I love statistics and analytics. No, I don’t mean statistical analyses and finding what the mean and standard deviation of things are, I mean seeing statistics and analytics of things I actually use, such as websites and social networks.
In the social network department, the most interesting one is definitely Twitter. Believe it or not, I’m fairly new on Twitter, and using it seems like a constant process of learning from what has already been done. Basic stats can help you tweet more effectively, and also understand the reach of your tweets a lot better. Here are two different tools which can give you some insight into your Twitter usage, and help you see where you stand and how you can improve.
Buffer’s Analytics Dashboard
Buffer is a service we’ve covered in the past, which lets you buffer your tweets and post them at the best times and intervals in order to get more clicks. You can use Buffer as an add-on in your browser, as a mobile app on your Android or iOS device, and there’s also a web app, where you can find Buffer’s analytics dashboard.
Buffer only gives you analytics on what you tweet through it, so if you’re only just starting to use it, you won’t see any analytics yet, but Buffer is a very effective tweeting tool, and once you start tweeting with it, you can immediately access your Buffer dashboard and click on “Analytics” to see some stats.
In the analytics tab, you can see a list of all your tweets, with information such as clicks, potential exposure, retweets and favorites for each tweet.
This gives you a nice overview of which tweets did well and which didn’t do as well. If you want to see more details, click on the block you’re interested in; you can do this with the retweets block, the mentions block and the favorites block (if there are any). When you click, you will see a list of Twitter users. Clicking the “retweets” button, for example, will shows you who exactly retweeted your tweet, and to how many followers.
The same way, you can also see a list of anyone who favorited this specific tweet. As you can see in the screenshot, you also get a neat row of all the profile pictures of those who retweeted/favorited your tweet.
The dashboard also gives you a quick and easy way to follow these users or reply to them. By clicking on the “Reply” or “Thank” button, you can write your reply right from the dashboard, and then choose whether you’d like to post it now or add it to your buffer.
There is one glitch worth mentioning: Sometimes, when several people share the same link through Buffer, the number of clicks which shows on your dashboard is the total number of clicks for this link, not just for your specific tweet. As you can see in the screenshot below, this tweet registers 384 clicks, but was tweeted to only 38 followers, with no one retweeting it. The developers assure me this little bug will be fixed in future updates, though.
TwitSprout gives you a whole different look on Twitter analytics. While Buffer gives you an in-depth look at each tweet by itself, and is mainly aimed at personal use, TwitSprout is a powerful analytics app which analyzes your whole account and can be used by large companies as well. TwitSprout offers a free option which lets you add up to 3 different Twitter accounts.
To start, go to TwitSprout and create an account. You can then add up to three Twitter accounts you want to analyze.
Since TwitSprout analyzes all your recent Twitter data, it can take up to 6 days for it to create your analytics. You will get an e-mail notification when it’s done.
Once it’s ready, TwitSprout will continue updating each hour, so you won’t have to wait 6 days ever again (unless you add a new account). Your analytics include several graphs, such as follower growth per day, daily tweets, hourly change in followers and historical account growth.
As you can see, these graphs are colorful and easy to read, the text is color-coded and they all give you some insight on what’s happened to your entire Twitter account over the past week.
Over on the right side, you can change the date you’re looking at to any date in the past (after the analytics were created), or export your analytics to a PDF or CSV file. If you want to understand the graphs better, click on the question mark.
This will enable the metrics help, which will appear next to your graphs as you move your mouse cursor around. These are detailed explanation about each and every provided metric.
You can see how everything is calculated and get some tips on how to use the stats along the way.
The Power Of Stats
Buffer’s analytics dashboard and TwitSprout are two very different tools, and while they both provide statistics, you can probably make the most of them by using both at the same time. From Buffer, you can learn a lot about clicks and retweets, see exactly who retweeted your tweets and interact with them, and from TwitSprout, you can get a general picture of how your account is doing, what times are best to tweet on (you can then change your Buffer preferences accordingly), and more.
Do you know of more cool ways to get some Twitter analytics? Do you even find these analytics useful? Share in the comments!