Twitter has been an important forum for marketing over a long period of time. Whether you try to jump on the latest trending stories, create your own, or employ some other strategy, Twitter is a fast-paced place to engage with customers. Depending on what’s trending, you can spend quite a lot of time interacting with people and delivering relevant solutions.
However, tweeting must be deliberate and strategic. Every once awhile you’ll want to walk away from your tweeting and take a fresh look at your Twitter strategy. That’s where Twitter audits come in: A way to infrequently but regularly (I do mine once a quarter) check on the health of your Twitter marketing strategy. Here’s how you can conduct your own Twitter audit without hiring an expensive consultant to do one for you.
What is a Twitter Audit?
A simple review of the important aspects of your Twitter account that you should perform on a regular basis to ensure alignment with your marketing strategy. This means reviewing your Tweets to see how they fit into the picture. There will always be sudden changes that are reflected in your Tweets, but you’re looking for an overall pattern. In addition, you’ll need to ensure that the people who follow you (and vice versa) match up. Finally, branding and competitor’s Twitter accounts should be considered.
How to Conduct a Twitter Audit
Here are the exact steps to take in conducting your Twitter audit. I typically suggest that you do these steps in order. With that being said, comparisons with competitors can be done more than once, or at different stages of your overall Twitter audit process. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your Twitter account matches your objectives well and also compares well with those of your competitors. Being left behind at any point can create a significant disadvantage.
Confirm your Twitter marketing objective
Your first task in a Twitter audit is always to think about your goals. Are you looking for more conversions? Website traffic? Engagement on your content? Depending on what objective(s) you have it should shape the perspective from which you conduct your audit. There can be more than one goal, of course.
In some situations, your goals might change throughout the year. While it represents unusual market conditions, the COVID shutdowns are a great example of this. Businesses went from primary sales goals of bringing people into the store to wresting online shopping dollars. Likewise, virtual events replaced most in-person meetings. With that said, goals are more commonly changed from one year to the next.
Of course, part of your Twitter objective should be to represent changes in your business. Be especially aware of your newest or trending products and services and make sure they are being represented in your content. This means that, for instance, if you release a new product or introduce new services that they are adequately reflected in your marketing plans.
Begin with your tweets
Once you’ve set benchmarks from a strategic standpoint, it’s time to begin your Twitter audit. Begin with data from Google Analytics to see how Twitter traffic is performing from a content and conversion perspective. Typically, this includes a careful look at how often people share or comment on your Tweets. In addition, Google Analytics will show you to what extent people click through to the landing pages included in Tweets.
Next, download tweets from your Twitter Analytics so that you can analyze them using all of the rich data that Twitter provides. This data is different from the Google offerings, though some of it is repetitive. Nonetheless, duplicate information can be easily counted just once. Besides, Twitter is better at reporting on a per-Tweet level. Google is more interested in the source of a referral.
When analyzing your tweets, look for outliers in both good and bad performing tweets (based on your objective) to optimize your content category or content type (link / meme / video / photo / etc,) strategy. If you find that a particular type of Tweet has a particularly bad result, you should try and figure out why. For instance, a joke meme might rub people the wrong way. Likewise, with great Tweets you want to figure out what’s so awesome about it. These are the ones which go viral.
Your Twitter audit should also consider hashtag performance as well as look for trends in timing of tweets. Ask yourself: did certain days or times work better? Do your hashtags adequately reflect what people are looking for in your niche? Or almost as bad, are you competing for hashtags that are either too broad or too busy?
Further Reading: Five Twitter Hashtag Analytics Tools and How to Leverage Them
Finally, modify your evergreen tweet strategy based on category performance. While evergreen Tweets are intended to be timeless, sometimes you don’t achieve that result. In addition, world events can make a once-evergreen piece of content irrelevant, at least for a time. We’ve seen a lot of that over the last 18 months.
Further Reading: Why Evergreen Tweets are Critical to Twitter Marketing Success
Compare with your Competitors
It’s always smart to see if you are “keeping up with the Joneses” by comparing tweet frequency, tweet content type, content category, and engagement they are receiving. Generally speaking, it’s easy to see these statistics if you use social listening tools. In addition, other marketing suites can give you statistics on any Twitter account that you want. These can be personal, such as for influencer searches, or business accounts.
If you track competitor performance regularly you’ll want to either be outperforming your competitor or looking for insight as to how you can improve your Twitter marketing. While some differences will be reflected in brand voice, others are an overall gauge of effectiveness. For instance, some fashion brands are known for being offbeat, and their clothing line reflects this. If a more old fashioned brand copies them, it won’t “fit” brand voice. However, this would be no excuse for poor overall outcomes.
