How to analyze all your 2014 tweets

Twitter’s Analytics tool has never been super forthcoming about all it can do. From its lackluster announcement of a stellar feature to non-obvious ways of getting at your data, it’s a goldmine without a map. As you start looking at the year’s marketing data, you might logically say, hey, can we analyze how we did on Twitter? From the default Analytics interface, the answer might appear to be no. Luckily, there’s a trick to get the answer you need.

First, log into Twitter Analytics by going to or, depending on what your account is set up for (if you don’t see anything in one, try the other). Next, go to the Tweet Activity section:


What you’ll see is the last 28 days of activity and some defaults to choose by month. We want none of that! Instead, use the calendar selector to manually go back to January 1, 2014:


You’ll likely see a screen with a few hazy charts and no tweets listed. Don’t worry. Hit the Export Data button:

Tweet_Activity_analytics_for_cspenn 3

Wait for a bit as Twitter thinks about it, then spits out a CSV file. Suddenly, instead of having just the last 28 days of data to work with, you have all of calendar year 2014 and then some:


Now go apply any of the data analysis methods you’ve learned to the data, mix and mash it up with your web analytics, with your retail point of sale data, with anything else you want. You’re now in the driver’s seat when it comes to your 2014 Twitter data. For example, I did a very quick graph of impressions and saw this, a classic Pareto/powerlaw curve:


I also checked and found that the median number of times a tweet of mine is seen is roughly 2,000. That sounds like a lot until you consider that I have 78,000 followers, and suddenly it means the average reach of my tweets is about 2.5% of my total audience. Still better than my Facebook Page by an order of magnitude, but put in context, my email newsletter crushes any form of social media. If I was running my personal life and accounts like a business, I’d double down on email instead.

Give this hidden feature on Twitter a try with your own data and see how your 2014 went.

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The biggest mistake in your 2015 marketing strategy

Old money sign

There’s a mistake lurking in your 2015 marketing plan. It’s a doozy, a real whopper. It’s probably lurking in your plan right now if you’ve made one, and if you haven’t, it’ll be in there when you do.

The mistake is this: 2014. And 2013. And 2012. And so on. The past is what’s in your future marketing plan, and the past is going to hurt you.

Every day, I talk to people, to colleagues, to friends, to clients, and to prospects. Every day, I hear people mention outdated knowledge, knowledge that is now ineffective or outright harmful to your marketing. In years past, it was good advice, but times change.

SEO? SEO became content marketing and public relations.

Social media marketing became content and paid media marketing using social platforms.

PPC became RTB/RTX and programmatic.

The grand strategies haven’t gone anywhere – make great products, market where your audiences are, avoid saying stupid things out loud – but the implementation certainly has. The tactics you’ll use in 2015 will be different than even in 2014.

So how do you keep up? How do you figure out what’s relevant and what’s out of date? Here’s what I do: go old school and subscribe to a few email newsletters to keep up with the changes. If you can make time once per week to read through a handful of emails, you can keep up to speed with everything that’s going on.

Digital Marketing

My colleague Scott Monty publishes the excellent This Week in Digital, which is a must-read.

Content Marketing

Jay Baer’s One Thing is an excellent daily big idea delivered to you.

Social Media

The Social Fresh newsletter rolls out on Tuesdays with what’s new in social media.

Paid Media

Though new, Larry’s Links from Wordstream promises to have lots of good paid media insights.


Hands down, Search Engine Land has some of the best roundups out there when it comes to SEO, SEM, and local search.

My Newsletter

My Almost Timely newsletter a little more eclectic – it’s a roundup of what I’ve shared each week, broken out by category. Even so, it’s heavy on marketing news, so you’ll still get the goods.

Can you make the time for this handful of marketing newsletters? If so, you’ll drive the past out of your future and always be working with the latest knowledge.

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Cracks in the armor

There is no place on Earth with a greater reality distortion field (since Steve Jobs passed away, at any rate) than Disney World, which is where I was for the last week. Yet even Disney World, the self-described “happiest place on Earth”, is losing its power to shield you from reality.


Disney World does an absolutely masterful job of quarantining reality. If you wanted a master class in managing large groups of people, go to Disney World and pay attention. Line queues have interactive exhibits and multiple blind spots so that it’s difficult to tell how long the line is. Rides are engineered to move large groups of people at a steady pace, because a short line that doesn’t move is more infuriating than a long line that inches forward steadily. Food is portioned to be healthy, but not so filling that you’re not hungry a short while later – just in time to pass many of the snack kiosks. Your experiences are manicured, groomed, and managed to the greatest practical extent possible… but that extent is beginning to fade.

Why? Disney made the choice to bring the Internet into the park everywhere. It’s part of the experience in many ways – the mobile app experience is incredible. Lines have near real-time wait times. There’s a restrooms near me button, arguably the most useful thing ever. You can plan your entire visit – but the penalty is that the Internet is in the park everywhere.


That means that parents can be absent in-person. More parents than ever were taking calls, checking email, and not being wholly present with their families. More kids were texting, Snapchatting, and Instagramming. The Internet’s reach into the park brings reality back into Fantasyland in an unparalleled intrusive way.

If you want to see where the armor really cracks, fire up any geo-located pseudo-anonymous messaging app such as Whisper, Yik Yak, etc. and you get a sharp dose of reality that completely breaks the illusion.


More and more, if you want to have a reality-distorting experience, it now has to be a conscious, willing, disciplined choice. Discipline means not checking your email, even though you can. Discipline means turning off Facebook. Discipline means actually seeing and hearing your kids scream with delight when they meet a Disney princess, and not looking at a phone instead.

The reward for your mental toughness is the richness of the experience you’ll have. It’s a mighty struggle to be present, to be focused, to be in the moment, but the struggle is worth it.

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