It was both a happy and a sad day when Twitter opened up their analytics data to those of us not gullible enough to pay for ads on Twitter. And while the data is robust, the effective reach and influence of Twitter might not be what you hoped. Let’s take a gander inside and see what we can learn about our (your) tweeting effectiveness.
First off, everyone loves the big chart. Here’s my big chart from Twitter analytics.
That’s a nice number, don’t you think? 317,700 impressions. And they are virtually free. (I don’t pay to promote any of my own tweets. I’m still experimenting with some client accounts, but I’ve not seen any good reason to continue. More on that in a minute.)
So yes, I’m very influential according to this Twitter chart. Of course, I’ve worked up my following over years to just over 20,000 followers. And I’ve been pretty judicious with my growth strategy, trying to keep this account focused 100% on digital marketing and social media. Still the reach from 20,000 followers is a lot less than you might think. Here’s an average sampling of my tweet reach.
So, let me get this straight. I have 20k+ followers and my average reach is 150 – 200 people? That’s messed up. (Okay, so it only takes into account viewers on Twitter.com and not all the people using tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. I use Bit.ly to create trackable links so I can measure the actual reach, but nothing quite as pretty as Twitter’s analytics.) Still, that is only 1% of my followers that see my post, much less have a chance to “engage” with it. Here are the nice graphs that Twitter provides of my 30-day trending average.
So what’s the key to making Twitter work for you? Um… You Tweet a lot! And you stay on message. If I started tweeting random facts (ala Guy Kawasaki) or coupons my following would start leaving. I can tell the health of my following better with an external tool like bit.ly where I can actually see how many people clicked on a link from a tweet in any tool. All clicks, rather than just the one’s Twitter.com sees and records. And I can watch my site, when I tweet a link, and see how quickly the traffic jumps to my page. A good tweet will bring approximately 30 people per tweet to a post I am promoting. I can tell when I’m on the mark by the response I get in real-time. Bad tweet, or off topic, low engagement on my blog. Good tweet, I get RTs (retweets) and replies. (Yeah, and Favs, but what do those do again?) And guess what, Twitter’s got a chart for that too, and in nice colors.
Go check out how your tweets are doing. Here’s the link https://ads.twitter.com/. And then use a tool like bit.ly to see how a link within any tweet is doing. And because bit.ly is an external tool, it can track the links much more accurately than Twitter. And you can set bit.ly to be your default shortener inside Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. (You are using a twitter tool, right?) Here’s what my Twitter command system looks like in Tweetdeck for my four primary Twitter accounts. And while I rarely tweet on all four accounts at once, I could…
You may have to tweak your tweeting habits a bit to get maximum results. And if you watch your analytics and bit.ly accounts you can tell when you’re on the mark. You will still need to ramp up your following to get free reach. But that 1% exposure is almost free and good for business.
Finally, you can get a lot of data from the free version of Tweetreach. Here’s my snapshot for the last 50 tweets.
Be a good tweeter. Learn what your audience is engaged with. And when you find a formula that works repeat it. Don’t repeat the tweet, but it is quite okay to tweet a lot. Imagine that 1% of your followers might see ANY tweet. And do the math from there.