Twitter’s analytics suite has always been fairly limited but a huge update from the company on Friday gives advertisers a veritable smorgasbord of data to help them better understand their tweet activity, including impressions, engagement, link clicks, retweets and more.
The functionality is free and open to anyone who has ever used Twitter’s ad dashboard, published a Twitter card or is in possession of a verified account. Simply head on over to ads.twitter.com and select Tweet activity from the Analytics drop down menu.
Here’s how the data looks, courtesy of @Buzzfeed’s Twitter profile (which Twitter shared):
If you’re a fan of internet analytics you’ll love this – there’s a ton to look at and I found myself refreshing the dashboard throughout the day to see updates and figure out which of my tweets was generating the most engagement. As usual, the results are always interesting and sometimes quite surprising.
However, what this update has also exposed – which Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan writes about here and I first talked about back in 2011 – is how few of your followers actually see any of your given tweets, irrespective of how popular you are and how many followers you have, and how this clouds Twitter’s reported engagement levels.
As I wrote in 2011:
In my opinion, the average Twitter profile can expect, at any given moment, that about 1 per cent of their followers is paying them any attention whatsoever.
How did I come to this conclusion? Well, it’s entirely anecdotal, but don’t hold that against me. Here’s the math:
- I would estimate that at any given time of the day when you are using Twitter, no more than 10 per cent of your followers are also using Twitter, and
- I would also estimate that at any given time of the day when you are using Twitter, no more than 10 per cent of that 10 per cent of your followers also using Twitter are proactively looking out for your tweets
10 per cent of 10 per cent is 1 per cent. So, if you have 1,000 followers,
sciencemy gut tells me that, at most, 10 of them are reading that tweet you just published.
As an example, I have over 8,200 followers and, according to Twitter, my most-seen tweet over the weekend picked up 617 impressions. That’s 7.5 percent. Of those, 60 engaged with the tweet in some capacity. Now, Twitter happily reports that tweet as having an engagement rate of 9.7 percent, but it’s an illusion, as a true engagement rate of that level would mean 751 people engaged with the tweet. They didn’t. What Twitter is doing is reporting an engagement rate based on impressions – that is, who saw the tweet – rather than followers, which is not the same thing at all.
The actual engagement rate for that tweet, based on followers, was 0.73 percent. Slightly short of that 1 percent I talked about above.
Still, this is a welcome update and a useful tool for marketers, or anyone who wants to dig deeper into their Twitter analytics.
(ROI image via Shutterstock.)