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Twitter Analytics Now Free For All

Twitter has sprung the lid on its analytics trove, giving all users of the social networking channel access to a wealth of data on their daily tweets.

The site's analytics cache was previously only available to advertisers and verified users.

Virtually all users can now access an analytics dashboard that details how often tweets were seen, the number of times people 'engaged' with them (i.e. retweeted, replied, clicked through, etc), and the overall engagement rate for every tweet.

Other information that can be extracted from the data includes the peak daily times for user engagement, as well as monthly readouts detailing tweet performance.

The free analytics data will be a boon for Irish businesses, many of whom already use Twitter, as they can now tailor their tweets based on what times of the day garner the most engagement.

On the flip side, so can their employees – nearly 20% of whom use Twitter at work.

Changing Behaviour
Damien Mulley runs Mulley Communications and is the organiser of the Measurement.ie digital metrics conference, taking place on September 10 in the Abbey Theatre Dublin.

Mulley says that prime times for tweeting, based on the analytics data, are 10am, noon, 3pm and 9pm-10pm.

This insight, in combination with attendant user behaviour, will almost certainly change ongoing Twitter usage, Mulley argues.

“By observing something, you change it. People will alter their behaviour and increase usage of Twitter.”

He adds that users will also be able to tell what type of tweet works best – e.g. with or without images, with video links, etc – and alter their tweets accordingly.

“Just like people count the 'likes' on Facebook and beg for retweets on Twitter, having access to their stats means that people can see if others are actually seeing their updates and if they are clicking on them.”

Mulley likens the availability of Twitter analytics to the fitness-tracking device craze, both providing daily goals for users to pursue. Market-research-seeking SMEs and individuals with a taste for affectation will presumably delight in the new analytics available to them.

Says Mulley: “These subtle markers will make the attention-starved types (hey, this is Twitter) work more to get more daily views. The more time on Twitter, the more ads they can sell, so if people produce more, it can increase daily time on Twitter by those that Tweet and those that see the tweets.”

Best Use
Mulley's advice for Twitter users, based on the analytics data now available, is to use pictures and links where you can, but explain what the link is about.

“Use language that is controversial but not too offensive and remember that video links are best.”

Mulley also says that single tweets are meaningless – you have to undertake a daily campaign.

“Just like Facebook, the amount of people that see a single update from you is low. This is mainly due to so many other people tweeting too. In fact a single Tweet has an 8-10 minute opportunity to get seen before it is drowned by other tweets.

“If you tweet multiple times during the day about varying topics, repeating some Tweets, then your reach can go beyond the amount of people that follow you.” (September 2014)

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