One of the many frustrating things about social media outreach is the chronic difficulty in reporting results from Twitter. Working with brands doing outreach on Twitter can be frustrating at best, and impossible at worst. I spoke to Amy Lupold Bair, the founder of the Twitter Party, about her struggles with reporting to clients.
“Twitter is a platform that brands have been anxious to utilize since late 2008, early 2009, and yet frustrated by at the same time. Nearly every company has recognized that Twitter provides a great opportunity to engage with consumers, but the platform itself has made tracking this engagement difficult at best,” She states.
It’s possible that this will now get easier; Twitter announced on the 17th that they have expanded partnership relationships with some well known analytics products, including Sprout Social (a personal favorite), Simply Measured, and Adobe Social (a product I lust after, because I am an analytics nerd) among others.
“The companies above fall into areas like engagement’, where they act as a bridge between companies and Twitter data, helping them leverage it for things like customer service or public relations. Others are analytics firms that sort and contextualize data, giving companies a way to map it and provide real, human-readable information.”
Will this solve the problems many have in reporting Twitter engagement? Amy still sees hurdles. “Twitter Impressions, for example, uses the number of times an account tweets with a tag along with the number of followers that person has on Twitter to calculate a potential impression,” she says. “But unlike a blog page impression, for example, which verifies that a person (or at least a mediocre bot) has visited a site, a Twitter Impression has no idea how many of those followers actually saw that tweet with that hashtag. This lack of concrete, easily measured metrics leaves many brands hoping to jump on the Twitter bandwagon frustrated.”
In other words, Twitter impressions will continue to carry less weight than website impressions where you can more easily track the number of people actually reading a site. Nonetheless, it’s good to see that Twitter is becoming more friendly when it comes to tracking tweets. As The Next Web mentions, too, these partnerships also signal developers as to what kinds of products they should make which can only lead to good things.