Leveraging Twitter, Part 5: Twitter Tools Tutorial

5.2 Introduction

Hi, I'm Jennifer Evans Cario, president of SugarSpun Marketing, author of Pinterest Marketing: An Hour a Day, and the social media faculty chair at Market Motive. Thanks for joining me for part five in this series on leveraging Twitter.

5.3 Client & Tool Considerations

Today we'll be talking a little bit about the wide range of tools that are available to help make things a little easier for you on Twitter. And the reality is that tools can make the job easier. But it's also important to remember that they can also make it a little harder, sometimes unnecessarily hard. So it's really important to make good choices about the tools you're using and to be open to changing them up over time as new ones develop or as your needs change. Now, rather than talk about a specific list of tools because the tools that are available does come and go reasonably quickly. And there's always something new out there worth looking at. What I really want to focus on is the type of tools that you need to be looking for and considering. So things like Twitter clients, which are basically the interface that you use to go to Twitter and to actually post things. So that might be the Twitter home page itself. It might be a program like Hootsuite or TweetDeck. There's quite a range of Twitter clients that are out there and available. Though the things you want to consider when you're looking for a Twitter client and trying to figure out what's going to be the best fit for you, are things like ease of posting. Does it allow you to do multiple batch updates if you're a larger company and you prepare all your tweets ahead of time and you want to be able to upload several dozen, or even hundreds of them at a time. Does it allow for that? Does it allow for you to put images, video, and shortened URLs and things like that in. You also want to look at things like the ease of monitoring. How easy is it to go in and take a look at maybe what posts you have scheduled to go out on Twitter, or what the performance of those posts actually was. You want to consider again, that idea of batch scheduling and how it might sync with whatever other programs you're using internally to put those together. And you'll also want to consider whether or not the Twitter client has native multiple account management in it. Because sometimes, a Twitter client does, and sometimes it doesn't, and you need to use a secondary tool for that purpose. If you have several members of your team that are posting to Twitter, that's the type of thing you need to take into consideration. You'll also want to ask yourself whether or not it's available for multiple devices. If you get the hang of using a particular program and you really like it, sometimes it's much easier, especially for some of the smaller businesses that may be doing all of their own Twitter monitoring, from a desktop during the day and from a mobile device during the off hours. It's really important to know that you have some measure of carryover and that you can continue to work in an environment with the tool set that you're familiar with.

5.4 Tools for Team Management

Now another type of tool that you want to take into consideration is tools that allow you to manage teams. And again, sometimes these are going to have crossover with your Twitter client, sometimes it's not. Things like Hootsuite will definitely have that level of crossover. Programs like Sprout Social will allow you to manage your teams and assign tasks to different people, but will also allow you to handle the actual publishing and the scheduling that you're doing. Even larger scale enterprise solutions like Sales Versus Social Studio will allow you to really get in and manage your teams and how different people are responsible for reacting to, or responding to, or for elevating different conversations up the chain of command. Now some of the considerations that you want to have when you're figuring out what you might use for team management are things like how you need to manage your clients and your teams. A large company that handles everything internally and has all of their monitoring team internally is probably going to need to handle things with a different set of needs in mind than the agency that's managing multiple clients and may have multiple sub-set accounts within each of those clients. It's also about the ability to go in and manage assignments. Do you need to have one person who's monitoring but multiple people that have access so that any point in time something be passed off to customer service or passed off to maybe a sales team depending on what their conversation looks like. You want to know what the reporting functionality is for your team management so that you could go back and see as people are assigned different things who's reacting, who's actually getting it done and what are the responses of those. And then any number of additional features that become available especially on the enterprise level and on the agency level that may or may not end up being a good fit for your team.

5.5 Tools for Content Research

Now you also want to consider using tools for things like content research, for ideas of what you might want to share, what you might want to put out there. Buffers a great example of this. BuzzSumo's another great example of this. These are the places that help you figure out what people are talking about and help you discover the type of content that might be worth sharing or using as inspiration for the things that your going to put out into the mix. Now some of the things that you want to take into consideration when your looking for tools that will aid you in content research are things like the freshness of the sources. A lot of times the free tools that are available, they're turning up really great popular content but sometimes its content that's several weeks or even several months old. Now if its a piece of evergreen content, sometimes resurrecting it Isn't necessarily about plan. But on the other hand, if it's a piece of content that's already played itself out really well on Twitter, taking the time to share it without some measure of new perspective to add to it doesn't necessarily build your credibility. You also want to look at the relevancy levels. There's a big difference between what might be popular on a broader scale versus what really digs down into exactly what it is you're trying to promote and trying to push and gives you something that you can put your own unique creative spin on. The ability to tailor the style of updates and the information and even what comes into your feed and what types of type of suggestions come into your feed, also plays in heavily when you're looking for those types of tools to help you figure out what type of content ideas you might want to share or post or pass along.

