With 2019 approaching, many businesses will be turning their thoughts to next year’s social media strategies. If you are unsure what role Twitter will play in yours, a Twitter audit will give you the answer.
Here is how to do a social media audit on your Twitter account.
Should marketers use Twitter at all?
Twitter has been treated as something of a punchline among social networks in recent years. Many haters have gleefully anticipated its demise. There’s even a hashtag: #RIPTwitter.
But Twitter is neither down nor out. In fact, its 2018 numbers paint a very different picture.
After an extended period of losing users, Twitter has now grown again to 336 million monthly active users. This is up from 305 million in Q4 of 2015. Twitter’s revenue has finally grown as well; it was up 21% in Q1 of this year.
Twitter’s recovery is primarily pinned to the network returning to its core strength of news sharing, as well as doubling down on video—especially live video. The move away from a chronological newsfeed is also credited with bringing people back, as it brought more “meaningful” tweets to the top of people’s feeds.
Nevertheless, Twitter has just announced that it will be reintroducing the chronological feed as an option. One question for companies going forward will be which feed option serves their organic reach best.
So what are the other questions marketing departments should be asking about their Twitter strategies in time for 2019? What are the steps to a successful Twitter audit?
Step 1. Consider your goals
The first step in your Twitter audit is to determine what it is you want out of this network. Used correctly, Twitter can be an engagement powerhouse, but you need to have a clear idea about the purpose your desired new followers, retweets and mentions should serve.
Twitter is best for:
- Awareness and lead generation
From live-tweeting at events to targeted special offer posts, Twitter is a great way to generate buzz and bring people closer to your brand. This is where the audience analysis of your audit is vital: to achieve success here you need to be addressing the right people.
- Customer experience management
This is truly Twitter’s forte. The real-time conversational nature of the network has made it the most popular one for customer service. Consider your Twitter feed your first line in customer relations. Your audit needs to do a deep dive into how well your customer-facing team members are using it.
Step 2. Review Your Twitter Activity
A natural step in any audit is to take stock of what you have done and how it has performed.
Twitter itself offers an analytics option. To access it just:
- Log into your dashboard and click on the “Tweets” tab
- Choose the date range of the Tweets you wish to see
- Click Export data to receive a CSV spreadsheet
For Twitter, you can see Follower and Engagement metrics. Even better, you also have the option in Measure to create visually-driven Twitter audit reports with drag-n-drop modules and a choice of graphs.
What has and hasn’t worked for you?
There are many ways to compose a tweet, especially now that the character count has increased to 280. There is no magic formula to follow, so you need to experiment and review to figure out what works best for you. Consider the following:
Is there a particular style of post that gets more engagement? A company announcement, curated article or funny meme?
Tip: According to Twitter, tweets with questions have a lower cost per click and a higher click-through rate. They also invite engagement.
Which type of tweet is getting the most engagement: video, image or link posts?
Tip: Compared to only using text, tweets with photos get 35% more retweets and videos get 28% more on average. Be sure to shorten long, unsightly URLs with tools like Bitly or Falcon’s Link Shortener.
For a start, are you using at all? If so, are they gaining traction? Are your hashtags appropriate for your industry and easy to remember? How many do you use per post?
Tip: Twitter itself recommends using only one hashtag per tweet—any more results in a drop in engagement. This 2018 study found that hashtags with 18 characters achieve the most engagement.
Review your posting cadence. Are you posting regularly? Despite the temporary move away from a chronological timeline, the time of day you post in such a factory line of a feed really matters.
Tip: Research suggests the best time to post on Twitter is at midday on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Using a content calendar like Falcon’s enables you to schedule all your posts in advance.
- Employee advocacy
Likes and retweets greatly affect your engagement rate—so review where yours are coming from. If there are none from the people around you, it’s time to get them engaged with engagement.
Tip:Run an internal competition to encourage employees to share your tweets.
And a biggie: what are your response times?
Twitter remains the top social network for customer service. In one survey, many advertisers said over 80% of their inbound social customer service requests came via the network.
So your customers and broader audience expect you to respond. The question is, are you responding—and how quickly? Patience is not a virtue of the modern connected customer. In fact, 32% expect questions posted to customer support on social to be answered within 30 minutes, while 42% expect a response within an hour.
