Pros and cons of Twitter Analytics for PR consultants

Pros and cons of Twitter Analytics for PR consultants

Phil Szomszor

Phil Szomszor

Twitter has opened up its full analytics dashboard to everyone, having only previously been available to advertisers and verified users.

Take a look over at analytics.twitter.com

I'm a little surprised by how much information Twitter is providing here, but it's good news for PRs who have responsibility for managing company accounts, as it freely shows how far an individual or collection of tweets is reaching.

Twitter Analytics example

In addition to getting data on the number of impressions in the past 28 days, you can see the level of engagement, number of click throughs, RTs, favourites and replies.

I have a couple of areas of concerns though. Firstly, "impressions" could be the new "followers". In the early days of Twitter, there were loads of league tables showing who had the most followers. It was all fairly egotistical and pointless stuff - and led to people chasing follower counts.

Likewise, a focus on impressions could lead to targets being set on a headline impressions number, which could result in "pimping tactics" that chase visibility rather than aim for quality engagement.

The second area of concern is that impressions in themselves are a meaningless thing to measure. It's just a big number at the end of the day. What PRs and marketeers need to do is focus on the activities that promote action or have some sort of measurable influence. Perhaps the other metrics provided will help here, but it probably needs to be integrated with Google Analytics or other packages to become truly powerful.

On the plus side, you can download the full data - which goes into even more detail, like showing time-stamps for tweets. I'm sure a mini industry will be created in crunching this data and interpreting it in means that are attractive to marketers.

Another observation: I bet Klout is worried. OK, Klout takes other social networks into account (such as Google+ or Instagram), but its formula for measuring influence is all rather mysterious and I imagine people will prefer the clarity of Twitter's own service.

 

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