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9 tips for watching TV on Twitter

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Live-blogging has spawned a new generation of itself, and the cool kids these days are live-Tweeting and Tumbling while they watch their favorite shows. Sound like something you’d like to get in on? We’ve got some suggestions to help get you started using Twitter while you watch TV.

After all, 4 in 5 Americans multitask while they’re watching TV now, did you know?

From Marketing Charts

If you want to be one of them, here are some tips for getting social while watching your favorite shows:

  1. Check for an official show or episode hashtag. Using this, you can join in the voices of the multitude – or minority – watching. It’s easy to connect with like-minded people this way. You can find these hashtags by searching for an official show handle by typing the show name into Twitter search, and then go to that account to see what hashtag(s) they use. If there’s no official account, or they’re not using hashtags, click through other search results to see what other people are using.
  2. If a hashtag doesn’t already exist, make up your own. People who follow you who watch the show might join in, and it can spread from there. Or someone who follows you who doesn’t even watch the show might start, because they know someone else who watches it.
  3. You might want to announce ahead of time if you’re going to be live-tweeting a show, and that you’ll be using a hashtag, just in case anyone wants to mute it if they’re not interested.
  4. Do not tweet spoilers. Ever. Remember that not everyone is watching live, and you don’t want to be the one who ruins the ending for everyone else.
  5. Interact with other people talking about the show, replying to and retweeting them when appropriate. 
  6. Mention official accounts for the show, the actors or the characters. You never know when you might get a retweet, and those accounts often have a large following. You can find them by searching Twitter for the show name and choosing the official account that pops up with a verified checkmark, or by going to the show’s website – they all have their social profiles prominently displayed.
  7. Follow people you have an interesting interaction with – that’s what being social is all about, after all. You may find some new friends.
  8. For big events where you might have people over to be social IRL too – like a Super Bowl party or Oscar party – post pictures of your setup, and include guest’s handles in your tweets.
  9. Share your content from other networks like Tumblr and Instagram. But be careful of auto-sharing everything you post elsewhere; those who follow you in multiple places might get bothered by the redundancy and decide to unfollow you. It’s great to cross-post some, but be selective.

Do you tweet while you watch TV? Got any tips we missed? Tell us how you do it in the comments below.

Written by Sarah

April 11th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Guides

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TweetReach Tip: Find & engage influencers on Twitter with TweetReach snapshot reports

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You can do a lot with your TweetReach snapshot reports and Trackers, and one of the most important and often underutilized tricks is identifying and then interacting with your biggest influencers on Twitter. How? It’s pretty simple:

  1. Run a TweetReach snapshot report
  2. Check out your contributors

That’s it. It’s that easy! Here are some screenshots from a report we ran about Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield:

Top contributors shows you the top Twitter accounts talking about Col. Hadfield. @Gizmodo earned the highest number of impressions from their tweets about the astronaut, @NewsBreaker garnered the most retweets, and @csa_asc (the Canadian Space Agency) generated the most mentions. (You can find a breakdown of a snapshot report here if you need one.)

What do these numbers mean? Exposure is the total number of times a tweet is delivered to Twitter streams, or the overall number of impressions generated. A high exposure means that account has a lot of followers, and tweets from that account were delivered to lots of other Twitter accounts. NewsBreakers got the most retweets, meaning many of that account’s followers found the Hadfield-centered tweet interesting enough to pass along to their followers. Finally, the Canadian Space Agency Twitter handle was mentioned in the most tweets about Col. Hadfield.

If you run regular snapshot reports and notice that you have repeat top contributors, those are definitely accounts you want to engage with,  if you aren’t already doing so. And remember, you can save your TweetReach reports if you create a free account, or download PDFs or CSVs for later reference.


Don’t just limit yourself to your top contributors either; be sure to look at the full list of contributors. Paying attention to everyone who is talking about you or your brand will let you see who is retweeting your content and generating impressions. These people might not be able to generate as many impressions as an account like Gizmodo because they have fewer followers, but having lots of followers isn’t necessarily as important as being able to influence others. Not everyone following Gizmodo will be interested in everything they retweet or talk about, but someone with a lot of pull with his or her followers – even if there are only 200 – may actually have more followers paying attention, possibly even clicking through and reading a link, or ultimately purchasing something. If that kind of person is consistently in your contributors list, you should be engaging with him or her.

