Gathering and analyzing Twitter statistics doesn’t need to be the work of a rocket scientist. It does take time, know-how and resources to complete a thorough check-up of any organization’s Twitter account, but knowing where to look is the first step to ensuring you’re going down the right road with your tweets.
You can always look at the number of followers you gained or the number of retweets you received in any given month, but those figures don’t tell the whole story.
Here are some other places to look that capture what people think about your content and how they are interacting with your organization on Twitter:
Sure, your non-profit/association’s Twitter account gained 55 followers last month, but who are they?
Breaking down your new followers into demographics allows you to figure out a couple key things: Are you reaching the right people and what audience is most interested in your content? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can adjust your content and total social media strategy to either capitalize on a growing demographic or target another group that is crucial to your operation.
For example, it might so happen that students are following your association’s account in larger numbers than veteran members. Upon realizing this, you can either start catering a larger part of your social media efforts to these youth (ex. writing blog posts about resume writing for your industry) or start adjusting your Twitter content to interest veteran members more.
Breaking down your new followers largely depends on the organization and its stakeholders. You may break them down into members, non-members, industry professionals, industry organizations, donors, sponsors, volunteers, media professionals or other more specific and relevant groups. Having a grouping for irrelevant or spam followers is also important as it helps give you a real number of followers, rather than one inflated by bogus accounts or those just reaching for higher follower numbers.
Clicks on Links
Knowing the number of times people have clicked on a link you have tweeted to an article, website, blog or other content can tell you a lot about your account’s past and future. Most importantly, this statistic can help you figure out what sort of content people are interested in and what tweet format helped that link appeal to so many users.
If one link has twice the number of clicks than another, there is very often a reason for this. Knowing this discrepancy allows you to study both tweets and see if one issue is getting more attention than another. If your followers and other Twitter users are more interested in one issue over another, it is probably a good idea to plan some more content around addressing this issue and issues that are similar.
Studying the format of a tweet that led to a much-viewed link can also be useful. What sort of voice was used? Was the tweet long or short? What sorts of hashtags were used and did it tag any other users, like the author? Did it come right out and explain what the link was about, or did it tease your audience? These are the sort of questions that be answered if you know which links are clicked more than others.
There are many free tools you can use to track clicks on links, but our favourite is Bit.ly. Bit.ly allows you to shorten links, tweet them out and track them on your account. It shows you the amount of times someone has clicked on a certain link as well as the time, country and platform used.
Most Retweeted/Favourited Post
Knowing how many retweets and favourited posts your account received last month is great, but you should go one step further and check out which tweet/tweets received the most attention.
Knowing which tweets were popular and shared most often helps you in much the same way knowing the click-on-link numbers does; it allows you to see which content is working and which content is not. It also gives you a chance to see which followers are most active, influential and interested.
For example, questions may be retweeted more than quotes, pictures may be favourited more than posts without images, blogs may be retweeted more than newspaper articles and local news may be favourited more than national news. With this information, your organization’s Twitter account can work towards promoting questions, tweets with photos, blog posts and local news. Not only do these stats help you focus your energy and time when gathering, creating and planning content, but they also allow you to generate more engagement by catering to the desires and interests of your followers.
Time Window and Day With Best Results
There is no blanket rule for the perfect time to tweet because your organization, and its community, is as unique as every other organization. However, it is important to figure out when your followers are most likely to see your content and engage with it. Are they tweeting at lunch or are they logging into their accounts and reading blog posts at night?
For example, we work with a client whose members are early risers because of the industry they work in and are thus more likely to check Twitter in the early morning (when they start work) or early afternoon (when they finish work). Having this information up your sleeve allows you to schedule your tweets to maximize the number of followers that will see the post. The more people who see the post, the more chances there are for people to engage with your organization and see value in the content it is sharing.
Figuring this stat out may take some time and effort, but it is well worth the work. It will help both your organization grow its online presence and your non-profit/association’s member access important information. Remember to include all engagement figures when calculating the best day and time to tweet, including clicks, retweets, favourites and mentions. It is also crucial to take a large sampling of your followers’ engagement patterns; looking only at a week’s worth of data will probably not represent an accurate example of how your followers use Twitter.
Measuring Twitter statistics is an imperfect science, but by looking deeper into the numbers, it is possible to better your organization’s account and its content to appeal to its target demographic and engage them with increasingly relevant and interesting content.