How to Use Twitter Analytics to Find Important Data

social media how to Do you use Twitter’s built-in analytics tool?

Are you looking for new ways to measure success on Twitter?

Twitter’s Analytics tool is the social network’s best-kept secret and gives you access to data that other third-party services can’t.

In this article I’ll show you how to get access to Twitter Analytics and find the data you need to track your campaign success.

Access Twitter Analytics

[Editor's Note: This article was written before a recent update to Twitter's Analytics Dashboard. We've updated the article with new information and screenshots.]

Like Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter’s analytics feature is designed to be used by the company’s potential paying customers. In other words, only accounts with Advertiser status can access Twitter analytics data.

twitter analytics graphic

Find out how to use Twitter’s analytics dashboard to find the data you’re looking for.

If you don’t already have an advertiser account, you can request advertiser status by going to https://analytics.twitter.com. You’ll have to submit some information about your company, including payment information.

You’ll also need to set up a Promoted Tweet or Twitter Card campaign. However, if you set the campaign to run on a future date, you can cancel it when you get access to Analytics — that way you don’t actually have to pay.

When your account is changed to advertiser status, log in to see the Twitter Analytics dashboard. You have access to four distinct sections: Tweets, Followers, Twitter Cards and a drop down menu with options to Switch accounts (handy if you handle more than one Twitter account) and Edit access to account.

tweet activity

Use Twitter’s analytics dashboard to find the data you’re looking for.

I share the useful functions of each of those options below.

Tweets Dashboard

The tweets dashboard is the best place to find detailed information about how your outgoing messages are performing. At a glance you can see the month’s interaction and the best tweets you sent out.

The top graph on the page shows the past month of activity in terms of mentions, follows and unfollows. You can also see daily performance—just hover over the date you want more information for.

mentions, follows and unfollows metrics

Use Twitter Analytics to track monthly impressions.

Under the graph is a section that highlights all of your recent tweets and details the impressions, engagement and engagement rate associated with each tweet.

tweet performance comparisons

Find out which tweets did the best to find out what content your leads respond to.

In the right sidebar you can see engagement over the last month. Use this data to figure out which days showed the best performance and replicate the tactics used on those days.

If you want to compare this month’s data to past data, you can download a CSV file (click Export Data) with details on tweets for the past several months.

You can then use that data to determine whether interaction has changed, what content your leads interacted with most and when they interacted with it.

Now you know which tweets to reschedule and when to post them.

Followers Dashboard

The Followers component of Twitter Analytics offers insights that third-party services can’t necessarily provide. In addition to tracking follower increases and information on gender and location (charting the top countries, states and cities where your audience members live), the Followers dashboard is the easiest way to find out which topics your followers find most interesting.

By tracking your audience’s changing interests, you will know what areas you should focus on for both original content and the content you retweet.

interests data

Know what your audience responds to so you can plan more relevant content for them.

The Follower dashboard also shows you the top ten accounts your followers follow, ranked by percentage.

follower data

A quick look at these audience profiles shows that they like accounts offering research-based resources on education.

Use this insight to better understand what kind of information your followers are interested in on Twitter.

Twitter Cards Dashboard

If you use Twitter cards to promote your business, click the Twitter Cards link at the top of your dashboard to track how they’re working out. Modify any cards that aren’t performing well or try out another type of card.

Manage User Profiles

You can give other Twitter users access to the dashboard as needed. However, you don’t have to give the new users access to campaigns. You can set permissions so they can only access analytics data. This way, employees who don’t post on Twitter but may have use for the data can log into your brand’s analytics to find what they need.

To manage user profiles, hover your mouse over your account name (in the right corner) and choose Edit Access to Account from the menu.

user account information

You can give team members access to your Twitter Analytics account.

In the pop-up box, type the username (not the Twitter handle) of the person you want to grant access to. Next, choose the level of access that person can have—administrator or analyst.

user account set up

Determine how much access your new user has.

You can add any number of users and change their access permissions, including removing them completely.

Switch Between Managed Accounts

If you use your Twitter handle to manage multiple Twitter accounts, you can access each of those within your Analytics dashboard. Click on your username, select Switch Accounts from the menu and click the name of the account you want to work with.

account switching

Switch among multiple accounts and set a primary account if you want to.

You can also set a primary account so when you log back in, you go straight that account’s analytics and bypass the main dashboard.

Conclusion

Each of the streamlined Twitter Analytics dashboards offers specific data you need to track campaigns and your overall account success. Being able to mine your Twitter data for a deeper look at what’s working and what’s not is an important factor in promoting your brand on Twitter.

What do you think? Do you use Twitter Analytics? What features do you find the most useful? Please share in the comments!

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About the Author, Alex Bossenger

Alex Bossenger, a social media strategist living in Bloomington, Indiana, also writes for Treble and Bad Rhino. Follow his Twitter/Instagram (@Bossenger_Says) for nerdy ramblings and tie selfies. Other posts by »




More Info
  • http://matthewjadams.tumblr.com/ Matthew J. Adams

    My dashboard features are not the same as the images included in this post (i.e. no graph for unfollows, ability to sort, etc). Any ideas about resolving the discrepancy?