5.6 Tools for Influencer Research

Now, another type of tool that's worth giving some consideration to are some of the various tools that are designed to assist you with influence or outreach. Both finding who these influencers are, and actually participating in the outreach side of things. So, community would be one that that does this quite well, will actually show you what your top tweets are, gives you the opportunity to you know, thank your followers or start some engagement with them. And then, Moz's Followerwonk is one that will actually allow you to compare multiple accounts to look for the areas of overlap. And this can be really handy when you're building an influencer outreach plan because you can figure out which people are targeting sort of which area. How frequently they post, how much engagement they tend to have. And you can sort of tailor the type of outreach you plan to do, to each of those individual people based on the information that you find from tools like this. So some of the things that you want to consider as you're sorting through the various tools to figure out what's going to best for you, is which ones have things like influence or measurement. Now it's important to remember that sometimes these numbers are completely arbitrary. They are really just based on the individual system and they may or may not actually tell you whether or not someone has value for you. But that's where getting things like an interaction overview can also be very handy. Because if you can figure out how frequently they're on there, how often they post, how much back and forth dialog they tend to have with their followers or even which other Twitter members they tend to engage with. It becomes much easier to again, start to put together a picture of how you might reach, reach out to them. So having that connection analysis gives you the opportunity to say, person A may be really difficult to get a message in front of, but they consistently retweet content from person C. And person C is actually pretty easy to get an audience with or to get the attention of, so let's go through the back door and try and connect from person C to get the attention of person A.

5.7 Native Analytics

Now as with most of the popular social media channels,Twitter does have it's own native analytics, not just for advertising campaigns, but also just for Twitter usage in general. Now these analytics are designed to give you sort of a overall high-level view in terms of activity and impressions and engagement, but they also have some real gems of information that are contained within them. And you get to them by going into your account, going into your ad section, and you can access them from within your ad section. If you don't currently see access to them, all you need to do is go in and set up a single advertising campaign and not even bother to run it. You can just turn it off if you don't do Twitter advertising, and that will open it up to give you access to the base level Twitter Analytics. Now, when we look at the breakdown, what it's designed to do is help us look at things like our output. How many tweets are we publishing within a particular period of time? You know, so how active are we compared to how we were you know, a week ago, or a month ago? It's also designed to help us see our reach. What type of impressions are we getting? How many people is our message getting in front of? And it also helps you look at things like conversion potential. How many people visited your profile because you can match that up with how many people ended up following you or unfollowing you to get an idea, hey people are checking you out, but are they actually liking what they see. Especially if your making use of any measure of conversion optimization on your profile visit. You know, where you're saying okay, here's what my cover photo going to be and how I'm going to tie it in to maybe a pin to tweet. Now you also get the opportunity to get the high-level view of any viral exposure. How many mentions are you getting? How many times that other people mention you or reply to you, you know that you have that opportunity to potentially go out into the broader Twitter universe. And then, finally, looking at the very base level of conversions that Twitter is actually capable of tracking for you is the idea of how many followers you gained during that particular time frame.

