Last month Twitter marked its 10th birthday. Yes, the micro blogging site that has revolutionised the way we work, the way we interact with each other and even the way we idolise celebrities has hit double figures. There are now 300 million active monthly users and according to research every second 6,000 tweets are posted – every second. Yet there are still plenty of people who think, from a business point of view, Twitter ‘doesn’t work’.
The phrase ‘a good workman never blames his tools’ springs to mind. The fact is Twitter is working for millions of businesses, from huge corporations ploughing millions into their social media strategy to tiny one man bands reaping the benefits of engaging with customers. If it’s not working for you, chances are you’re not using it right. And if you’re not, it’s pretty easy to find out thanks to the wonderful world of analytics.
There are a number of analytics tools in the market and many of them are free to use. Twitter’s own analytics tool was launched surprisingly late, compared to many others on the market, in 2014. Straightforward and easy to use it allows you to analyse the performance of your tweets by giving you a detailed overview of the number of retweets, replies and follows they received. If you’re putting out dull, repetitive content that is serving no purpose, Twitter Analytics will let you know.
Kred is another useful analytics app. Picking up where Klout, the app which gives you a score based on your social media influence, leaves off, it assesses your content and the engagement of other users. However, it also looks at how much you interact with others in order to give you an ‘outreach’ score. You get the most out of Twitter when you interact and react to others, rather than sitting back and hoping your content is so unmissable it sets the internet alight, so your outreach score is a good measure of how well you’re using the site.
Another useful tool to consider is TweetStats. The timing of your Tweets is hugely important, much more than many users realise. I remember speaking with a broker who had become disillusioned with social media. He said he’d used it for a good few months, tweeting religiously every day and saw little benefit. Short on time, he had allocated a ‘Twitter hour’ each day during which time his focus was solely on social media. This hour, it turned out, was 11pm when the “kids were asleep and the house was quiet.” I’m not sure how many house hunters are likely to start thinking about mortgages at bedtime.
Likewise brokers will tweet at 9am when they arrive in the office, when the vast majority of their target audience are themselves at work. TweetStats will help you work out the best time to suit your target audience based on their social media activity. You can also see when your contemporaries are posting to give you an idea of the competition.
There are plenty more free tools on offer, all of which will give you some insight into whether or not your social media activity is working. If you’re using it blindly without ever analysing what you’re doing you could be wasting valuable time.