  • Joe Savitch

    I have tried, and tried, and tried to convert one of our accounts to advertiser status. Each time I end up at a screen asking me for a credit card and to send a promoted tweet. I have read dozens of articles such as this saying just “request it” like it is easy peazy, lemon squeezy… What am I missing? Should it be this complicated or hard? I know twitter wants me to pay but I just want the data and if the data supports running promoted tweets well we’ll talk. It shouldn’t be the other way ’round.

  • Nik Andreev

    Twitter has updated the dashboard. I think they changed it about 10 days ago. Still a very good read! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachael

    Same here Joe, it keeps requesting me to set up twitter cards.

  • Julie Scheurer Graff

    Ok, I’m not going crazy. I kept wondering why ours didn’t look like the pics in the article.

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  • http://elrondburrell.com/ Elrond Burrell

    I think you might have to create a twitter card or campaign first, and enter credit card details, to set up the advertiser account. (It’s a while since I did mine.) Once you’ve done that you don’t have to activate the campaign, or you may even be able to delete it, either way nothing goes out on your timeline, so you don’t pay for anything. (It’s all pay-per-click I think – the payment/cost side is an area I think twitter could be clearer about)

  • Cosmic Charly

    Same problem here…

  • nirajbariya

    Hi really nice article ! I tried to access my twitter analytics but nothing comes up it just refreshed the same page again and again !

    Any Idea?

  • http://www.alexbossenger.com A.T. Bossenger

    Hi all! You are correct that Twitter altered the look and feel (and a small amount of features) of their dashboard about two weeks after I submitted this post. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of the business!

    For the most part, the features displayed in this post still apply. The “Tweets” portion of the dashboard is the only portion that was actually altered, and most of the data is still the same. The only unfortunate change is that they removed the option to view the ‘good’ and ‘best’ tweets recently sent from your account. However they added other, easy to use shorting options.

    Again, sorry about this slight deviation from the article, but I’m here to answer any additional questions, or you can Tweet them to me @Bossenger_Says.

    Thank you SO MUCH for reading!

  • http://www.alexbossenger.com A.T. Bossenger

    Hi all! You are correct that Twitter altered the look and feel (and a small amount of features) of their dashboard about two weeks after I submitted this post. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of the business!

    For the most part, the features displayed in this post still apply. The “Tweets” portion of the dashboard is the only portion that was actually altered, and most of the data is still the same. The only unfortunate change is that they removed the option to view the ‘good’ and ‘best’ tweets recently sent from your account. However they added other, easy to use shorting options.

    Again, sorry about this slight deviation from the article, but I’m here to answer any additional questions, or you can Tweet them to me @Bossenger_Says.

    Thank you SO MUCH for reading!

  • http://www.alexbossenger.com A.T. Bossenger

    Hi Matthew. I think I answered this question above, but I’m here to dive into specifics if you have more questions. Thanks for reading!

  • Guest

    PS- Here’s a screen shot of what the new sorting options for the “Tweets” portion of the dashboard.

  • Guest

    PS- Here’s a screenshot of the new sorting options for the “Tweets” portion of the dashboard.

  • http://www.alexbossenger.com A.T. Bossenger

    Hi Joe. You might have to set up a Twitter Card Campaign, per @elrondburrell:disqus’s advice below. I set up all my accounts on Analytics before Twitter Cards were launched so it’s possible that’s a step that wasn’t included in my sign up.

    I did, however, submit credit card info and – to this day – have not been charged.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks for reading, Joe!

  • http://www.alexbossenger.com A.T. Bossenger

    Addressed this above more, but @nik_andreev:disqus is right- they made some slight changes to the “tweets” section of the dashboard about a week ago. Other than that, the screenshots here should be accurate.

    Thanks for reading, Julie!

  • http://matthewjadams.tumblr.com/ Matthew J. Adams

    Thanks. I think you have gone on to answer some of the more detailed questions in subsequent comments.

  • yumcheese

    I have the same question. Social Media Examiner / Alex Bossenger, can you provide more details on this part?

  • yumcheese

    I have the same question. Social Media Examiner / Alex Bossenger, can you provide more details on this part?

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thank you all for the feedback. We’re working now to get the article updated.

  • Beth Mead

    A while ago I discovered Twitter advertising and analytics is only available to accounts in the US, who also have a credit card in the US. We’re based in Hong Kong and tried to set up an advertiser account with a HK credit card. Do any of you know if it’s still US only?

  • http://www.atomicdust.com/ Danielle Hohmeier

    Really glad Twitter has started offering their own Analytics to uses, though I still think they are limited compared to the insights you get on Facebook. I’d argue that for most businesses ‘clicks’ is the most important metric to measure success on Twitter, and that doesn’t have its own column in Twitter Analytics. It also isn’t listed in the exported CSV either. I’ve also found that the exported CSV doesn’t always follow the timeframe I’ve selected – so that’s just a usability bug.

    They have got a way to go, but this is progress.

    - Danielle Hohmeier

  • http://www.atomicdust.com/ Danielle Hohmeier

    Did you try going ahead and setting up the credit card info? even if you plug that info in, they won’t charge you unless you set up ads.

    If that doesn’t work, I’d suggest settting up an ad and setting the timeframe in the future (like to start the next day or something). See if you get ads, and then go in an pause or delete that scheduled ad campaign.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Lorie Lewis

    Knowing what tools to use is half the battle. This short video will walk through several example social media dashboards and how to build your own, including how to collect the social data that you want using services provided.









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