5.8 Top Twitter Items

Now, going a little deeper into Twitter analytics offers up quite a bit of additional information as well. For example, they'll tell you which tweet that you put out during that time frame snagged the most exposure. How many impressions did it get? How many retweets did it get? How many favorites? They'll also let you know your most powerful new Twitter connection. So who was it that followed you during that timeframe that has the highest level of connectors. Again, this is a great opportunity to identify and look for some of those potential influencers, and to really work on fostering that relationship with them. You also have the ability to see the tweet that delivered the highest level of engagement to you. You know, which one actually got people to come and view your profile or follow you, or really engage with you. And then they'll show you your most powerful media tweet. So what piece of video or photograph or imaging did you put out there that ended up getting the highest level of impression, the highest level of engagement? Now, Twitter will also go a little deeper in tracking some of your overall information, in terms of sort of tracking your followers over time. But they'll also give you some additional information on things like your engagement rate, you know, are people actually engaging? Now, it's important to know if you're used to primarily dealing with Facebook, that is, lowest engagement is on Facebook. It tends to be even lower on Twitter. So again, you're sort of measuring against yourself to see if you can improve over where you were in the previous week or the previous time frame. They'll also let you know how many clicks you're getting. Are people just looking at your tweets? Are they responding to your tweets? Or are they actually clicking on them to see what's on the other end? You'll get an idea of how much sharing is taking place by how much retweets happened in a particular period of time. And you can also tell how many people have favorited something. a So do they actually like it, or are they potentially favoring it because they're going to save it for later? And then finally you can get an idea of the number of replies you have coming in, to see how much conversation is actually taking place. Now, Twitter will also give you some information about your followers. They'll let you know the most unique interests of your followers, but they'll also let you know the top interests that they have. So you can start to look at the people who have already chosen to connect with you and you can say, these are the topics that I know I can put out that my followers will have a vested interest in. So you can sort of stack the deck in your favor. But it also may identify areas that maybe you want to talk about but that you don't have anyone within your followers that's showing up as a high level of interest. And that might be an area that you want to cultivate. Little bit further down the line. Now Twitter does offer some of the limited analytics on the iOS and Android app. Basically what they're going to give you is the most base level of engagement and views around a particular Tweet. So, the Tweet activity, they're going to show you the responses and the conversation that resulted from what you put out there. Just some very base level information in terms of, you know clicks and click-through to your profile picture. Again, not really hardcore marketing information, but great to kind of get a feel for how an individual tweet might be performing if you want to check it from your phone.

5.9 In-Depth Analytics

Now one of the handiest things about Twitter's native analytics is that they do give you access to actually export the data, and by having the ability to export the data and pull it into your own environment and really start to play around with it, you have the ability to gather much, much more relevent data and information. For example, Larry Kim over at Hubspot actually charted all of his tweets based on the time of day versus the engagement rate to see if he could find a pattern of what time of day he tended to have the highest level of engagement or the highest level of interaction so that he could actually plan his future posting around what tended to perform the best for him. Now there's also Twitter card analytics available if you're making use of any of the Twitter conversion cards. Now if you have clients that are using it, and you want to have the ability to go in and access it, or you want clients to be able to go in and take a look at what you might be doing internally, then you need to be able to go in and actually add access of different users into your account. So if you're within the Twitter analytics system you'll actually see a place that lists yourself as the account administrator and allows you to go in and add more users. And doing that means you just need to type in the Twitter handle of the person you want to give access to. Then you go on and select whether or not you want them to have administrative access, ad manger access, or simply analyst access so that they can get in and actually take a look at the data. Now what the data on those Twitter cards tends to look like is a very nice, easy, simple, almost conversion funnelesque view point. And what it does is it breaks down the overall data for all of the tweets posted by anyone Twitter user so not just what happens from yours but all tweets. So in this instance we had about 620,000 tweets and you can see the little subset there that 57 of those tweets came from the client account itself. Now, they will also give you access to the overall number of impressions. That was created via Twitter for all of your card content. So in this case we've got 17 million impressions with around 600,000 of those coming from the actual agency account that was doing the Tweeting. And then finally they'll give you some engagement and conversion data as well. How many clicks ended up coming in, how many install attempts, if it was a Twitter card for a mobile app, how many retweets. Just some basic information that helps you have a better feel for how things were actually working. Now they'll also give you some data in terms of tweets and impressions and URL clicks over time so that you can look to see perhaps what day of the week might be performing best for you. But also to look at the different sources of where people are engaging with your content to figure out, you know, are there particular types of users or particular interfaces. If you've got a lot of impressions that are coming in from mobile apps, you want to make sure that your cards and that your content are optimized for that mobile environment. They'll also give you some personalized tips here and there based off of things like what your, performance averages are. You know, what you might want to try doing to make some changes or to test some different things. Just to try and fine tune your campaign performance over time. Now, keep in mind that the channel analytics are great. You know what Twitter gives you, there's some really good information in there. There's good insight. There's good ability to really put that to work for you. But at the same time you have other analytics in place for your business. Or I would certainly hope that you have other analytics in place for your business and you need to be digging deeper and looking at this from that broader perspective of the key performance indicators that are tied to the campaign goals that you've put together. So things like customer service and how it's tying into that, the buzz and the chatter and the conversation. The impact that your tweets are having on sales, what the sentiment looks like around the campaigns and the conversation for your brand. And the traffic and links that you're managing to generate over time.

