As more and more companies decide that investing in a Twitter account is appropriate for their marketing campaign, one thing that traditionally gets lost in the discussion is how they will measure success.
A Twitter account, just like any form of marketing, requires a set of concrete goals that you hope to achieve through marketing in that channel. Are you looking to cut down on customer support calls? Looking to spread brand awareness or “thought leadership”? If you want to learn from what you’re doing, and find ways to become more successful on Twitter you’ll need to define a set of KPI’s.
To start off, you’ll want to track the basics. You can track this information using a variety of paid and free tools like Raven, Twitalyzer, Klout and a variety of others. They’ll provide KPI’s like:
- Post count – the number of times you’ve tweeted in a given time frame
- Replies – the number of times another person’s tweet has started with @username in a given time frame
- Retweets – The number of times you’re tweets have been “retweeted” in a given time frame
- Mentions – the number of times your username was included in a tweet (but wasn’t considered a reply)
- Friends & followers
You should look beyond these general KPIs and also look the following:
- What tweets received the most attention? What can you learn from those tweets? Were they related to a contest or a particular subject? You can use a service like TweetEffect to determine which tweets cause you to gain or lose followers.
- Are Twitter users mentioning your business name without using your Twitter account? Are they aware that you even exist on Twitter?
- Use a service like Twist to look for trends of product names and keywords
- Overall sentiment in replies to your Twitter account
- What day and time of day were your tweets most effective (with regards to replies, retweets and URL clicks)?
Once you have that in place you’re going to want to make sure that you have a backup tracking system in place for any links you tweet about to your site. Google Analytics has been known to not count all Twitter traffic that actually visits your site. Use a URL shortener with GA tracking code capabilities like bit.ly or kl.am to have a better idea of how many visitors your links are actually getting.
The question most people fail to ask when looking at their data is “why?” If you see an increase in follower count or replies, don’t simply report on the number. Form a hypothesis as to why you believe the increase or decrease occurred. Once you start asking questions and forming hypothesis, you’ll find there is a lot more to report on than just followers.
Taylor Pratt is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Internet Marketing Tools. With Raven you can conduct research and analysis, manage link building campaigns, track search engine trends, instantly produce ROI reports for SEO and SMM campaigns, and collaborate with team members with intuitive multi-user features.