On social media, it’s far too easy to be long-winded. Facebook allows us to upload entire photo albums and filter them later. Pinterest encourages our propensity to curate, but if we can’t decide, it’s okay to “pin” everything. Instagram allows us to create filtered photos to our heart’s content.
With all this content, measuring it can be difficult. How do you decide whether it’s better for your photo to “pinned” a hundred times, or “liked” a thousand times? Do you want to have more “friends” or “fans?” Maintaining a successful social media isn’t easy, and without good metrics it’s even more difficult.
If you’re getting started with social media metrics, Twitter is the best place the start. Tweets are famously short, less than 160 characters, and the Twitter API allows you to track data with ease. While we featured a number of Twitter tracking tools last year, here are some other tools you might find helpful as you begin tracking your Twitter account.
One of the most important, if obvious, things that distinguishes Twitter from other social media is its emphasis on user interaction. Tweeting and re-tweeting takes just a few seconds, so people who might be observers on other platforms are active almost by default on Twitter. SocialBro takes advantage of Twitter’s active user base to give you insight into how your followers are using Twitter.
With real-time analytics, SocialBro lets you know when your tweets are most likely to be read by your followers so you can optimize your social media strategy. You can also identify the “influencers” among your followers, so you can cultivate your relationship with them. SocialBro also allows you to analyze the Twitter profiles of your competitors, so you can stay on top of your field. Plans start at $6.95/month, and can be scaled up for a business of any size.
If you’re just getting started with Twitter analytics, and want some quick stats to show to your boss, TweetStats is a great free service to use. By demonstrating when you tweet and how often, you can show your activity online. And, by graphing out who interacts with you on Twitter, you can demonstrate the platform’s value for future investment.
If you’re preparing an annual report or just want to keep track of how you use Twitter over time, Tweet Archivist is an inexpensive, but robust tool that gives complete reports on your Twitter account. From tracking hashtags to following tweets made during a conference or event, Tweet Archivist gives you the information you need to know about your Twitter account and makes it easy to archive your work.
If you’re not using a major analytics tool, but have the sudden need to find out just who’s retweeting information about you or your company, Tweet Reach is the perfect temporary solution. For professionals, Tweet Reach’s trackers can keep up with tweeting as it happens, so if something goes incredibly right—or wrong—on Twitter you can respond quickly before everything gets out of control.
When you get a new follower, sometimes you want to know as much about them as possible. Foller Me is a great tool for learning about your new users, and also provides a quick profile of your own account, just in case you want to see how others see you. For a more judgmental version of the same service, try Tweet Grader, which attaches a score to any account.
If you want a free analytic service that still offers a full and robust feature set, Twenty Feet is a great service to use, particularly its ability to track “influencers” who are easily your most valuable followers.
For someone who’s just starting out with social media, Twitter is a great tool to perfect, as its simple interface and active user base gives you the opportunity to test out techniques for engaging your users. By using metrics you can turn your use of Twitter into a science. Once you’ve mastered tweeting, the rest of the social media world seems easy.
Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources