What does Twitter’s missing shares mean for your marketing analytics?
In case you missed in, on November 20, Twitter eliminated the public counts of shares on its buttons and in its infrastructure. You can no longer see how many times a URL was shared on Twitter.
Much has been written about this topic, and I encourage you to check out the perspectives of Mark Schaefer and Jay Baer for potential reasons why, beyond the official reasons given.
Regardless of the reasons, does this impact you? As a marketer, and as a marketing technologist, I would argue the answer is no, not really. Why? Twitter shares are a diagnostic metric for social media. They tell you how many people care enough to hit the retweet button.
Retweets are helpful. They’re part of social media engagement. However, they are not the endgame. The endgame is conversion, action, tangible impact. For most organizations other than those seeking raw numbers of eyeballs, shares are not something you can take to the bank.
Google Analytics should still be your database of record for how impactful any digital channel, including Twitter, is:
What we care about is whether Twitter is bringing in audiences at the top of the funnel, all the way down to…
Is Twitter delivering any business impact to you?
Should you be concerned about the lack of share counts? For your own tweets, you’ll still get that data in Twitter’s basic analytics, and it will not be long before an entire niche of startups appear offering alternatives to Twitter’s share counts. In the meantime, stay focused on your Google Analytics data and how each channel is sending you traffic. That’s the best way to manage all your social media.
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I think there are many ways the Twitter button was important but from a personal level it was an incredibly sensitive tool for daily reader feedback. When I do good work, the Twitter universe rewards me. When I publish something not up to par, that is reflected in the Twitter count too. After years of such modulation my writing is probably well-tuned to my customer needs and I continue to learn and grow (or did) based on feedback from that Twitter button.