an orange bar for paid tweet performance. You can hover over a specific bar for specific numbers for that day.
We’ve already discussed tweeting more often, but remember to keep it consistent and at a manageable level.
Hashtags will also help. Twitter recommends only using up to 2 hashtags, but for aggressive growth strategies, we max at 4, providing they’re relevant.
Building relationships on the platform gives you more opportunities for retweets. Not only can you build and retain a following, but you can also use their audience to help grow yours.
Use those involved in your business to amplify your message, from employees, suppliers. If they have a larger account give them a mention and you might get a retweet.
You can also turn on notifications for popular accounts in your industry to get one of the first replies when they comment – this is likely to get a lot of views. Look at the tweet and any link shared before commenting though – adding a thought does more than a “cool thanks!”.
Especially if you’re starting out one of the best ways you can grow your account for free is engaging. When first starting a Twitter account, we go through a “warm-up” phase interacting with brands and influencers to maximise the reach on our tweets.
This is the total number of interactions on your tweet. Engagement shows people care about what you have to say (or disagree), and you’ll be using these metrics to measure most of your KPIs.
From gaining followers to link clicks if you’re not getting any engagement on your tweets then you’re just shouting into the abyss.
People can interact with your tweet in any of the following ways.
- Quote Tweets
- Media views (videos autoplay or click)
- Hashtag and Mention Clicks
- URL Clicks
- Profile visits
Engagement Rate Calculation
Twitter works this out automatically as the total number of engagements divided by the total number of impressions.
Twitter has a low engagement rate of 0.045% when compared to other social platforms, but there are lots of ways to increase it. Just set realistic expectations when comparing it to platforms like Instagram with a 4.7% engagement rate.
There are plenty of ways to increase your engagement rate. We’ve focused on a couple of metrics we get asked about a lot and linked some more ideas under them.
Link Clicks (traffic)
You’ll want to make sure your URLs are in the correct format and use Twitter Cards if you can. You can make these for free with an Ads account (also free, but requires card details). These beef up your URLs to make them stand out and look professional. WordPress SEO plugins like Yoast can help you do this automatically.
If you’re sharing evergreen content, try different headlines and formats. Does a one-line enticing headline work well, or does your audience respond better to bullet list of what’s in the post?
Ask for them.
It’s that simple. Make sure to leave your tweets open-ending with a question to encourage your audience to share their thoughts.
Don’t always wait for others to make the first move but try and join conversations too. Take an interest and share your thoughts on the content that others are sharing too.
Getting retweeted by the right people can drastically increase your reach.
And it’s easier than you think. You don’t have to wait for that magic viral moment.
When creating your own content, make it easy to share. A thread with powerful insights, an infographic or a list do well.
Take part in Twitter Chats, if you leave a useful answer you may get retweeted by the host. Here are some for marketers.
When sharing content, tag the publisher, and specific author if they have their own Twitter handle.
Leave your own comment as well as sharing the link. This is all about providing maximum value giving every reason to retweet you.
How to Increase Twitter Engagement by 324% – Detailed infographic with more tips underneath (QuickSprout)
23 Strategies to Increase Twitter Engagement – Actionable tactics you can start using today (Adespresso by Hootsuite)
15 Tactics to Boost Twitter Engagement Backed by Research – good strategies to use now (CoSchedule)
If you click on the menu, you’ll find a number of other tabs on your dashboard. These may not be relevant to everyone, but we’ll quickly define them below.
A view only counts if a user watches the video for more than 2 seconds and has at least 50% of the video player in view. (Twitter Help)
Tracking your video performance, like all these metrics, helps you understand the type of content that works, and what doesn’t.
If you’re promoting your apps on Twitter, you’ll see additional data here to how they’re performing. (Learn More)
Conversion Tracking – Pixel Tag
If you’re running ads on Twitter, and have the conversion tag installed you’ll get to see additional metrics like how many conversions you have or their total transaction value.
This data can form part of your reporting to show ad spend, as well as help you optimise your ads further, or pause them if they’re not working for you.
Media Studio Insights
If you’ve got an Ads account (needed to unlock Media Studio) and more than 1000 followers you’ll have access to the two more dashboards below.
This shows when your audience are watching videos on Twitter, which indicates when they’re likely to be online.
As this is only videos, it won’t show you the whole picture, so don’t time your tweets based on this graph alone.
Sprout Social have a breakdown of the best time to tweet on Twitter, but this isn’t a question we get bogged down on too much.
Twitter is a volume platform, so we focus on putting as much content out as possible without sacrificing on quality, consistency or manageability.
Don’t post all your tweets during those times, allow each tweet a bit of “breathing room” to pick up some engagement before posting the next one.
For larger accounts, this will show you what other users are talking about you on Twitter.
With 64% of consumers wanting a response within an hour on Twitter, this helps you identify your peak times so you can have enough reps to get to every customer.
You’ll also get to see what influential accounts are interacting with you and who interacts with you most often. This can help you potentially partner with accounts that are already warmed up to the idea of sharing your tweets.
And that’s it
Now you know what all your Twitter Analytics mean, go out there and make them work for you. Experiment with your content and if it’s not working, change it, so you find what does.
If you have any questions over your analytics, leave them in the comments or reach out to our team and we’ll get back to you pronto.