How to Use Analytics to Improve Your Tweets

Twitter is introducing analytics for all of your tweets, providing long-overdue access to engagement data like click-through rates and number of retweets. Previously, we’ve had to rely on external twitter tools to give us analytics (such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Twitonomy, or Keyhole). At last, Twitter has given us all the information necessary to discover what your Twitter followers like to read. Read on to learn how to use Twitter analytics to find your most popular tweet from the past year and other vital information about your Twitter presence.

1. Get Access

In order to access these analytics, Twitter is insisting that you register as an advertiser, and/or enable Twitter Cards. You do not—I repeat, do NOT— need to actually purchase anything. Simply entering your credit card information will satisfy Twitter and give you access to all the juicy data on your tweets. Alternately, you can enable Twitter Cards for your website by following these instructions.

2. Get Familiar

Now that you can see your Twitter analytics, get to know the tools. There are three main tabs: Tweets, Followers, and Twitter Cards. If you don’t have Twitter Cards enabled on your website, don’t worry about that last one.

The Tweets tab contains information about all of your tweets, including the number of impressions in newsfeeds, retweets, favorites, click-throughs, and times people expand your tweet.

Your followers tab displays easy-to-digest stats about your follower count over time, and the interests, location, and gender of your followers. For instance, 43% of my followers are into freelance writing. This information is incredibly useful for shaping twitter content to match your followers’ interests.

Export to Excel

So you have all the data—now what? Unfortunately, Twitter’s new analytics aren’t particularly good at telling you anything meaningful. How can you determine what your most popular tweet was? What about the tweet with the highest click-through rate? In order to discover these interesting facts about your twitter feed, you’ll need to export the data to Excel. Never fear! Twitter has made this extremely simple. Just click the “export data” button, and it will automatically save as a file called “tweet_activity_metrics.csv” to your downloads folder.


4. Find Your Most Popular Tweet

To determine your most popular tweet by the number of impressions in people’s newsfeeds, open the spreadsheet, click “data” in the top menu, and select “sort.”

For “column,” select “impressions,” and make sure “sort on” is set to “values.” Order them largest to smallest, and click ok. Voila! The first row will now reveal your most popular tweet from the past year (at least, that’s how far back the data went for my personal analytics).

5. Get Sorted

Sort by any other column you like to find out your most retweeted, clicked-on, or favorited tweets, and discover what you’ve been doing right on twitter. Alternately, sort lowest to highest to learn what might not be working as well as you thought on your readers. Perhaps your content needs a little refreshing, or maybe you’re already right on target. Now that you know how to use them, Twitter analytics can help you improve your online presence as an author.


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