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 ads.twitter.com or analytics.twitter.com, 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:

Campaign_overview_-_Twitter_Ads

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:

Tweet_Activity_analytics_for_cspenn

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:

tweet_activity_metrics__1__csv

According to Twitter’s analytics team head, @buster, Twitter now spits out the last 3,000 or so tweets you’ve made and the stats on them:

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:

Screenshot_11_26_14__7_39_AM

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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Avoiding being blindsided in marketing

When it comes to things that are going to impede your ability to be an effective marketer, there are three broad categories, made most famous by Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (hat tip to Tom Webster for continued reminders of the quote):

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“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Despite winning the dubious Foot in Mouth award from the Plain English Campaign, Rumsfeld’s quote is actually useful, particularly for marketers who are worried about the future.

You know what you know. You know the things that are going to affect your marketing, such as Google SEO algorithms, email open rates, etc.

You know what you don’t know. If Google’s newest algorithm has hit the Internet, you may not know its impact, but you can read up on it and learn what you don’t know.

It’s the last category of things you don’t know and aren’t aware of that are the problem, because this creates a massive blind spot. Think about something as primal as the martial arts. If you step into a boxing ring, you know what you know, your skills. You know what you don’t know, which is what the opponent is going to do, but you have ways of handling that. Finally, there isn’t a whole lot that you don’t know and you aren’t aware of. It’s unlikely that there will be a sniper in the stands or that the opponent has secretly put lead shot in his gloves. Thus, you have an environment which is predictable. On the other hand, if those other things could happen, and you didn’t know that the rules had changed, you’d have a very short boxing match.

In marketing the danger isn’t competitors per se. They are known for the most part. The danger is what we don’t know. We didn’t know how mobile would change behavior, but more importantly we didn’t know that we didn’t know mobile was going to fundamentally change human behavior. We just thought mobile was a miniature desktop computer.

So the next question is how to learn what we don’t know that we don’t know. What is it and where do we go to even start learning about it?

For me, that begins with having a strong social network that is highly diverse. People from all kinds of social and economic backgrounds, people all across the technological adoption curve are going to be the sources from which you’ll first catch wind of something new. Your network will naturally surface new trends if you listen carefully. If you don’t have that network, you won’t have the advanced notice you need to prevent being blindsided.


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The business of building social media rockstars

One of the most common problems organizations face is the social media rockstar. Now, you may say, hold on there – a social media rockstar is a good thing! It gets our brand visibility, it gets conversation going, it gives a public face to the organization. All of these are good things, important things, but the problem isn’t the person. The problem is the structure. A social media rockstar by default is a single point of failure, a shatter point that, if it breaks for any reason, breaks a whole bunch of things.

The most common problem is that your rockstar leaves and represents another organization, potentially even a competitor in places where non-compete agreements are unenforceable. It’s not just leaving, though – lots of different, complex, difficult situations can arise where you lose a visible personality in an organization.

So how do you deal with this situation? Some organizations just bury their heads in the sand and make blanket decrees that employees shouldn’t go out and be rockstars. I’d like to think that the ideal solution is one that’s an actual employee benefit: increase the number of rockstars you have until you have a full bench. Rather than just a star quarterback, have a star team.

Be in the business of building rockstars.

There are countless recipes for building the social media authority of individuals. The simplest, lowest overhead recipe that works is what I call the rule of 5.

Find 5 things a day to share, only 1 of which should be related to your company, and suggest that employees share those things. You can do this with a variety of tools; one of the easiest is Buffer, which not only lets you schedule social media updates across social networks but also gives you relevant suggestions for content.

Buffer

Find 5 people a day to follow, ideally in the topic area that your company is a part of, on each social network. Tools like Klout are a decent starting place for the individual employee to work with, particularly if they are not super socially savvy.

Read 5 relevant articles, blog posts, or news items a day that increase your knowledge of your space and industry, whether or not you share them, so that when you do engage in social conversations with other people, you’re well-read and well-informed.

That’s it. That’s the simple recipe to teach to employees to get them started on an upward social media trajectory. Start to finish, it will probably take between 30 and 60 minutes a day; you can make the process more efficient by curating recommendations for your employees in all three categories so that they don’t have to do the digging themselves. If you provided all of the data above to employees, the process could take as little as 15 minutes a day.

Build up your staff to grow as many rockstars as possible!


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