Do people actually read your tweets? Does anybody actually click on the videos and articles you tirelessly link to in your tweets? Does anybody care what you’re tweeting? Well, if you’re a high-paying advertiser, you can use Twitter’s fancy analytics tool it unleashed last winter. If you are just a small business, however, how in the heck are you supposed to know if this Twitter thing is actually working?
First off, analytics aren’t just for the big boys. Hootsuite, the increasingly popular dashboard for marketers to keep in touch with their Twitterverse, came out with its own version of analytics a few weeks back. Social media marketers drooled at the potential such a tool could have and the promise Hootsuite posed was that any business could now see how their followers responded to their tweets. So far, the Hootsuite’s analytics reports deliver. Easy to read and even easier to use, the reports offer a glimpse into what your followers like. Followers of Brandsplat on Twitter, for example, love links to stories about weird food items, our Friday “Five Things You Might Have Missed” blog and anything celeb- or tech-related. With these reports, blogs and links can be pushed to your followers to suit their tastes.
That said, try not to overthink your Twitter content. Twitter is still supposed to be a good time and fun for people to read. And nothing is more boring than a strictly-calculated Twitter account that makes all the right moves but never joins the party. Listening and joining the conversation is a good way to get emerged in Twitter while seeing firsthand what folks respond to. Talk to your followers and you’ll quickly get a gauge on what they want.
As a test, we ran a contest for one of my non-profit clients. We tweeted trivia questions and gave free tickets away to the first responders. Turns out people actually read our tweets! We got a hundred or so responses from local people.
Twitter and its accompanying analytics boom have truly only just begun. The longer we engage in back-and-forth social interaction, the more we learn about the people who follow and buy from us. While there’s no surefire formula to tweet success, we know that reading and listening are just as important as tweeting.