Is Twitter Right for Your Digital Strategy?

Posted on by Adam Shigem

twitter-leaves-640“They don’t ‘get’ their users!” “Shares are down!” “It’s cluttered!” “It’s dying!”. Marketers—and users—have had plenty of complaints about Twitter recently. However, with over 330 million active users worldwide, the social media platform seems to be doing just fine. Usage has accelerated for three consecutive quarters, and with no explicit direct competitor in sight, Twitter will be around for the foreseeable future. But, it’s still not right for every brand.


Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses, so when considering Twitter for your brand’s digital strategy keep in mind what the channel excels at: direct communication, immediacy and influencers.

Direct Communication: Treating Twitter as a simple broadcasting channel is choosing to ignore its most unique strength: Communicating directly with your audience as individuals. Look for opportunities to reach out and start conversations directly with consumers. If the rise of Alexa, Siri, and conversational commerce shows us anything, it’s that people are getting used to talking with brands naturally. So, reach out to them in a natural way on a channel that’s built for conversation.

Immediacy: Twitter’s roots are firmly planted in journalism. Co-founder Jack Dorsey even credits journalists with the platform’s rise to prominence. Take advantage of this and use Twitter for the newsworthy aspects of your brand: focus on announcements, events, and ongoing stories.

Influencers: Every industry has a thought leader, and Twitter makes it easier to reach out to them. Thought leaders are becoming more and more important to consumers: in fact, 49% of twitter users rely on recommendations from influencers. So, reach out to them. Ask them questions directly and build relationships in ways you never could outside of social media.


So, you decided to use Twitter as part of your brand’s digital strategy. You looked at its strengths and determined it’s in line with your brand goals. Now what? Well, you need to figure out how to track performance. Twitter gives brands access to some pretty robust analytics on its site, but it’s easy to get bogged down by all the numbers.

To figure out which KPIs to focus on, it’s important to break them out by your channel goals.

Direct Customer Service

What to Track:

Average Reply Time: This absolutely must be on par with industry standards, but exceeding those standards is a surefire way to delight your customers. JetBlue figured this out. The brand is consistently among the fastest-responding airlines and is often recognized for its efforts by the industry its fans.

Reply Rate: Not every query will be appropriate to respond to, but it’s crucial to help those you can. This is when an escalation plan can come in handy.

Sentiment: This helps show if serious queries are being addressed. Many tools give you the ability to track what you respond to most: positive, neutral, or negative replies. If you only respond to positive mentions, it may be time to adjust.

Influencer Campaign

What to Track:

Number of Tweets Versus Number of Followers: Some users are more influential than others, so tracking this is a good way to organize your campaign. Segregate the influencers on these two criteria and dedicate your resources appropriately: one who often tweets to a few followers has a different type of influence than one who seldom tweets to many followers.

Prospecting Campaign

Hashtag Usage and Mentions: Rallying your campaign behind a united hashtag can to increase engagement Harnessing this unique channel feature will let you organize the conversation around the topic. Tracking how many times a hashtag is used, as well as brand and/or campaign mentions, is an effective way to measure your campaign’s reach.

Favorites: They may not do much for social selling, but they are a good way to measure what your audience likes. Think of it as a “good job”. They liked that content, so show them more of it.

Retweets: By retweeting, they’ve basically said, “I like this and I think others will too.” This is exactly how Twitter can help expand your reach so take care to track retweets and determine what type of content your audience likes to share. Retweets are especially valuable, as they expose your message to an even greater audience.

Replies: These are also great to flag to your customer service, which will help maintain that direct conversation with your fans.

Time & Date: What time of day and what day of the wee people are engaging with you can bean easy one to overlook. Different audiences have different media habits, and tracking the most effective times and days for engagement is crucial when fine-tuning your Twitter content.

Site Traffic

What to Track:

URL clicks and traffic: Twitter can be an effective way to drive traffic, just be sure you’ve organized a way to track URL clicks using Google Analytics or a similar tool. And check your landing page bounce rates to ensure the traffic is performing to your standards.

Determining Return on Investment

You outlined your goals and you tracked your KPIs. Now how do you tell if it was worth it?

1: Align your social goals with your business objectives

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to first establish what you want to accomplish on social. After all, if you don’t know the destination, any road will get you there. Once you know the goal, the right KPIs will show you the direction. For example, if you want to link revenue to social media your KPIs might be leads and purchases driven from social. If you want to track brand awareness, your KPIs might be followers, impressions, or mentions.

2: Set up Google Analytics

This is a free tool that can help you track goals and monitor visitor actions on your site. It’s an incredibly useful way to learn how effective you social is at driving the right audience to your site and converting them. Here’s a helpful tutorial to learn how to set up and configure goals in Analytics.

3: Assign value to your KPIs

After setting up your goals and how to track them, it’s time to determine their monetary value. There’s a few ways to do :

  • Average sale – the average purchase on your site
  • Lifetime value – how much you earn from customers on average
  • Lifetime value multiplied by conversion rate – how much each visit is worth based on the percentage that convert
  • Comparative value – The amount you would have paid using ads instead of organic social

Adam Shigem is a strategist at Fell Swoop.


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