Maybe you retweet a couple of things a week when you have time to log in for a few, or perhaps you’re even making time daily to engage influencers. You’re really ahead of the vast majority of your peers if you’re using Twitter to promote your content. But unless your Twitter is a massive powerhouse of engagements and link clicks, you have a ton of room to improve!
One year ago, I decided to make a concerted effort to improve my Twitter strategy.
A huge part of this meant using Twitter Analytics much in the same way we use web analytics – to reveal valuable insights that drive improved performance in future.
As you can see in this graph of my Twitter follower count, I was ticking along with several thousands of followers for years, but never really getting anywhere… that is, until I really amped up my efforts around April 2014.
Since then, I’ve seen almost hockey stick-like growth and have gone from about 10,000 Twitter followers to more than 76,000.
Followers have to be engaged in your content and actively viewing and clicking on your tweets for the number to be meaningful. In the first three months of 2014, my tweets earned about 1.5 million impressions. In the same 90 days this year, from January 1 to March 31:
That’s about 180,000 impressions per day, which is more than 10 times the exposure my tweets were earning just one year ago!
In just the last three months, my tweets have earned:
- 25.3K Retweets
- 27.8 Favorites
- 173.4 Link Clicks, many to my website and my own content elsewhere on the web!
Crazy, right? Twitter is a huge driver of qualified traffic to my site, thanks in large part to these four super actionable Twitter hacks.
Twitter Marketing Hack #1: Use analytics to identify your top performing tweets, then tweet more of what works.
International Conversion Day took place April 9 and presented a great opportunity for me to get in front of people interested in something relevant to my business. Whatever your business or industry, you’re going to find these relevant occasions to tap into.
One thing I do regularly is test different variations of basically the same message to see what resonates. This first tweet had a measly dozen link clicks, and had an overall engagement rate of less than 1 percent:
Boooooring. Obviously my audience thought so, too.
So I tried again, with this one:
Now this tweet was a winner. It earned 307 link clicks (5% engagement rate) saying the same thing and pointing to the same webpage, yet it generated 25 times more clicks!
Using Twitter Analytics allows you to look beyond the retweets and favorites to impressions and engagement rate. It helps you understand what sucked and what you need to do differently next time. This is a huge timesaver for me, because I can see instantly which tweets are worth rescheduling and just scrap the losers.
Twitter Marketing Hack #2: Learn from those winners and make more of them.
Sure, you can reschedule your winners on Twitter, but you can also use Twitter Analytics to drive your content strategy elsewhere, as well.
Testing topic ideas is tough if you’re doing it with full-length blog posts; it takes a lot of time and effort to create each one. Ensure that more of your blog posts and articles are winners by testing topics out on Twitter, first.
See which ideas and angles resonate with your audience by measuring engagement with specific tweets. For example, I decided to write this silly column on Inc.com after tweeting about the infographic:
People loved it! The article was shared 2.3k times across social channels, which is 3x more than the average article on Inc.com. But then, I had vastly increased the chances of that happening by writing about something I already knew my audience liked.
People tend to spend most of their time writing and then try to figure out how to promote it. Spend more time using analytics to see what your audience responds to, then write only about the winners. Generally, I’m looking for high single or even double-digit engagement rates in Twitter Analytics to tell me a topic idea is a winner.
Twitter Marketing Hack #3: Focus on online areas of impact.
Twitter tells you a great many useful things about your audience. For example, I can see that my followers are overwhelmingly interested in technology, marketing, entrepreneurship, leadership, and advertising.
I can also see that 25 percent of my followers also follow the Inc.com Twitter account. In the spirit of focusing on the activities that have the greatest impact, I started writing columns for Inc.com in January of this year, focusing on those topics my audience find most interesting.
This laser focus has a huge impact – you’re essentially just using Twitter Analytics to give people more of what they want, more often:
In just the first three months of this year using this tactic, I more than doubled my Twitter following!
Twitter Marketing Hack #4: Cut the crap.
Remember, always, that quality is key. If quality didn’t matter, you could go use one of those sketchy followback services to just buy yourself a few million Twitter followers. But if you’re using Twitter as part of your online marketing strategy, you need to attract the right types of people and keep them engaged.
What you want to see is that your impressions are increasing over time, but without dropping your engagement rates.
You need to tweet more, but also tweet better.
Use your analytics to identify the topics and niches that drag your engagement rates down. Are they integral to your business? If not, stop tweeting about them. If they are critical topics for you, you need to find a way to tweet better content. This might mean curating more content from reputable, non-competitive sources, if you don’t have time to create more yourself.
What’s the point of investing in sharing other people’s content, you ask? It helps build your audience so that when you do have something of your own to share, you have relevant eyes to get it in front of.
Really great tweets will grow legs and take on a life of their own – as more people share to their networks, you’ll see your best tweets take off with a snowball-like effect, collecting more and more social endorsements as it goes. I’d even suggest paying to promote your best tweets – why not show off that awesome engagement to a wider and still targeted audience?
But first, get rid of your underperformers. Try different content types – articles, infographics, reports, news – and different formats including images, video and text, to find what works best for you. Then stop wasting your time on everything else.
Key Twitter Analytics Takeaways
Acting on analytics insights is so ridiculously important that we’ve built an entire industry segment out of web analytics. Yet we’re not nearly as intentional with our content and social efforts. You need to determine what’s working for you and do more of it – it’s that simple.
- Keep Quality High. Focus on engagement, as this is where you’ll get your viral exposure and alignment with business goals from.
- Test, test, test. Try different variations of the same messaging (spaced out, obviously) to find the right tweet, which you might then promote further.
- Evaluate on an Ongoing Basis. There’s no set-it-and-forget-it in real-time analytics. Use them to drive your content strategy on an ongoing basis.
- Stop Wasting Time. It’s a waste of time to schedule tweets that didn’t work well the first time. Focus on what works and quit investing your time in everything else.
Are you acting on analytics insights to help achieve your business goals?