social media how toTwitter is a powerful marketing tool.  But have you considered using the power of Twitter to enhance marketing efforts—social media or not?  This article will show you how.

Most people talk about Twitter in terms of getting to know people, building lists and using followers.  But for marketers and business owners, that’s just the start.

The Laser Focus of Twitter

One of the reasons I prefer Twitter to Facebook is that it’s much more focused, and in that regard, is much more business-oriented. As opposed to Facebook, where business and social are separated by pages and profiles, Twitter combines it all together in an easy-to-follow format.

Better yet, the discussion and feedback loop occurs in real time, which means that you can achieve instant results.

So what does this mean, and why is it so important?

Imagine waking up every morning to a room full of fans, peers, and associates. How would you react? What if they were waiting for you to say something?

Would you just talk about the weather, or would you say something more meaningful?

Let’s imagine that this happened every day, and that each day you had the same opportunity to speak to these people. Sure, some have left, and there are some new faces, but each day the dynamic remains the same.

If you were smart, you’d probably improve your daily speech to a point that you can captivate most of the room with little effort, so that you could move them to action.

Now, swap out the room full of people with your list of Twitter followers and think about the power you have. Essentially, you have anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand people ready to listen to what you’re saying. The trick then is to figure out how to say it in a way that they respond to.

Getting it yet?

Every tweet you send is a chance for you to hone your approach to your audience in a way that increases your ROI and ROE (Return on Engagement, or Effort, take your pick). Furthermore, thanks to the analytic features of most URL shortening services, you can track what people are clicking on, over time, in a way that works just like split-testing would with direct response advertising.

Think about this for a minute… Instead of paying thousands to hire a copywriter and test direct response campaigns, you can test them on your own and see immediate results.

How to Use Twitter Analysis

Here’s how you do it:

#1: Add a Plus to Links

If you’ve been using TweetDeck or another Twitter service that uses links, then here’s a great tip:

Go through your timeline and pull out links, paste them into your browser, and add a “+” on the end. This will automatically send you to the statistics page for that link, which gives you conversation history, clicks and regional analysis.

Not only is this a great way to yank out and measure the effectiveness of your tweet history, but it also gives you the opportunity to analyze your competitors!

Want to know how well someone else’s tweets are faring? Pull out the “+” and you’re in business.

bitly plus

Notice the additional "+" at the end of the link.

bitly clicks

This additional "+" will give you aggregate data based on your link on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking services. Click the yellow "+" image to see aggregate data.

#2: Split-Test Tweet Headlines

Now that we’ve pulled out some of your old tweets, let’s test them against some fresh ones. Take a look at what didn’t work, and think about how you can play with the content in order to create a new test.

You’ve only got 140 characters to work with, so you have to be concise. This works in your favor because it simplifies your message in the same way an AdWords headline does. Simple is good.

Try an old link with a new headline and see what happens. Did more people click this time or last? When did most people click? Which people click on everything, and which don’t?

Asking (and answering) these types of questions can give you insight on how to market your business in the social media space, especially if you continue to split-test against winning headlines.

bitly analytics

Here's a breakdown of today's clicks, over the course of an hour. You can view this in daily, weekly or monthly format.

#3: Split-Test Time Zones

Using headline split-tests, you’ll quickly learn how to approach your followers in a way that encourages them to respond, but what about followers in different time zones? How do you handle that?

Using any Twitter scheduling service, you can easily learn when your tweets are most effective. Simply schedule the same tweet (using a different link) throughout different parts of the day. Maybe start with every 4-6 hours, and then refine your approach as the data comes in.

You might learn that even though you tweet from the U.S., your biggest response comes from Australia when it’s your evening and their morning. If that’s the case, you can adjust your online interaction in a way that corresponds to when you have the greatest impact, and if that can’t be done, then you can simply schedule your Tweets to repeat throughout the day.

bitly location

Here's a list of clicks by country, which you can use to see who's paying attention and when.

Put It All Together

Now that we’ve assembled a nice analytics package, let’s crank it up to 11. To start with, make sure that you’re using your most powerful headlines when it counts, and shelving them when it doesn’t. A customer reply might not necessitate a powerful call to action, but a link to a new product or blog post should.

Also, take note of the influencers you attract and what they’re tweeting on your behalf. Find out how you can get them to do more of it.

Next, take what you’ve learned and apply it to your content marketing strategy. The same things that worked for tweets will probably work for releasing blog posts, podcasts and emails.

Copy headlines, schedule broadcasts and release posts when people respond most rather than when it’s convenient. This could make a significant impact on your reach, especially if you haven’t been tracking it before.

Just imagine what you can do with all of that data, especially if you start tracking the same metrics on Facebook, your blog, YouTube and anywhere else you have a social media presence.

This is the sort of thing that separates the pros from the amateurs, and it’s how you can make sure you know exactly what your social media efforts are bringing in. You can take that to the bank.

