[This post contains content from a post that first appeared on the Zipscene blog, found here.]
Many people have been talking about the new Twitter Analytics Dashboard, but it's not automatically available to everyone. We show you how to get access in this post and explain a bit about what's included in the new dashboard.
First, a bit about what's included in Twitter Analytics.
If you're a regular user of Twitter, you're probably wondering whether it's working for you. And by "working for you" we mean whether it's actually doing anything to drive your business. If you're like 99.9998% of companies using Twitter, then you probably don't have meaningful, accurate tracking and attribution to determine if Twitter is actually having an impact on your business (note: this is a completely made up stat, but seemed about right to me). In order to do this, you would need to somehow individually "tag" each tweet and track whether any given tweet resulted in a purchase in your restaurant. Not doing this? You're not alone. That's pretty hard and not something most restaurants (or most companies for that matter) are equipped technically or operationally to even handle. Stay tuned later in this post for some ideas on how you can get started actually doing this.
Before getting into something more complex like the tracking I just described, how about just starting with the basics? Twitter made this a lot simpler recently by introducing an analytics dashboard for all users. This dashboard (shown in the image above) lets you see some basic stats such as the number of times you were mentioned and your follower growth (and follower loss). You can also see which tweets performed the best.
Of the information provided, I found the follower/unfollower information pretty interesting. [Note: all images in this post are for my personal Twitter account, @jonmrich]
Here you get a look at how many people have followed and unfollowed you each day. Don't panic or feel bad about yourself if you see unfollows. This happens to everyone. Keep an eye out for big spikes though and dig into what you did that day (i.e., what you tweeted) that prompted so many people to unfollow. And the opposite is true. Where you see big spikes in few followers, figure out what was responsible. You also can see mentions here, which is how many times someone has, well, mentioned you in a tweet using the @ symbol.
You can also sort through your tweets and see which have been most effective. Clicking "BEST" (see above image), lets you see your tweets that have had the highest numbers of favorites (someone has favorited the tweet), retweets, and replies. These are all good indications that your tweet made some impact. You might also see some tweets with a label like "3x Normal Reach" (see above image). This shows tweets that have reached more people than average. These are your best performing tweets that have been seen by the most people thanks to a larger number of retweets. Here's a good chance for you to analyze which tweets are performing best and if they have something in common. For example, are they all offers? Do they feature a video or image? Do they come at a certain time of day? These are all factors to check out to see if you can start to notice some patterns.
You can also check out some data on your Followers. Note that this may only be available to certain accounts with enough followers. Twitter has made no indication about which accounts have access to this data and which don't, so stay tuned. You can click on "Analytics" and select "Followers" to see this data.
Here's what it looks like:
You can see how many followers you have and what their interests are. You also get a geographic profile of your followers to understand where they are. It's some interesting data that can be used to help you figure out what types of things your followers might be looking for. You can try to craft your tweets to match your followers' interests to get some better engagement. If you try this, then check out your analytics and see how those tweets perform.
By now, you're probably wanting to take a look at your stats instead of mine, so head on over here: https://analytics.twitter.com. As I already mentioned, you might not immediately have access to Analytics, but we show you how to get access below.
After you log in, you'll land on the Twitter Ads Campaign screen. Not surprisingly, Twitter has a motive for suddenly sharing your stats with you. They want to build awareness for their ad solutions, which is part of the reason you land on the Campaign screen. If you're not interested in placing ads or promoting your account now, just click "Analytics" at the top of the screen.
Most people that follow this link (https://analytics.twitter.com) will land on a page that's all about getting you to sign up for Twitter ads. There doesn't appear to be a link for Analytics as shown in the image above. However, we discovered that if you supply your credit card information (as if you were going to place an ad), you immediately get access to your Twitter Analytics data. Here's how to do it without actually placing any ads:
You can ignore sections 1 and 2 on ads page. In section 3 (shown above), here's what you need to do. Make sure "Stop promoting my Tweets" appears in "Promoted Tweets" column. In the Promoted Accounts column, click the "Stop promoting my Tweets" button (in pink box above) so it shows "Promote my account" (it may already show this without you having to click the button). In the dollar sections, put $1 in for both boxes (green boxes above) and then click Save. If you put in $0, then you can't proceed. If you set both columns to "Stop promoting my Tweets", then you can't put in credit card info. Next, in section 4, input your credit card info and submit. After the page reloads, you'll see the Analytics tab at the top. However, before clicking around, turn off your ads.
To turn off the ads, click the "Stop promoting my account" button (pink box above). After you complete this, you should see "Your ads are currently disabled." at the top of the page. Now you're free to check out your analytics. Yes, it's quite a process, but don't blame us. One other point, your data may not look exactly like what's been shown here. We've talked with numerous people about this and some have good data in the mentions, follows, and unfollows chart at the top and others have nothing. Some said the data showed up over time, but others still have it blank. This might be related to the amount of activity on the account. Accounts with more followers and activity tend to have more data available. Regardless, you'll be able to see which of your tweets perform the best.
For the record, we're keeping a close eye on Twitter ads mainly for a future product they are supposedly creating. This would allow advertisers to target promoted tweets to users within a very specific geographic area (e.g., within a couple of miles or less from a specific restaurant location). This might have some great potential depending on how closely targeted the tweets can be and what controls there are around timing the ads. Stay tuned and we'll update you when we hear some more about this product.
For now, dig into your stats and see what insights you can come up with based on past performance and what patterns you see.
Earlier in this post, I mentioned how performance tracking should work whether it be Twitter or any other marketing channel. This is something we've worked on for a long time. Our system lets you create offers or promotions and send these out via any channel you want (such as Twitter). If you wanted, each tweet could have its own uniquely coded offer, so you could track how effective each and every tweet was in driving sales. And that's the biggest difference with our system. Rather than measuring clicks or impressions and trying to translate this into sales, we track the actual redemption of these offers at the POS including the source of the offer (e.g., the specific tweet), the offer details, items purchased, amount spent, location, date and time, and a lot more. Your reports then show which of your marketing initiatives actually had a direct impact on sales instead of relying on some surrogate metric (like impressions). This means that you know what's working and what's not, which allows you to better control and divide your marketing spend. If you're interested in hearing about how this works, please get in contact with us and we'll show you.
Jonathan Richman is VP, Product Marketing for Zipscene. Zipscene is a leading digital marketing and CRM platform for the restaurant industry. You can read more from Jonathan on the Zipscene blog or follow him on Twitter (@jonmrich).