How to Get Free Insight Using Twitter Analytics [Archived Post]
*Update: Since the writing of this article, Twitter has opened analytics access to all of its users, regardless of their account status or whether they engage in advertising. I am leaving the information and steps below for reference, for anyone who may still need to activate Twitter analytics, is having problems gaining access to tweet stats or would like to know how to set up a Twitter advertiser account.
Having trouble getting access to Twitter Analytics to see how your tweets perform?
You are so not alone. I tried for weeks. It just wasn’t working.
I wanted to claw my eyes out.
But this very recently changed, and my eyes stayed intact. Now I can now see impressions, engagement and other metrics about my tweets and followers, all for free.
So how did I do it?
Gaining access to analytics and tweet performance data can prove elusive.
If you go to analytics.twitter.com and try to sign in with your account as it is right now, you’ll see that no analytics or metrics on your tweets are yet available.
You’ll need to take some additional actions to get this information.
As a short aside, Analytics is a new enough Twitter feature that its existence is not yet common knowledge in all sectors. On top of that, Twitter itself is not overly clear on the specific steps required to gain access for free. They are much more interested in getting users to pay to promote tweets, Twitter cards and other campaigns and provide the stats as a “reward” for those engagements instead.
To get tweet analytics on my account, I first tried several suggestions I read from others, including adding snippets of code to my site, validating my home page, setting up Twitter cards, and tweeting my own URL. All were to no avail.
What finally worked for me was creating a Twitter advertiser account.
In just a couple of minutes and a few short steps, I got the account set up and working and was able to see details on every tweet I had sent out, whether manually or automated from apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
Boy, did I do a dance of joy on that day!
Why I’m sharing
In my research, I found many questions and comments from others who were having the same problem I was and couldn’t get past the Twitter illuminati gatekeepers. This prompted me to share what I learned to help make the process less arduous and time-consuming for those who need to see stats on their Twitter followers’ behavior like I do.
10 steps to activate a Twitter advertiser account
Here’s what to do:
1. Log in to your Twitter account as normal. (I would suggest doing this on a desktop or laptop. Probably can accomplish the same thing on a phone, but my directions won’t lead you to the appropriate options and menus quite as easily that way.)
2. Go to Twitter’s Analytics page.
3. Scroll down to the Become an Advertiser heading and click the hyperlink shown there (currently says “Learn More”).
4. Continue by creating an advertiser account (the current call-to-action is a button that says “Let’s Go” — click that).
5. Enter information about your business when prompted. It will ask you at least two questions: one about the location of your business and the other about the size of your digital advertising budget.
6. Set your permanent country and time zone when prompted and then click to continue. (They apparently mean it in saying that these two settings can never be changed. So choose carefully — lol!).
7. From here, you’ll be taken to the Twitter Ads screen:
The campaign options here are really up to you, but my own personal suggestion is to choose a Promoted Tweets campaign, as that is what I had luck doing. Select a campaign type and click to continue.
8. Enter the campaign options as prompted. There will be quite a range of these, including a name, timeframe, targeting options, a potential budget and a method of payment. Once you’ve entered the information, click the Save button first to continue, and then click to launch the campaign.
Note: Your goal is NOT to run an active campaign, unless you just want to. It is simply to set up a campaign as though you would be running it and then receive a prompt to enter credit card information that would to pay for it. Getting a method of payment on file is what will activate the analytics for your Twitter account.
According to what I’ve read and from my own experience with this, no payment is made or processed. The account balance and billing history remain at $0 unless you run a campaign, which is not required and is explained further in Step 9.
I read many posts from others before doing this myself stating that their cards never were charged, and during my activation my card did not get charged either. All I had was a $1 hold charge listed in the pending charges section of my credit card for a few days (this is because of the “swipe” from entering and submitting the card’s data) and then it went away. If there is any resulting charge against a card that is entered on the account, it will show in the billing history section of Twitter Ads under the Account menu. So bear all of this in mind before proceeding. It is up to you if you want to take these steps and put your credit card info out there for Twitter to have, whether it ever be charged or not. I do not know anything about Twitter’s actual policy or plans moving forward for their Ads section and am not a Twitter professional or Twitter adviser.
9. Immediately navigate to the Campaigns menu located in the site header and choose Tweets and Accounts. Then view your campaign. If it shows as launched and active, click the pause button beside it. This stops the campaign from running. Here’s what the button looks like:
Note: If you have a very large Twitter audience, it is possible that you could see a few clicks between the time you launch the campaign and the time you click pause, which would result in a charge. Bear this in mind. You could also try just saving (not launching) the campaign and entering credit card info separately. Doing so should, in theory, produce the same results.
10. Once the campaign has been launched successfully as described in Step 8, you will know if you have successfully activated analytics for your accounts because an Analytics menu will be present in the Twitter Ads header. It currently looks like this:
After confirming that the Analytics menu is present and that you can see stats on all of your tweets, feel free to delete the campaign you set up if you do not plan to use it in the future. In my experience, the analytics data remains present even though the campaign that “got” it there has been deleted.
Ta da!! Enjoy seeing the love that your tweets have received from your followers, and take advantage of the new data you now have to identify top performers to optimize your strategy for future tweets.
Experience or advice to share?
I encourage anyone who has additional advice or experience using Twitter Analytics or Twitter Cards to comment below. This process and interface are still pretty new to me, and I would love for those reading this article to benefit from others with vaster knowledge.