How do you engage? Follow these accounts and talk to them when it’s natural. Do they take part in Twitter chats? If it’s relevant, join in. This will lead you to more likeminded people to connect with. Do they share interesting content? Retweet or reply to it; start a conversation.

On a related note, looking closely at contributors is also a great way to connect with those who are influential in your industry, or about the topic you’re tracking. Then later, if you want to join into that conversation, you know who to talk to.

So that’s how to do this with a snapshot report. How’s it different with a Tracker? We’ll cover that in our next post. Stay tuned, and as always, comment with any questions!

Written by Sarah

March 28th, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Twitter Tips: Keyboard shortcuts for navigating on the site

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We’re all busy, and some of us are too busy to bother with our computer’s mouse or trackpad. If that sounds like you, check out this handy list of Twitter keyboard shortcuts (we posted something similar over on Tumblr, if you’re into keyboard navigation on all of your social sites):

B → block user
U → unblock user
F → favorite
J → next tweet
K → previous tweet
L → close open tweets
M → new direct message
N → new tweet
R → reply
T → retweet
G + A → activity page
G + C → connect page
G + D → discover page
G + F → favorites
G + H → home
G + L → lists
G + M → messages
G + P → profile
G + R → mentions
G + S → settings
G + U → go to a profile
Space → page down
/ → search
. → load new tweets
? → load shortcut menu

Got any we missed? Leave them in the comments. Happy shortcut tweeting!

Written by Sarah

March 19th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Guides

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9 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a host

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Interested in Twitter chats? This is the second in our two-part series about Twitter chats. Check out the first one here, and get some tips for participating in a Twitter chat as yourself or a brand.

Hosting a Twitter chat? It can feel overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you get started and stay organized:

First things first:

  • Check that the hashtag you want to use isn’t already in use elsewhere, and isn’t common enough that your chat will be flooded with irrelevant chatter (you can do this by checking the spreadsheet in the next point, or simply utilizing Twitter’s search function).
  • Check the master schedule of chats and schedule yours at a time that won’t compete with another established chat in a similar topic vein (if there’s a time you want and the other chat is completely unrelated, go for it).
  • Add your chat to the master schedule, so interested parties can find it.

Promote your chat:

  • Announce to your Twitter followers that you’re starting up a Twitter chat, and be sure to include the time and hashtag.
  • Reach out politely to influential followers to help you promote it, if it seems like something they’d be interested in.
  • Reach out to influential followers and/or industry folks who might be interested in being a special guest. An intriguing or high profile guest can spark more participation.

Moderate:

  • Keep the conversation flowing with prearranged questions, but don’t be afraid to throw them away or save them for later if the conversation picks up on its own
  • Don’t be afraid to block someone if they’re being consistently rude to other chat participants
  • Welcome newcomers: most will proclaim themselves, so give them a warm hello and follow them if you feel its appropriate

Got any tips we missed? Add them in the comments!

Written by Sarah

February 21st, 2013 at 10:22 am

Posted in Guides

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10 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a participant

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Interested in Twitter chats? We’ve got a quick two-part series of posts about them! Here’s the first. Check back tomorrow for the second. 

If this spreadsheet is any indication there are a lot of Twitter chats out there; no matter your brand or area of interest, there’s sure to be one you can benefit from joining. But where to start? Check out these tips for maximizing your Twitter chat experience.

First things first:

  • Identify the chat or chats you want to join in on, and schedule them on your calendar with a pop-up reminder. This way they won’t sneak up on you and if you get busy, you won’t forget about them.
  • Lurk before you jump in: most chats are completely welcoming of newcomers, but if it makes you more comfortable just to sit back and observe a few times, do it.
  • Read over a transcript of an old chat session before joining in. Searching a chat hashtag will show you if they have one, and allow you to discover if it’s a good fit for the type of chat you’re looking for, and you can learn the conversation style.

