A Guided Tour of Twitter Analytics: The Best Time to Post on Twitter

This post was published May, 2014, and Twitter has since redesigned their analytics platform. Check out our new guide to Twitter Analytics.

A few months back, I took you on a guided tour of Facebook Insights, and showed you how to use the data that the social network provides to understand things like who your followers are, what types of posts they like the best, and what times you should be posting updates.

The thing is, though, Facebook isn’t the only game in town! You’ve got other networks to worry about, too, and you do NOT have to resort to guesswork when it comes to your social media.

That’s why today, we’re turning our attention toward Twitter. I’m gonna show you how to access all kinds of juicy details about your followers, like who’s following, who’s UN-following, and what times are best for you to get your tweet on. So let’s get to it!

Like Facebook, Twitter provides a lot of data – you just have to know where to look.

A LOT of the data you’re looking for lives in your Twitter Ads panel, so go there first. (If you’re not yet signed up, go ahead and do that.)

Laura Roeder Twitter profile

Once you’re in, click on the Analytics tab – the two pages that matter most to you right now are Tweet Activity and Followers.

Twitter Ads analytics tab

How are your tweets performing?

First, we’ll take a look at your Tweet Activity page. At the top, you’ll see a graph that looks like this:

Twitter activity graph

The blue bars represent mentions and follows, and the pink bars represent unfollows (because hey, nobody’s perfect). The graph only goes back a month or so, but you can hover over the bars like I did above to see the specific details about a certain day. If you wanna see how many followers you got from that time Justin Timberlake retweeted you, this is the place to do it.

Underneath the chart, you’re gonna get even MORE information – this is actually where you can see a breakdown of your latest tweets:

Tweet Analytics breakdown

The default is set to All, but like I did in the picture above, you can choose to sort them by “Good” tweets (your top 2/3, performance-wise) or by “Best” (your top 15%). You’ll notice that different types of tweets get different types of responses, so the way that you gauge value is all up to you – just remember that the Retweets column is the only one that indicates a bigger audience for your updates!

Who’s reading your tweets?

Next, we’re gonna learn more about the people following you on Twitter. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they have in common? If you were to research all of that on your own, it would take FOREVER – thankfully, Twitter tells you all about the people who follow you.

Under that Analytics tab, click on Followers, and you’ll see a page that looks like this:

Twitter follower information on Twitter Ads analytics

Would you look at all that DATA! At the top of the page, you can see a graph illustrating your follower count over time – and while consistent growth may look boring, it’s always something you want to see.

On this page, you can check out what common interests your followers share, who else they follow, and even where they live – a big guten tag to the 1% of my followers in Deutschland, by the way!

When are the best times to post on Twitter?

If you had to guess when is the best time to post on Twitter, what would you say? Before we go on, take 12 seconds to do this exercise – jot down what YOU think are the best times to update your Twitter. Early morning? Late night? Noon? Give it your BEST guess. This will be important later.

Got it? Good – because now you’re going to find out if you’re right.

Tweriod is a free tool that connects with your Twitter account and shows you EXACTLY when you should be posting updates. Sign in with your username and you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Tweriod Twitter analytics

And while that shows you an overview, you can get even MORE info by clicking on the Hourly Graphs tab:

Tweriod hourly graphs tool

From here, click on the different tabs above the chart to see how your followers’ activity changes from day to day. For example, I can tell from the chart above that if I send a tweet in the early afternoon on a weekday, its audience will likely be twice as large as it would be after 8 PM. (I guess can’t compete with primetime TV – curse you, NCIS!)

There’s one last thing you should check to make sure that you optimize your Twitter strategy. Click on the @replies tab to see a chart like this:

Tweriod replies

You don’t want to just look at when people are online – you want to know what times they’re actually interacting with you! This chart looks at the last 600 tweets you were mentioned in and shows you what times were most popular. In this case, people mentioned me the most around 7 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, and 4 PM – between the last two charts, now I know some of the best possible times to ask my followers questions!

So what’s next?

Digging into this data may seem like it’s taking something simple – posting on social media – and making it complicated. But really, it’s going to make your routine a LOT simpler.

Seeing all these statistics for yourself isn’t just cool – it can save you a TON of time in the long run! Bit by bit, you can virtually eliminate guesswork from your social media planning. You can quit sending tweets when your followers aren’t online! You can post more of the types of updates that your followers respond to! This is as close to predicting the future as you can get!

And hey, speaking of predicting the future, I almost forgot! I asked you earlier to write down your predictions for YOUR best times to post on Twitter. Were you right? Let me know in the comments below – I wanna see how good of a guesser you really are!

Want to get more followers without being on social media 24/7?

This method helps me grow my audience every single day - even when I’m on vacation - and I’m gonna show you how it’s done!
I’m giving away a free five-part course that will show you how to spend LESS time on social media while getting MORE results!

About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. Hey Laura,

    Thanks for some really great information on Twitter analytics. I spend far too long trying to build a worthwhile presence on Twitter, so your advice is going to be really helpful in getting me to spend my time much more productively.

    Keith

    Keithavis.com

  2. Hello Laura,
    Thank you so much for the information. The twitter analytic is helpful but in my case I’m not familiar with twitter at all. I often use instgram @thriftyourfit, which is a clothing store for promotion and it would like to start using twitter, but I’m not sure if I can promote with pictures on twitter. HELP!!

    Thank You
    Cori

  3. Useful article. Thanks. I signed up to the Twitter Ads service but it obliges you to start a campaign immediately, which doesn’t feel right as I’m not ready yet. And it doesn’t share the analytics info either…presumably until I start a campaign. Surely it should allow me to register and express an interest if I am willing to advertise later down the line.