If you don’t use a social media platform, auditing your response times will be a manual exercise, but one worth doing.
With Falcon, you can track the response times of your team. Even better, you can apply the Business Hours function that automatically eliminates non-working hours to give you a more accurate estimate.
Step 3. Get critical with your Twitter profile
A crucial but often overlooked component of your company’s Twitter presence is your profile bio and imagery. Take a look at yours. Does it do your brand justice? Is it doing all it could do?
How to write a Twitter bio
Obviously, your Twitter bio should quickly relay what your company does. But there are other possibilities here too.
- Does your profile serve a clear goal?
This is an important touchpoint, yet many brands give little thought to how to make the most of their Twitter bios. There is an opportunity here to showcase your product, drive traffic to your website or strengthen your value positioning. That should also inform your call-to-action, which is another often overlooked component of professional Twitter profiles.
- Are you using hashtags and keywords?
Being located in the spiritual home of hashtags, your Twitter bio should make good use of them. Not only do hashtags add flavor, but they also encourage participation in your community. Keywords are vital, too: potential customers are searching for what you offer—does the phrasing in your bio help them to find you?
- Have you thought through your imagery?
Besides your profile image, your header image is a vital piece of real estate. Ensure yours catches the eye for the right reasons. One option could be to stamp a human face on your brand with a team shot, while another would be to showcase a star product.
You can see the right image sizes for Twitter here: Optimal Social Media Images for 2018: The Complete Guide. Also, check out How to Create the Perfect Professional Instagram Bio.
Step 4. Do a Twitter follower audit
Who are your Twitter followers?
You can do a basic Twitter follower audit using Twitter Analytics. This allows you to see your followers’ interests, broadly-defined topics such as “Technology”, “Business and finance” and “Tech news”, alongside other demographic information.
Obviously, knowing where most of your followers are located aids with posting times. Their interests will also afford you a general grasp of the kind of content they are more likely to be receptive to—and more likely to share.
With Falcon Audience, you have a full, filterable overview of your Twitter followers and fans. Using labels, you can slice and dice everyone who has engaged on your Twitter feeds into granular persona and target groups. You can then export these handles and use them in your Twitter campaigns.
Beware fake Twitter followers
Twitter purged 70 million fake accounts (20% of its monthly active users!) in July, but the fact stands that a percentage of your followers may not be real. So how do you surface the fakes?
There are Twitter follower audit tools out there designed to weed them out, but there are also some simple ways of spotting fake Twitter followers. For example, does a profile have thousands of followers but few tweets? Does it follow thousands of accounts without many followers of its own? Plus, an instantaneous reply to your tweets also suggests an automated profile.
And not that you are…purely FYI… but check out Buying Followers? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t.
Discover new Twitter followers
Auditing your existing followers is one thing. The 336 million dollar question is: who is out there ready and waiting for your posts? This is where social media listening is crucial.
Using a social media listening tool like Falcon Listen, you can collect the handles of people who are engaging with the topics, keywords and hashtags you are monitoring. These can be added to your Audience profiles and form the basis of custom Twitter target groups.
Take advantage of influencers on Twitter
Consider this: almost 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer. If influencer marketing isn’t already on your radar for 2019, now is the time to get started.
That begins with finding the influencers among your followers and, ideally, your broader audience. Falcon makes this easy with the Influencer Tab. You can instantly see the top 25 influencers for any topic you are monitoring on Listen.
A good tip is to start monitoring the influencers’ handles for more even more insights. If an influencer is engaging with your Twitter content, you have struck gold and shouldn’t waste a second reaching out to foster a relationship.
If you’re interested in influencer marketing, check the Influencer Marketing Handbook, or read our recent interview with Forbes Power Influencer Neal Schaffer: Why Neal Schaffer Believes Anyone Can be an Influencer!
It’s time to lean into Twitter for 2019
If you plan to use Twitter in 2019, now is the time to start planning.
In any kind of marketing, a little knowledge can save you a lot of work. That is especially true in social media, where each network has its subtle advantages, challenges and foibles. And Twitter, arguably, is characterized by having the most foibles of any of them.
Contrary to naysayers, Twitter still offers value to marketers. A social media audit is how you identify what that value could be for you.