The new Twitter Analytics: The Yeah!, Ugh! And So What?
Yesterday, Mashable posted a short write-up (with screenshots) on the new Twitter Analytics tool rumored to be coming soon. The gist is that you can see insightful information, such as follow and unfollow trends, top content, and influencers in your Twittersphere based on mentioning you or retweeting your tweets, all for an individual Twitter account. It’s not surprising that Twitter has added this analytics layer and that one of the two, shared screenshots is focused on performance of Promoted Tweets. Companies using Twitter to drive business objectives have always demanded analysis of their performance.
This move by Twitter is a great validation of what Spredfast has been seeing in our customer base for some time - analytics are critical to social media success. Both individuals and companies using Twitter are going to have a better understanding of their Twitter world, and we should all be better off for that.
In the eyes of the business world, Twitter could produce a “Hell Yeah!” by releasing this new service with a well-documented API so that third parties, like Spredfast, being used by the businesses could incorporate that data.
There are some companies whose sole business is Twitter or Twitter analytics, and these guys are probably saying something worse than “Ugh!” It’s hard to compete with the horse’s mouth.
The So What?
The kind of insights Twitter is looking at providing is great, basic stuff. From our perspective, though, the analytics Twitter is talking about only scratch the surface of what companies really need. Primarily, the way Twitter provides the data lacks context. For example:
- Companies often have multiple authors working behind the scenes to produce good Twitter content and engagement. Twitter only shows the big picture. How do you find out which author is producing the best content across time?
- Companies are definitely using more than just Twitter. While you could never expect Twitter to pull in more information from Facebook or LinkedIn, that is really what companies need.
- How does a given person's activity - or more importantly a team or initiative's activity - compare to people or groups with similar objectives (brand awareness) in similar industry (consumer electronics)? We believe that industry and objective specific benchmarks provide crucial context to answer the questions like - is 200 retweets last month good or bad? That depends quite a bit on context.
These are the types of questions our customers ask and answer using Spredfast analytics.
Social Networks and Business
The new Twitter Analytics tools will serve as another test point for social network providers. How open will they be? How easy are they to do business with for companies like us. Time will tell.