Web Analytics

Twitter: More Metrics to Obsess Over

Several years back a friend and I co-ran a website which, sad to say, was our pride and joy. We loved it, nurtured it and created loads of lovely content. Then one day it got hacked by an evil Russian child who gleefully thwacked a skull and cross bones on the homepage. We were gutted… but it got worse. In fact, when it came up in conversation the other day, we both recalled in the same horrified voice: “They deleted our stats!”

Sadly enough, it is easy to get obsessive when it comes to stats if you’re responsible for the information. And I must admit through every website I’ve managed, Google Analytics has been my best friend. There are other stats to look at too, of course. There are all the various inadequate forms of social media monitoring, sites like bit.ly, email stats… and all the individual analytics for sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Now Twitter has weighed in with its own dashboard. This opened in July and was described by Greg Kumparak as, “A bit like Google Analytics for tweets”.  The problem is at first, this was only open to advertisers and verified users. Now it has thrown open its doors and any account that has been active for 14-days and that mostly tweets in English, French, Japanese, or Spanish is eligible. The dashboard itself offers a holistic 30-day overview, engagement metrics… and individual stats on every tweet.

There is plenty to look at and obsess over if you’re that way inclined. But what can you realistically do with this information? On our marketers site we are in regular conversations with scores of professional marketers and many of these remain stumped. As Jeanne Hopkins, Senior Vice President and CMO at Continuum put it recently: “When was the last time you looked at your Google Analytics? Most people don’t. You are forced to login to Google Analytics and look at that. You’re forced to go there; it’s a pull function rather than a push function.”

Some people will no doubt get very excited about the new Twitter analytics but these will be most likely be individuals who “tweet professionally”. People like journalists, PRs, celebrities-lower-down-the-food-chain and other people who are nurturing their own audience via Twitter.

Whatever way you look at it though, this definitely seems to mark a new step for Twitter in developing an ever-increasingly professional user base. It just makes you wonder what is coming next…


Kathryn Cave is Editor at IDG Connect


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