There are loads of social media analytics packages out there at the moment – all of which can be used to track how effective your social media campaigns are (in terms of retweets, follows etc…). While these packages all offer varying degrees of functionality and different tools/tracking criteria, they do all tend to have one thing in common – cost. To many small/medium sized businesses the cost of subscribing to Twitter analytics tools can be prohibitive – especially when most of the data they provide can be found in Twitter (if you’ve got the time to dig around a bit!)
Of course there are some free tools available, but the limited data they provide usually make them more trouble than they’re worth. Not anymore though, as this morning saw the release of a new, free Twitter analytics tool called Topsy Social Analytics. We’ve been having a bit of a play around with Topsy today and can tell you that this is probably the best free system we’ve used in terms of tracking exactly what response your Tweeting is getting.
If you put a name into one of the fields, for example, Topsy will tell you how many times that name has been mentioned over whatever period you wish to track (from the past 24 hours to the past month):
As you can see here, mentions of our esteemed MD Ann Stanley went through the roof at the end of last week – mostly thanks to her teaching at Leicester’s De Montfort University. As well as analysing how many mentions you’ve received on Twitter, Topsy also allows you to see how many replies your Twitter account has received, giving you an idea of how your audience is interacting with your business messages:
Again, it seems we got a lot of replies on the back of Tweeting about Ann’s course at De Montfort University. If you Tweet regularly this tool can be very useful to measure exactly what topics earn the most replies – allowing you to highlight and focus your efforts on the topics that get the most attention.
By inputting your domain name into Topsy you can also see how many times a link to your site has been Tweeted, letting you know what sort of brand exposure your campaign is achieving aroung the Twitter-sphere.
While these features are all very interesting and give you a good idea of how effective your Twitter use has been, we’ve found the best use for Topsy is as a keyword research tool. You can compare the amount of mentions of three different keywords at a time, which allows you to see exactly which keywords relevant to your business are the most used on Twitter:
Choosing a few variations of a keyword relevant to Anicca, we can see that in the past month ‘internet marketing’ and ‘online marketing’ are mentioned a lot more on Twitter than ‘digital marketing’. We even get a table, which can be downloaded, showing the top Tweets featuring these keywords and detailing the criteria used to classify them as ‘top Tweets’.
On top of all this great analytics data, Topsy also has a built in social media search engine – providing real-time results on the top Tweets for any given keyword. Which means you can easily see what kind of Tweet gets the best response for your keywords and discover, for instance, whether you’re better off Tweeting about discounts or useful product information.
As it was only released today we’ll be spending a lot more time finding useful ways to use Topsy to benefit our clients’ Twitter campaigns. If you’ve been using Topsy yourself, or any other Twitter analytics tool, we’d love to hear your experiences of it below.
Posted by Luke Glassford