By Tim Youngblood
Twitter’s analytics platform collects an impressive amount of data for a free tool. Before we dive in, let’s define the metrics that Twitter uses on their platform. Luckily, these metrics are fairly universal and are defined the same way on other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, if this is your first time visiting Game Borough, check out the previous posts in our Twitter marketing series to get caught up!
Indie Game Twitter Marketing Series
- Part 1: Why Should Indie Game Developers Use Twitter for Marketing?
- Part 2: How Do Hashtags Work and How Should Game Devs Use Them?
Impressions Versus Conversions
What is an Impression?
An impression is simply a tweet (Or post if you’re on Facebook) that comes onto a user’s feed. This doesn’t mean that the user clicked the link, liked or retweeted, or even looked at your tweet. It does mean that users had the opportunity to so, however, and users who do things such as liking, retweeting, visiting your profile, following you, or visiting a web page you’ve shared.
If you look at the screenshot above, you’ll notice that the number of impressions is way higher than the other metric. If you focus on increasing the other metrics like followers, mentions, and profile visits; the impressions will rise on their own. Essentially, impressions are just a byproduct of success with more important metrics. These metrics are often referred to as conversions.
What is a Conversion?
In sales, conversions usually refer to somebody buying your product. For marketing on Twitter, I use the term conversions more loosely because, as I said earlier in the series, Twitter is not a good platform for sales conversions. In the case of Twitter, getting likes, retweets, follows, website visits, and profile visits are all considered conversions. To track website visits, you can either create a website tag to track visits on Twitter’s end using their conversion tracking tool or just track them from your website’s CMS or Google Analytics. I do the latter because Twitter isn’t a large source of traffic for GameBorough and I spend more time on the site’s CMS than on Twitter. Should you decide to use Twitter ads at some point, then conversion tracking will be necessary. Twitter has a Link Visits variable that it tracks, but your website will do a better job of tracking the users’ activity on your site.
What Else Does Twitter Analytics Track?
From the screenshot above, you can see that the Twitter Analytics homepage collects the metrics I talked about previously. The other tabs are Tweets, Audiences, and Events.
Using the Tweets Tab
The Tweets tab shows the aforementioned stats like impressions, engagements, retweets, and link clicks for individual tweets so you can compare their performance. Here’s a screenshot of ours below.
This is the Tweets dashboard showing the top 3 tweets from last month. You can click on each individual tweet to get more information. And of course, they try to sell tweet promotion on pretty much every page.
Using the Audiences Tab
The Audiences tab shows what kind of people follow you, and more importantly, what kind of people show up in your organic audience. Your organic audience is users that don’t follow you on Twitter but are likely to see your tweets in their feeds occasionally due to a shared interest in subject matter. Using hashtags in your tweets makes it easier for Twitter’s algorithm to put your tweets in your organic audience’s feeds. Below is a screenshot of Game Borough’s organic audience.
From our organic audience screen, you can see that our audience speaks English, likes games and technology, and is quite the sausage-fest.
Using the Events Tab
If you spend a lot of time on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that every day is “National Something Day” like “National Donut Day” or something. The Events tab keeps track of upcoming obscure holidays as well as events happening in pop culture so people can find excuses to make new tweets. The Recurring Trends tab also shows common weekly hashtag themes so you make an excuse for a new tweet every day! Some examples of this are #ScreenShotSaturaday, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FlashbackFriday. The screenshot below is of our Overview tab.
This shows some upcoming holidays and events. Brace yourself for Father’s Day, we’re going to see an obnoxious amount of God of War themed tweets.
Putting Twitter Analytics to Use
I usually start by looking at which tweets performed well and which did not. For tweets that performed well, I can try to replicate those factors in future tweets. For example, the time of the tweet, the hashtags, subject matter, and the overall look of a tweet are all variables in a tweet’s success or failure.
For a tweet that isn’t performing well, I also look at the same factors. Let’s use one of Game Borough’s least popular tweets as an example. This particular tweet was a bit perplexing for me at first because it is one of the most popular articles on the site (It’s about indie game marketing tricks). Here’s a screenshot of the tweet, after everything we’ve covered in this tutorial series, you can probably notice some issues.
I can’t even read this tweet and I made it…
This tweet has some major issues. For one, the text is all crammed together, making it hard to read and making the link very difficult to find. The image I used doesn’t make any sense without the context of reading the article, which is a bad featured image choice when considering that the goal of this tweet is to get somebody who hasn’t read the article to read it. Audiences are also more likely to read an article if they know what it’s about. Personally, I’ve noticed success just using the article’s title in the tweet.
Knowing this, I can make a new version of the post for this article that is easier to read, says the title, and has a featured image that better illustrates the purpose of the article. Here’s what I came up with:
This tweet is much cleaner and has a more clear purpose. I’ll come back later to see how it performs.
Now that you know the basics of Twitter Analytics, you can start playing with it! Not sure where to start? Are there features that I left out? Leave your questions in the comments section and we’ll help you out!