Once you’ve decided how your Twitter analytics compare to the competition “all other things being equal,” it’s time to figure out which items need improvement. Here, you need to consider maximizing both brand exposure and campaign ROI. In addition, you should think about how to address the successes of your competition and bring in more consumer interest.
Further Reading: The Best 15 Twitter Tools for Marketing
Audit your followers and followings
This important part of a Twitter audit helps you ensure that the people you are following are relevant to your mission. In addition, you need to be sure that your followers are, in fact, people you want to reach. While most brands will have otherwise irrelevant followers, some of them can cause problems. For instance, fake followers and trolls can throw your statistics off very quickly.
Audit Your Followers
To audit your followers, Use popular Twitter audit tools such as Twitter Audit or Follower Audit to find and then delete potential fake followers. As a general rule, fake followers are accounts which don’t have a real person behind them. They could be so-called “sock puppet” accounts meant to get around their real one being banned, for instance. Or, fake followers can be accounts that were set up to manipulate analytics info. Either way, you don’t want them around.
Follow Back Your Important Followers
Make sure that you are following back your important followers. If you don’t check this on a daily basis, your Twitter audit is the time to check. Your important followers will vary, but people that seem to be important in your field or that regularly interact with your content should be checked for relevance.
Influencers and Brand Advocates
Ask yourself: are there new influencers in your industry that have emerged that you should be following? One of the best ways to get their attention is to follow them. In addition, following influencers lets you see what kind of content they put out, and how effective it is.
Discover your brand advocates (if you use a social media dashboard like AgoraPulse which shows you who they are) and consider introducing them to your influencer program. If you don’t have a good social media dashboard, check out the people who talk about your products and services on Twitter. Many of them would LOVE the opportunity to do this with a sponsorship.
Further Reading: Twitter Influencers: How to Find and Connect with Them
Audit your branding
Even though most companies don’t change this often, it always makes sense to make sure that your branding is still aligned with your corporate strategy. Typically, corporate branding is partially a reflection of target consumer bases. Brands tailored to young and hip audiences, for instance, will have that vibe. However, if the customer base changes, then branding may need a refresh. Another example can include the use of symbols that have taken on new meanings over time.
This aspect of a Twitter audit includes looking at and potentially revising several different elements. Look at your cover image and logo. Is it still aligned with your current branding? Even minor things like color shifts should be updated on your Twitter account. Remember, consistency is important to branding.
Next, look at your bio. Is it still aligned with your current branding, or does it need a shift? This one will not change that often, as the things a company is proud of typically won’t change often. On the other hand, if you have a major ongoing campaign or initiative, you might consider showcasing this in your Twitter bio.
Further Reading: 14 Twitter Bio Ideas to Attract More Followers
Also within the cover section of you Twitter audit, check out the URL. Many brands simply list their homepage for this. And in many cases, this is appropriate. But nonetheless, you should ask yourself, “is there a strategic link you’d rather lead people to?” That could be a contact landing page, or it could be something dedicated to a core initiative. One example that I saw plenty of last year, for instance, was a link to the ways companies were taking care of their employees during the lockdowns.
Your Pinned Tweet
Finally, check your pinned tweet. Does it need replacing? Especially if you’re using the pinned tweet for major corporate announcements, you’ll likely change it regularly. Another pandemic-era Twitter profile feature was pinned tweets detailing when a business was reopening. This is a more fluid example than might be typical, but it’s a good example of why we need to pay attention to this particular item.
Further Reading: The Five Awesome Twitter Features You Should Use Now
The Final Word on Twitter Audits
At the end of the day, there’s no replacement for a Twitter audit. It may sound like a lot of work, but without it, you’ll have a harder time tracking and maintaining the efficiency of your Tweets over time. However, its time-consuming nature is why I recommend you only do it quarterly to ensure that the big ship that is marketing stays its course. Do this too often, and you’ll both waste staff time and (potentially) miss important trends that take time to develop.
With that said, doing this regular audit should be part of your overall marketing effectiveness monitoring. No matter which social networks you use to reach customers, and you should use several, they all need careful maintenance. Luckily, the process is much easier if you have the right tools. Much of the analytical tasks are highly automated. Besides that, the branding considerations don’t take much time. It’s taking time to draw conclusions from data that is the most tedious.
Hero photo by freestocks on Unsplash