Wednesday 21 March 2018

Looking Beyond Followers: How to Measure Your Performance on Twitter

Originally posted on Analytics is King.

We’re always (hopefully) interested in how our social channels are performing versus last week, month, year or even versus competitors. To that end, marketers of all stripes often wonder what the best metrics are when evaluating the performance of a particular platform. Depending on the platform in question, the selection process can be daunting. Take a look at a Facebook Insights export sometime and follow the Excel spreadsheet across and you’ll see quite a few possibilities.

Yesterday, I received such a question from a very good friend of mine as it relates to Twitter. Now, my typical (maybe snarky) response to these kinds of questions is asking why that wasn’t settled weeks/months ago when the page was launched, but we’re talking about a friend here so I obliged. While I’m here, though, remember the process of identifying metrics? Setting goals, conducting benchmark research, developing strategy/tactics, implementing your program and then measuring. Go through that process and you’ll save yourself some headaches at the end.

Anyway, her question prompted a thought… If I had to rank which metrics I think are the most important for Twitter, how would I rank them? Again, go with me here… How important these metrics are will vary from company-to-company, but I think the discussion is a worthwhile one to be having. First step in this process is writing down all of the available metrics you can think of for Twitter… I’ll give you a second to do that…Ready? What did you come up with? I came up with:

  • Clicks
  • Clicks/post
  • Retweets
  • Retweets per post
  • Tweet reach
  • Retweet reach
  • Average reach per tweet
  • Percentage of posts that are @ replies
  • Number of lists
  • Followers
  • Sentiment?

A few things on this list…

  • Clicks, and clicks per post are probably the two most important metrics in my opinion. Why? They can be easily tracked to a specific end result that the brand cares about (landing on their website and buying something, for example).
  • Notice how far followers is on the list? Yeah, moving on. That should be obvious. Looking at followers alone doesn’t tell me anything.
  • I have a question mark next to sentiment. After posing this question on Twitter, both Justin Goldsborough and Jason Keith raised the point of tracking sentiment on Twitter. My only issue with it is that tracking sentiment on Twitter is problematic at best. Limited characters, nuanced conversation tone make it very difficult to nail down. If you’re using a sophisticated text analytics platform, I’ll jump on board. Otherwise, I’d be nervous…

If you’re managing a Twitter presence, what metrics are you using? What have you found has worked with your client or boss?


Image credit: stv

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