Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Features I'd Like to See In a Twitter Analytics Platform

In the months to come, I hope we'll get more advanced tools for measuring Twitter analytics and statistics in the marketplace. I'm optimistic that analytics will be a component of Twitter's eventual premium offerings - only because it appears they have Google Analytics installed on all user accounts. A best case scenario for me would be a tight integration with the Google Analytics API - something some smart people must be working on somewhere.

What types of analytics features would be useful for social media marketers? I would like to see the following:
  • Twitter Page Views: how many unique individuals visit my Twitter profile?
  • Source of Traffic: do people find me through Twitter search, through client-based searches, through #followfriday or #ff suggestions, from Twitter directories like Twellow or WeFollow, or do they follow me from another user's follower list? This information could be very helpful in refining my Twitter strategy.
  • Time of Day Activity: what time of day is best for my Tweets? When are users most responsive to my Tweets? When are the peak usage times for Twitterers in my target audiences?
  • Inbound Links: who is linking to my Twitter profile? You can accomplish this with Google Alerts or a Twitter alert service like TweetBeep or Twilert, but again, I'd like all of this to be incorporated into one solution.
  • RSS Subscribers: how many people are subscribed to my Twitter RSS feed? There may already be a way to track this, but I am not familiar with such an offering.
  • Geo-Tracking: what part of the world are my Twitter followers from? Show me a map of all my Twitter followers - or a map of where my traffic is coming from around the world.
  • Conversion: this should have been my first bullet. How many people decide to Follow Jeremy Porter after they hit my profile? Said another way, what is my Bounce Rate on Twitter (users that choose NOT to follow me after viewing my profile)?
  • Retention: how many unfollows do I get per day? What caused those unfollows? Tools like Qwitter could be helpful here, but I've found the service to be unreliable (I realize they're working to improve this). I'd like to go beyond alerts for unfollows, and dive deeper into trends in follower behavior. I'd also like to know what my retention rate is among my followers. Do most followers stick around, or do they bail after a couple of days? How many followers would I have if I improved my retention? You can see how this information could be vital to the success of your Twitter strategy.
  • A/B Testing: do I attract more followers with Tweets about general marketing topics or social media? Does a change in my bio drive more adoption? If I change my profile image, does it cause more abandons or more follows? This would be a powerful tool to have on Twitter.
While I'm sure some premium offerings on the market do some of these things already, I'm confident we'll see many of these features launched in new Twitter products in the months to come. For now, there are a variety of free tools on the market for evaluating analytics and statistics from your Twitter activity - or another user's activity, if you're doing competitive Twitter analysis.

In my next post, I'll do an analysis of some of the current free Twitter analytics tools on the market, to give you an idea of what you can expect. For now, please share your thoughts on features you'd like to see in Twitter analytics platforms.

(Image credit: jmilles)

1 comment:

Jaime (@PVATL) said...

Wow! I'm still new to this social media thing and hadn't considered most of this. I'm just trying to figure out how to find local people.

(Thanks for listing some of the tools that are available for analysis now.)

You know what I really want from Twitter, though? Something that tells me how many followers I have in common with someone. I worry that I will annoy followers-in-common if they see a lot of @replies that are irrelevant to them. But DMs seem more intrusive to the intended recipient, like an email labeled "urgent" even if it isn't! Not to mention that finding common threads with other followers could lead to stronger community ties.