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How Twitter’s New Analytics Could Change The Way We Measure Social Marketing

Late last week, Twitter released a new version of the activity dashboard that includes Impressions, Clicks, Engagement Rate, Period-Over-Period comparisons, and other metrics that weren’t previously offered.

As a social media marketer, this is an exciting addition. But as a data-driven marketer? It’s a crucial one.

This update is not only a signal of things to come within the social marketing space, it’s also a harbinger of the core value that social media marketing brings to an entire marketing org.

Real, practical, and precise data.

I cut my teeth early in my career as a journalist. You can tell because in that last sentence I used the word “harbinger.” I’m pretty sure it was even in the right context. One thing I can tell you from that experience is that traditional media companies — TV, print, radio — have operated for years under many different assumptions about their audience.

“We think XX people saw our television spot.”

“We think XX people had the opportunity to see our newspaper ad.”

“It’s possible, based on a survey, that XX people heard our radio commercial.” 

Some analysis went into the decision-making process, but it was mainly based our actions on sample sets and overall circulation numbers — not always the most accurate figures, but the best you can do.

Social media marketers have the luxury of real data, all the way down to individual users and the actions they take with your content. Twitter’s new analytics allow marketers to hone in on more specific figures in their aggregate metrics.

Impressions: Not Just Potential Anymore

Real impressions. Twitter’s new metric allows a publisher to see an actual count of times users have been exposed to content. This is important for any social media marketer who plays a part in a broader marketing process. Conversion metrics need to be based on real numbers, which is difficult when looking at “potential” impressions. Impressions > Engagements > Site Visits > Etc. Whatever your “funnel” looks like, this metric is solid for understanding rates and setting goals for the top of that funnel.

Megaphone-With1This is not to take away from the Potential Impressions metric, which can provide some valuable tactical benchmarks and guides by showcasing the inherent value of interacting with influential Tweeters, and the possibility that lies in building those relationships. The Simply Measured Twitter Account Report allows you to chose which metrics you’d like to report on, real or potential.

Clicks: Not Just Anymore

Twitter now allows users to measure the clicks on any URL they post in a Tweet. This is a major bonus for any social media marketer. While UTMs allow you to track specific campaigns, URL clicks allow you to cut some of that legwork, and zero in on specific Tweets without creating individual campaigns or digging through Google Analytics.

Megaphone-With1 (1)This update is crucial for your conversion metrics, and allows marketers to make the connection between activity and site traffic. How many Tweets do you need to send to drive a specific number of visits to your company site? This is the kind of information that can prove valuable to your team, and your CMO, too.

Hashtags: Measure More than Mentions

With Twitter’s new dashboard, engagement metrics include any interaction with a Tweet. This includes @replies, Retweets, and Favorites, just like always, but now adds link clicks, and even hashtag clicks. If you’re using hashtags to promote discovery, brand a campaign, or drive engagement around a specific topic, this is a key component to your engagement strategy, and the ability to measure success can propel you to the next level.

Adding this type of engagement into your aggregate data also gives you a more complete look at your engagement, and engagement rate. @Replies and Retweets aren’t the only way your audience can interact with your content, and in some cases, it’s not even the most meaningful.

Simply Measured and Twitter came together to make these metrics available in our Twitter Account Report by simply adding the .CSV from your Twitter dashboard. This dynamically changes the charts tab to reflect your changes. For more information about how Simply Measured can make your analytics more usable, check out our full collection of Twitter reports, or sign up for a free 14-day trial of the full Simply Measured platform.

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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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