When you tweet:

  • When you do join in, tell everyone that you’re new! Many will go out of their way to welcome you, and encourage you to join in on the conversation.
  • If you’re planning on tweeting for your brand, consider joining in on a personal handle first. That way you can get a feel for the way the conversation rolls in action, without any potential harm to your brand from a misunderstanding. 140 characters is short, especially when you’re adding a hashtag!
  • With that said, keep your tweets short and sweet: other chat participants can more easily add their own thoughts and retweet you if you keep it as succinct as possible

Chat étiquette: 

  • Don’t be afraid to respectfully disagree with someone else’s opinion on a strategy or tool, etc, but keep it courteous; it goes without saying that you don’t want to be contentious enough to get blocked from the chat
  • If you think someone misunderstood you, clarify your meaning and intent. If they’re determined to be upset, apologize and drop it
  • Don’t talk over the host or special guest, if there is one meant to be answering prearranged questions. Add your thoughts or expertise and share resources, but don’t dominate the conversation when you’re not the special guest
  • Some chats won’t have special guests and the hosts act more as roundtable moderators, moving the conversation along. Chime in freely here.

Joining in on Twitter chats is a great way to connect with people in your industry, learn more about a topic or facet of an industry you’re new to or want deeper knowledge of, and to pick up new tools of the trade recommended by others.

By making regular twitter chat connections, you’ll potentially find yourself with more meet-ups at the next conference you attend, an online mentor to ask tricky industry questions to, or simply some new and wonderful Twitter friends.

Got any tips we missed? Disagree with one? Talk about it in the comments!

Written by Sarah

February 20th, 2013 at 9:23 am

Posted in Guides

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7 tips to maximize your conference attendance using Twitter

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We’ve covered how you can maximize using Twitter during your conference as a host– now what about as an attendee? Here are some quick tips to maximize your conference experience via Twitter:

The basics:

  • Learn the official event hashtag & double-check that you’re typing it correctly: seems simple enough, but you’ll miss out on a lot of connection and engagement with a typo
  • Make sure you’re following the host’s official account (or accounts): check periodically to see if there have been any changes in the scheduling, location of panels or smaller events, or any other breaking conference news
  • Advanced move? Research food places (and coffeeshops; even bars with good happy hour!) near the conference location, and follow some of them on Twitter. You might score a discount with a Twitter coupon, or at least have a place to invite follow attendees around sessions!

What you’re saying:

  • Quoting someone? Cite it as the speaker or an audience member, and tag it with their Twitter handle, if you have the information handy
  • Keep it short and sweet: you’ll be more likely to be retweeted if you keep your character count low, and other conference goers don’t have to trim your tweet down to add their own thoughts before retweeting
  • Share, follow back, add your thoughts– don’t just lurk in the conference hashtag streams! This is how you strike up conversations and form relationships with fellow attendees
  • Turn online interactions into offline: notice you keep tweeting with the same people? Meet up for lunch, coffee or happy hour to take your conference networking offline

Got something we missed? Share it in the comments. And we’ll see you at #SXSWi 2013!

Photo credit: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid at laughingsquid.com

Written by Sarah

February 12th, 2013 at 11:44 am

Posted in Guides

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TweetReach Tip: Common Tracker mistakes

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Much like the double-tap method is essential for zombie eradication, double- and triple-checking your Tracker queries is essential to success with your TweetReach Pro Trackers. Be sure you aren’t making any of the following common mistakes with your Tracker setup, and you’ll get the best results possible with your Tracker.

Mistake #1: Not making the tweets you send from your own Twitter account easily trackable.

  • Put your hashtag toward the beginning of your campaign tweets. If you put it toward the end, it could get cut off in subsequent retweets. Also be sure you keep your campaign tweets to a shorter, shareable length; the “perfect tweet length appears to be around 100 characters”, according to a study by TrackSocial.
  • If you begin a tweet with someone’s Twitter handle – for example, @tweetreachapp – only that account and anyone who follows both of you will see it. Be sure to add a period or other text to the beginning of the tweet if you want to gain the largest impression possible: “.@tweetreachapp is a great tool”. You can read more about @replies and impressions on our helpdeskThe bottom line: if you want to track a tweet and get the most data about it possible, don’t start it with a Twitter handle.

Mistake #2: Small errors in your Tracker queries can keep you from getting the data you need.

  • Make sure you’ve set up the right search terms in your Tracker. For example, banana won’t capture tweets including the word bananas. And #banana will only find uses of the hashtag, but not general uses of the word banana. Add multiple queries if you need to (banana, bananas, #banana AND #bananas).
  • Make sure you spell your search terms correctly. It seems basic, but checking on this will save you from missing data. Also keep be sure to add queries to include accented characters and punctuation, as well as alternative spellings. For example: “shop ‘til you drop” and “shop til you drop”, or  dakar perú and dakar peru. 
  • Make sure you’re using the right form of your hashtag, or search for multiple hashtags if appropriate. Likewise, make sure the tweets you’re sending out have the correct hashtag, and do what you can to communicate the official version to participants. Sometimes, you may need to adapt and track audience-generated hashtags; the official form doesn’t always get the use you’re expecting.