What do you think?  Have you used Twitter as a marketing tool? Share some of your comments in the box below.

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  • Agree totally with tracking and testing with all social media profiles. I wish Hootsuite used links only work for Twitter:(

  • janetaronica

    This was a really helpful article for me. I haven’t thought about trying Tweeting the same link with a different headline before, but that’s a good tactic. Also, we’re on East Coast time but I think it’s a good point to recognize that we should keep in mind to even continue to Tweet out relevant article links into the work hours for our West Coast followers.

  • drburt

    This is a killer post. Simple and Precise directions on how to use bit.Ly analytics and measure your Twitter compaigns. I have a separate Twitter account from my main account that I use as a broadcast tool. Everything that I have ever published is coming out every 15 minutes and shows the real search results on Twitter Search. I will use a “+” today to measure the results. Thank you for this valuable information.

  • It’s also great to spy on other people’s Tweets too, especially the competition 🙂

  • I used to think that I’d annoy people by re-posting, but it turns out that I have different readers in the AM than I do in the PM. Really strange how it works, but I definitely recommend you give it a shot!

  • As much as I love Hootsuite, I find that their UI is lacking in several areas, tracking is another issue.

  • SpringleafStrat

    Great post, Nathan!! Very insightful, helpful, and eye-opening. I’ve been trying to do much of the same thing for our social media efforts, so it’s nice to see this post reinforce that–as well as offer some new ideas/tips!

  • You should try out Socialblaze then. You can do as much analysis as you need for each individual post. For example, Socialblaze breaks down each post by how much engagement (Twitter – replies/mentions, retweets & Facebook – comments/likes) it got so you can easily compare the results of any post.

    Plus, there’s a whole lot more you can do with it (social media monitoring + engagement).

  • Brilliant Nathan, I never knew it was so easy to measure your Twitter impact. Going to put it into action right away!!!


  • Great post – Great insights! It can get easy to get lazy on the testing…thanks!

  • drburt

    Twitter works and it works well 🙂

  • Yeah, it is very easy to get lazy 🙂

  • Let me know what you think 🙂

  • Outstanding, glad I could help 🙂

  • Thanks Nathan for this valuable article! I’ve been using budurl for my tweets before but I guess it’s time to try now.


  • Wow! Was not aware of Thank You Very Much for Sharing!

  • Nathan, Nathan, Nathan!

    You are giving it all away!

    I command you on your generosity!

  • social media is very popular in today’s online world and one of it is twitter. Twitter helps a lot to many people but for newbies they need information like your post to help them enhance their marketing. Thanks Nathan for the post!

  • Fantastic post! Trying to figure out how to work twitter for my business…and this is a major find for me! ((Applause)) Thanks so much.


  • @Cassie Rice, Thanks for the suggestion! I will try Socialblaze

  • Once again another great, informative post by you. Twuitter is so important, and it is nice to see some promotion

  • Mike

    Brilliant article Thanks Nathan. Found this through ReelSEO. Its in my favourites.

    All the very best

  • Candace

    This is a great post Nathan, it explained a lot of things I never realized about Twitter.

  • WOW NATHAN! You are awesome and definitely over-deliver! Thanks for writing and explaining it all so well. I’ll try to put into action before the conference starts!

  • Love this post – I had no idea I could get stats like that from – Very helpful – Merci!

  • Sconklin87

    I had no idea it was so easy to track the statistics from your twitter page. I’m definitely curious about that and going to experiment with this a little in the future.

  • Thanks for sharing this article. I learned a lot. But what is the most effective site to use to promote our business? twitter or facebook?

  • Nice post, didn’t know about adding a “+” to the end of a link.

  • Daniel

    This is an excellent post. I did not know about adding the + sign at the end of links. Exactly what I was looking for

  • Good tip about using the “+” Have already played with it and it’s great to be able to quickly check up on links without having to sign in to
    I do sometimes use cotweet to repeat tweets at night when Aussies and others are awake, it’s a useful approach.

  • Joe

    Awesome post. I like being able to view and analyze all my twitter data on one spreadsheet page. I use This is NOT my company, but I do have a referral link that will give your readers access for only $3… I am going to post this article on my blog as well. Hope this provides some value for you! Thanks.

  • caseystewart

    Never really knew how big of a role Twitter played in social media for businesses after reading the article I believe it is a greater asset then Facebook to the Social Networking industry.

  • Very interesting article. It’s funny how history can be twisted in so many different ways. These photos certainly give us clues, but I guess we’ll never know the true story. . . .

  • nice

  • Good post about Twitter. I think many people may find it interesting to see how one might use Twitter and analytics to test direct response campaigns.

  • Great post, Nathan! There’s some awesome tips in there explained very well. It is also interesting to see what happens as new kinds of social media analytics come into the picture…

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