Businesses focus a lot energy on creating content that not only builds a Twitter audience, but also drives engagement with customers.

And why not? According to Dragon Search, 61% of customers’ purchasing habits are decided by companies that deliver custom content. While content and engagement are critical components of a successful strategy, another component—Twitter metrics—shouldn’t be overlooked.

By measuring how your audience responds to your Twitter presence, you’ll turn what seem like random interactions into an actionable strategy.

You Can’t Measure What You Don’t Understand

We’ll dive into your metrics shortly, but let’s take care of a couple housekeeping items first.

Every social media platform has its own lexicon when it comes to naming features and taking action, and Twitter is no different. You can run months worth of reports, but they won’t mean a thing if you’re trying to measure something you don’t understand.

To help you better navigate your Twitter metrics, here are some of the common terms you’ll find on the platform.

  • Direct Messages (DM): These are private messages sent from one Twitter user to another. They can be used for one-on-one conversations or between a group of users. Twitter’s 140-character limit no longer applies to DMs.
  • Like: This is used to represent a stand-out Tweet. The motivation behind clicking “like” is subjective, but it’s usually positive in sentiment. Likes replaced Favorites in 2015, and use a heart instead of a star icon.
  • Followers: The number of people that are currently subscribed to your updates.
  • Mention: Refers to a Tweet in which your @username was included.
  • Reply: A response to a Tweet that begins with your @username.
  • Retweet (RT): Occurs when a user shares an existing Tweet published by you (or another Twitter account) with their followers.

Get to Know Your Twitter Activity Dashboard

The activity dashboard is a tool available to any Twitter user who has signed up (or who has access to Twitter Ads). The data displayed on your dashboard can help you optimize your performance and inform ongoing content strategy for both paid and organic Tweets.

Here you’ll see how people engage with your Tweets in real time, and get a detailed view of the number of Retweets, replies, likes, follows and clicks each of your Tweets receives. You can also get detailed insights into who’s your audience.

Twitter analytics dashboard nav

Get started by visiting Twitter’s native analytics site and logging in with your Twitter username and password. Your dashboard is separated into three main areas: Tweets, Audiences and Events. If relevant, click on the “More” button for access to Twitter Cards, videos, app manager and conversion tracking.

Home Tab

Twitter Activity Dashboard

Your Home screen provides a monthly at-a-glance summary of your Twitter highlights. This includes your:

  • Top Tweet
  • Top mention
  • Top follower
  • Top media Tweet

It also gives you a monthly summary your Twitter metrics, including:

  • Tweets published: The number of Tweets you posted during the given time period.
  • Tweet Impressions: The number of people who saw your Tweet in their timeline or search results.
  • Profile visits: The number of times your profile was visited as a result of a Tweet.
  • Mention: See above definition.
  • New followers: The number of people who weren’t previously subscribed to your Tweets and now are. If you lost followers, this will display a negative number.
  • Tweets linking to you: The number of Tweets that have Twitter Cards markup attributed to your account.

You can pull up metrics for individual Tweets at any time by clicking on the “View Tweet Activity” button below your highlighted Tweet. Doing so will pull up a separate window with data specific to that Tweet.

Tweet Activity

Tweet Activity Tab

This tab displays all of the activity around Tweets that you’ve published. This is the same data available in the pop-up we just discussed, except with more visuals.

Twitter activity dashboard tweets tab

The important metrics to track here are:

  • Engagement: This is a user’s interaction with your Tweets. It includes mentions, replies, Retweets, likes and new followers.
  • Tweet Impressions: See above definition.
  • Engagement Rate: The number of engagements divided by impressions.

We should point out that this tab focuses solely on Tweets that you’ve created (including replies you’ve sent), and doesn’t include any Tweets that mention you.

Audiences Insights Tab

The more information you have about your audience, the more powerful content you can create. The Audience Insights tab helps you easily discover valuable information about your followers and the people who’ve engaged with your Tweets.