Want more tips on improving your search queries? You can read all about it here. And if you have any questions about your Trackers, just ask!

Written by Sarah

January 30th, 2013 at 7:30 am

Posted in Help

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TweetReach Tip: Improve your snapshot report search query

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Our customers often ask the question, “What exactly can I search for on TweetReach?” We want to make sure you get the most out of your snapshot reports, so here’s everything you need to know about queries.

For all snapshot report searches, keep in mind that shorter queries work better: under 70 characters, or 6-8 words. Use the most specific terms possible to find what you’re looking for and consider if you need a particular phrase; if so put it in quotes (“peanut butter banana”) so it will appear exactly in that order. Be sure to account for misspellings or nicknames that might apply to the phrase, campaign or brand name that you’re searching for.

Our snapshot reports and Trackers work a little differently. Snapshot reports collect data from Twitter’s search API, which includes up to 1,500 tweets from the past week, and Trackers rely on the real-time, full-coverage Twitter stream from Gnip. In both, you can search for basically anything that appears in a tweet, including Twitter names, terms or phrases, hashtags, etc… You can also narrow the search for any of those things by adding a time frame, filtering for links or a particular language, and more.

Search for tweets related to an account:

  • username – search for tweets to, from and about a specific Twitter user (e.g. tweetreachapp)
  • @username – search for tweets mentioning or RTing a specific Twitter user (e.g. @tweetreachapp)
  • from:username – search only for tweets from a specific Twitter user (e.g. from:tweetreachapp)
  • to:username – search only for tweets directed to a specific Twitter user (e.g. to:tweetreachapp)

Search for tweets containing a particular term or phrase, including a #hashtag:

  • term1 term2 – search for tweets containing both term1 and term2 in any order (e.g. twitter metrics)
  • term1 OR term2 – search for tweets containing either term1 or term2 (e.g. analytics OR metrics)
  • “term1 term2” – search for tweets containing the phrase “term1 term2” (e.g. “twitter metrics”)
  • term1 -term2 – search for tweets containing term1 but not including term2 (e.g. twitter -facebook)

Put a more specific filter on your search for an account, term or phrase:

  • since:YYYY-MM-DD – search only for tweets after a specific date in UTC (e.g. since:2012-12-12)
  • until:YYYY-MM-DD – search only for tweets before a specific date in UTC (e.g. until:2012-12-12)
  • filter:links – search only for tweets containing links
  • lang:NN – to search for only tweets in a particular language (e.g. lang:en for only English tweets, more info about languages here)

For instance, let’s say you want to search for tweets that contain the words “banana metrics”, and you only want the ones with those exact words in that exact order, starting from a certain date. In that case you’d enter “banana metrics”- in the quotes to get the exact phrase- into the search bar, adding since:2012-12-12 to the query. So it would look like this:

“banana metrics” since:2012-12-12

And your report would return to you all the tweets containing the term “banana metrics” since the 12th of December, 2012. (If you want to get data about “banana metrics” from last week, you’ll have to get a quote on our Historical Analytics, available separately from reports or the Trackers that come with a TweetReach Pro subscription.)

Still have questions? We have answers!

Get more details on what you can search for in a TweetReach report in our help forums; there’s also a breakdown of what you can do with a snapshot report by question. We’ve also written on the blog about using snapshot reports to measure the reach of a Twitter account (here’s the help forum post on that as well) and the reach of a particular tweet, two options to search for.

If you still have questions don’t be afraid to drop us a line. We’re here to help!

Written by Sarah

December 10th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Help

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TweetReach Tip: Measuring the reach of a Twitter account

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Want to measure the reach of a particular Twitter account? Great – you’ve come to the right place! Our TweetReach snapshot reports can measure the reach of any public Twitter account in just a few seconds. And depending on exactly which tweets you want to include in your analysis, we have a few tips for writing your search queries.

From and About

The From and About report is our most often run report and measures all tweets to, from and about an account. Use this query:

@username OR from:username

This report will return all mentions of that Twitter account (including all types of retweets, replies and mentions), as well as all tweets from that Twitter account. This is the most comprehensive set of reach stats for a Twitter account, and covers all activity with and about an username. We call this the From and About report, because it returns data both from a Twitter account, as well as about a Twitter account. Here’s an example From and About report.

