Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Twitter Analytics. Finding out about your twitter world 140 characters at a time.

Paul R. Cherrington Twitter Analytics Twitter is one of my favorite inventions of the past 5 years and it is a very fascinating. It has connected me to several people around the world and allowed me to talk about my favorite interests such as sports and current events. It has allowed me to have a conversation with a super bowl MVP, national columnists and professional athletes. When I started my twitter account, I had no intention of tweeting out because I didn’t think I had anything to add to the conversation. I still feel that way to a point but I have found people with whom I can get information and discuss current events and sports with in a way that is constructive and informative. Twitter is great because it is 100% customizable to the user and creating the world that they want to see. The other side of twitter is businesses and companies trying to attract page views and get you to follow them. It’s a difficult task because who wants to sign up to be advertised to when they can go without it if they so choose. So businesses come up with all kinds of crazy promotions to get people to spread the word about their account and get rewards for following them on twitter. Businesses could be very wasteful with their efforts if they were not receiving regular feedback on how they are doing and if their efforts are effective. So they turn to Analytics to see how their efforts on twitter are being received and where they can improve. Twitter itself has its own analytics division but when I tried to log into their site, I was unable to since my account is personal and not a business account. I did find an article on twitter analytics that are available to everyone and found it to be helpful. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-twitter-analytics-tools/ These websites would be very valuable in helping a business focus their efforts in reaching as many people as possible and also find out who is driving the conversation about their products or services. #1 SocialBro – social bro’s strength is identifying where your followers are from and what language your followers are tweeting in. If a company identifies a strong following in a different language, they could open up a twitter account in that language to better meet that markets needs. #2 Tweetreach – Tweet reach is really cool as it helps identify how far their blogs reach by entering the blog address into the search feature. The site then measures the traffic it has gotten in twitter and counts the amount of people who have seen the blog in their timeline and how many they forwarded it on to. Companies can use this to see what resonates with people and what drives page views and traffic to their site or whatever their call to action is. #3 Buffer – I don’t like this one as much as it duplicates many of the same features as the previous two but it does allow you to schedule tweets so that if you have a demographic you are trying to reach on the other side of the world, you can do so without setting an alarm or paying someone to work the graveyard shift. #4 TwentyFeet – This tool tracks data and stats for your own personal account. This feature measures basic stats such as follows, retweets, and mentions that are received. I have seen several services that do this exact same thing and have a little better features than this site. #5 Google URL shortner – This tool is very valuable but not unique as there are many URL shortening web sites out there. 140 characters can go very fast and so putting a web address into a shorter link is very helpful to fitting in all the information that someone wants to send. #6 Klout – This site can be helpful but I have not liked how it has been used on my personal account. Klout allows the user to find out how far reaching their tweets are and try to identify the most influential tweeters. What it has turned into is a high school like atmosphere where people solicit klout likes and try to use Klout to reduce the score of people that they do not agree with. I could see the value if the data was independent but there is too much influence from people treating it like a popularity contest. Summary – I don’t think I would ever use analytics for my personal account because I don’t care right now what my reach is or how far my tweets go or what some website says my Klout score is. When I signed up for twitter, I did so with two goals in mind. First, I wanted to be accountable to my tweets which is why I tweet under my name of @paulcherrington. Second, I never wanted to care how many followers I have and base my tweets on that. I would tweet my thoughts as they were and not try to play to a crowd. Both of these goals are great for me but completely opposite of what a business’s goals should be. These websites can be effective in molding and shaping the tweets of a twitter account. It can help them increase traffic and become more effective in how they reach people. Research time 2 hours Write up time 1 hour.