5.10 Tracking Conversation

The digging deeper into those if we look at the customer service side of things. It's asking yourself what that process looks like. Are your customer service issues getting addressed? Are they being passed on to your CRM team? Are you making note of resolution? Are you tracking over time to see what percentage of issues you have brought in and what the outcome is in terms of do you have happy customers or not? Looking at where those came from, did some one direct message your brand, as in they know you're there and you're going to answer, or were you scanning the conversation, looking for people to mention you by keyword as opposed to using your direct Twitter handle? You also want to look at things like the final outcome of the sentiment for customer service issues. Is it positive? Negative? Neutral? And then figuring out ways to make note of that impact. Are you tying your Twitter customer service into your overall CRM file? Are you tying it into your reputation management and your sentiment file? What does all of that look like, and is that something that you need to track for the size and scale of your brand? Now there's also the idea of the buzz and the chatter and the conversation and this ties back to the idea of reputation management which we talked about earlier in the series. But it's understanding how much buzz is there? How much do people talk about your company? How much are they talking about your products or services and is that going up or down over time based on the campaigns you're putting together and on the outreach efforts that you have in place. What conversation is actually taking place? Is it specific topics that come up more frequently? Do events or product launches tend to spark buzz? What is it that gets people talking? And what is it that gets people talking and responding and potentially converting. But also looking at who's it aimed at and how is it aimed. Again there's a big difference between people addressing your brand or your client company by using their Twitter handle versus simply mentioning the company as part of a broader tweet. When they use that Twitter handle, it's directed at you or at your client, and it means I want you to pay attention to me. But when it's just in the scope of broader conversation sometimes people feel a little bit like you're eavesdropping on them. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't respond or participate in that conversation, but it does mean that there's usually different intent based on how people end up mentioning you. And these are the things that you want to be tracking and taking into consideration as part of your response.

5.11 Goal Tracking

Now there's also the idea of tracking sales and conversions. If you're putting a discount code out on Twitter, you want to make sure that you're keeping track of how often people are using it. And to note, if you're putting codes out on Twitter, and Pinterest, and Instagram, and Facebook, and all sorts of different places, you want to make sure that you're putting different codes out for each channel, so that you can track the channels independently. You also want to keep in mind that you can go out and run a search for those codes online, to see, are people picking them up on Twitter, and taking them into other environments and sharing them? You want to track that spread of codes because sometimes that's going to identify places that may ultimately lead to a really nice source of traffic for you, even though it's not specifically on Twitter. So sometimes that Twitter tracking can end up turning up other resources that are really worth looking at from the marketing front. And then you want to track things like sales and lead generation, you know, what's coming in, what converts what level does it convert at? Now, you also want to make sure you're tracking your reputation. And again, we talked about reputation monitoring. But it's looking at things from that analytics perspective of what does the sentiment look like? Do people like you, or are they complaining about you? How are things trending over time? If you have a reputation problem, are you getting the sentiment to move in a positive direction, or are things actually getting worse? Is it driving non-Twitter conversation? In other words, does what you're doing on Twitter end up with an increase in links coming from other sites, in blog posts talking about you, in phone calls coming in? Is what you're doing there giving people a broader level of interest, and how can you track all of those things together, to look and see where the conversation originated versus where it may have ended? Now looking at that from the link perspective, you want to be tracking those links through to your site. You want to track the click-through rate on the links that you're posting to Twitter, but you also want to look at the total inbound links coming into your content. Not just from the Tweets you're putting out there, but Tweets that other people are putting out as well. You also want to look at the links that you're sharing to other sites. This is where things like URL shorteners or programs like HootSuite and SproutSocial, that have built-in analytics, can be really handy because they let you know when you share a link to another website, are people clicking on it. Because clearly, you're not on the receiving end of that site's analytics, but it's still really nice to know which pieces of content that you share get a good response and a good reaction. Then finally, things like traffic. Just tracking the overall traffic increases that are coming directly from Twitter. The overall traffic rise in your content that may come as a result of things on Twitter. If you have a piece of content that performs really well on Twitter and also performs really well on Facebook, trying to figure out sort of which one may have led the other, or if they performed well independently, can be really worthwhile to helping you know where to launch, how to launch and what the timing of that launch may look like, as part of your content marketing plan. Thank you so much for joining me for this final part in our series on Twitter marketing.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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