About

The About report will include all mentions, replies and retweets of an account. Use this query with the @ symbol:

@username

This report will let you know how many people are talking about a certain Twitter account, and the ways they’re talking about it (retweets, replies and mentions). It will not include original tweets posted from the account. We call this the About report, since it only returns tweets about an account from other Twitter users. Here’s an example About report.

From

The From report will return only tweets from that account. Use this query with the from: operator:

from:username

This reports is useful for measuring the impact of an individual Twitter account without the noise of mentions and other users’ interaction, and it’s great for learning more about the kinds of tweets that account is posting. We call this the From report, since it only includes tweets from that Twitter account. Here’s an example From report.

From and Retweet

Finally, sometimes you want to know only about an account’s tweets and any retweets of those tweets. The From and Retweet report uses this query:

from:username OR “RT @username”

This report will return tweets from an account, as well as any retweets of that account. This is useful for measuring the impact of an account’s tweets and its retweets, without including other mentions or replies. We call this the From and Retweet report, since it only includes original tweets and retweets. Here’s an example From and Retweet report.

Written by Jenn D

August 21st, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Help

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Today’s TweetReach Tip: When tweets are available for analysis

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One of the questions we’re often asked is when tweets are available for analysis (and how long they’re accessible). We hear a lot of questions like:

  • Can I get tweets from last month? What about last year?
  • I have an event coming up – what’s the best way to measure those tweets?
  • What if I want to analyze only tweets from the past two days?
  • Can I track tweets for a month or longer?

So, here’s our answer to those questions. We have several different ways at TweetReach to access tweets, depending on when they were posted and how many tweets there are. First, we just need to know the answer to one question: when were your tweets posted? 

My tweets will be posted in the future

If your tweets will be posted anytime in the future, then we have the most flexibility for reporting. Anytime you can plan ahead for your Twitter tracking, it will be both easier and cheaper to get the tweet analytics you need. If your tweets will be posted in the future, whether it’s later today or not until next month, we have two ways to measure those tweets:

  1. Set up a Tracker before tweets are posted
  2. Run a snapshot report after tweets are posted

TweetReach Tracker will capture all tweets in real time, as they are posted to Twitter. So this means you need to set it up before tweets start going out. Trackers are perfect for longer or higher-volume campaigns, as well as for more in-depth metrics. Trackers don’t have any tweet or time limits*, so they can track as many tweets as you want, for as long as you want. We have some customers who have been tracking – and archiving – their tweets for two years! Trackers are available through TweetReach Pro.

The other option is to run a snapshot report after your event or campaign is over and all relevant tweets have been posted. A snapshot report will include basic Twitter analytics for up to 1,500 tweets from the past 7-10 days (whichever comes first). Snapshot reports are great for smaller, lower-volume, or shorter campaigns. You can run a snapshot report anytime at tweetreach.com. The first 50 tweets are free, and the full snapshot is $20.

So, set up a Tracker before your event if you’re expecting more than 1,500 tweets or want to track them for more than a week. Run a snapshot report after your event if you’re expecting fewer than 1,500 tweets over a week or less.

My tweets were posted in the past week

If the time period for your tweets is within the past few daysrun a one-time snapshot report. A snapshot TweetReach report will include up to 1,500 tweets from the past 7-10 days. This varies a little from query to query, but most are around a week. You can also limit these snapshots to specific dates from the past week using date filters. A snapshot including up to 50 tweets is free, and a full snapshot will be $20.

My tweets were posted more than a week ago

If the tweets were posted within the past month, then we can access those tweets through a custom TweetReach historical report. This works best for a single day or few day period from the past month, but can include tweets for up to 30 days back from today. These historical reports range in price, depending on the length of time and number of tweets being analyzed, but start at $200, and include full coverage of all tweets from your time period.

Contact us to discuss your specific needs and we can give you a precise quote. TweetReach Back is really best for Twitter analytics emergencies – when a client or coworker absolutely needs numbers and didn’t remember to tell you until now.

*Our lower-level TweetReach Pro plans have some soft tweet limits, but most people will never reach those limits. Please check with us if you want to know about these limits or if you plan on tracking a high-volume event.

Written by Jenn D

June 13th, 2012 at 11:47 am

Posted in Help

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