Twitter activity dashboard audiences

Here you’ll have access to data about:

  • Demographics: Such as gender, income, marital status, education and more.
  • Interests: A real-time interest graph displays what percentage of your audience are interested in specific topics, ranging from technology and entertainment to business and tech news.
  • Lifestyle: Identifies the occupation, TV viewing preferences and political affiliation of your audience.
  • Purchasing behavior: Breaks down your audience’s buying style and the types of consumer goods they favor.
  • Mobile footprint: Informs you about which wireless carrier and device your audience is using.

Use the data found here to help tailor your targeting and content to your audience.

Events on Twitter Tab

The Events tab is a great resource for social media managers and content creators. Here you’ll find a plethora of events, ranging from holidays and conferences to sporting events and movie premieres. You’ll have access to start dates and duration for each event as well as location and audience size.

Twitter activity dashboard events

This can really help spark ideas for future campaigns around relevant local or national happenings. And if you’re looking for something not so specific, there’s also a Recurring Trends option, which highlights some of the most popular hashtag trends on the platform.

A well-timed Tweet sporting a trending hashtag could give your engagement a boost.

Advanced Options

Under the “More” tab, you’ll find options to view data around more advanced options, including Twitter Cards, Videos, App manager and conversion tracking. Obviously if you’re not taking advantage of one or all of these Twitter features, these tabs won’t feature any data.

Within these tabs, you’ll find metrics like:

  • App install attempts: The number of clicks to install your app via the Tweet’s Card.
  • App opens: The number of clicks to open an app via the Tweet’s Card.
  • Leads submitted: The number of users who submitted his/her contact information via a Lead Generation Card.
  • Link clicks: The number of clicks on a URL or Card in the Tweet.
  • Permalink clicks: The number of clicks on the Tweet permalink. This metric is desktop-only.
  • User profile clicks: The number of clicks on your name, @username or profile photo via your Tweet.

3 Twitter Metrics Reports to Run

We broke down all of this information for you with a handful of intuitive reports. Check out our Twitter Profiles, Twitter Comparison and Twitter Listening reports in Sprout’s Twitter analytics suite. These reports will help you gain a better understanding of how people are engaging with your Tweets and the overall success of your Twitter presence.

1. The Profiles Report

Your Twitter Profiles report will help you see how your audience is interacting with your content so you can build an engagement strategy that’s relevant to customers and drives performance.

twitter-profiles-report-screenshot

The Twitter Profiles report is available to all plans. To access yours:

  1. Go to the Reports tab
  2. Select Twitter Profiles
  3. Select the appropriate date range

2. The Twitter Comparison Report

The Twitter Comparison report is a powerful way to gain insight on how your Twitter strategy stacks up to that of your competitors. Get a breakdown of your engagement, influence, follower growth and mentions—and then compare that to one of your competitors to see where your strategy can be improved.

sprout social twitter comparison report

The Twitter Comparison report is available to all plans. To access yours:

  1. Go to the Reports tab
  2. Select Twitter Comparison
  3. Select the appropriate date range

3. The Twitter Listening Report

One of our newest features, the Twitter Listening report, lets you track current and historical keyword usage data across Twitter. It calculates aggregate Tweet counts for any keyword or phrase on Twitter across any time period.

twitter-listening-insights-report-overview

With the Twitter Listening report, you can better understand the effectiveness of your Twitter campaigns and uncover trends in the usage of brand keywords and hashtags.

The Twitter Comparison report is available in Team and Enterprise plans. To access yours:

  1. Go to the Reports tab
  2. Select Twitter Listening
  3. Select the appropriate date range

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Content is a huge piece of your social media marketing strategy, but creating powerful content that deliver results require data. When paid attention to, your Twitter metrics can have a major impact on what you get out of the social network.

While there’s no right or wrong way to track your performance on Twitter, by using the tools mentioned above, you can easily become more effective with your reporting and social media analytics.