A Guide to Conducting a Twitter Audit

As a brand it is vital to know how your Twitter account is performing. A Twitter audit gives you insights into your audience so that you can be successful on this crucial social platform. An audit checks your company’s pulse and analyzes different aspects of your profile to help you improve. Here’s how!

We are going to break down a Twitter audit for you, sharing:

  • The importance of auditing
  • The four pillars of a Twitter audit – Tweets, Audience, Identifying Bots, and Your Profile

All essential stuff, as you may or may not know . . .

  • Twitter’s user base is predicted to grow 2.4% in 2021.
  • Carnegie Melon studied 200 million tweets in January 2020, finding that 82% of the top 50 retweeters were bots (and bots are bad for business).
  • According to Twitter’s Q3 2020 report, Twitter ad engagement is up 27%.

Twitter is where tons of brand conversations happen – and for many brands, it’s where most of their mentions take place.

sources of consumer mentions

Showing significant Twitter volume from a CPG company’s online audit of brand mentions. May 3, 2021 – June 3, 2021

And then Twitter is always evolving too. It recently rolled out a paid option, Twitter Blue, which allows users to undo Tweets before they go live, introduces “Reader Mode” and more. People will undoubtedly flock to it, so there’s never been a better time to get your activity in order with a Twitter audit.

Why Auditing Your Twitter Handle is Important 

A Twitter audit is critical – from identifying bot accounts, to pinpointing posts which perform the best. It can reveal specific details to boost your brands presence and keep you seen. It also helps you sort out the best times of day to post; which posts are producing the most engagements; and, how many of your shared links were actually clicked on. To sum up, a Twitter audit can answer these questions:

  • Who are your fans?
  • Which content has the best response rate?
  • Are you consistent in frequency of posts?
  • When are your followers active?
  • What’s your return on investment (ROI)? Are your campaigns effective?
  • How can you boost your brand’s presence?

Without understanding your audience and what excites them or draws them in, you are wasting your time posting things. It’s all random and your success will be as well.

Twitter’s user base is predicted to grow 2.4% this year, so you’ll need consumer insight research to guide your steps, if you hope to make heads or tails out of your activity. And that’s where a Twitter audit comes in handy. Let’s look at what an audit should include.

Steps to Include in Your Audit

There are many ways you can audit your Twitter account. Using social media analytics tools alongside Twitter analytics can be incredibly insightful. This allows you to peek behind the consumer behavior curtain and discover what is driving them to click, comment, retweet – or ignore you completely.

Auditing your Tweets

This shows how your content is performing and reveals:

  • Which tweets are getting the most likes, replies and retweets?
  • The content type that gets the most engagement
  • Hashtag performance and which ones work best for your brand

To do this, assuming you’ve already signed up for Twitter analytics, go to your dashboard and click on the Tweets tab. From here you can select date ranges to view, as well as click on any day and look at performance such as engagements, organic impressions and overall impressions.

In separate tabs, you’re able to view top tweets and promoted tweets to analyze their performance. And you can download all of your metrics by day or even by individual tweet.

twitter analytics

By looking at all of your posts in one area, you’ll be able to pick up on trends and patterns that are helping to boost your share of voice. Likewise, it will highlight areas which need improvement.

  • Perhaps your content performs well, but you are posting inconsistently. Consistency is key, even if people aren’t interacting. If you are posting frequently, your name continues to show up in their feed.
  • Or perhaps your brand has evolved. Going back in time to remove older tweets that no longer align with your brand’s perspective could be advantageous to how consumers see you.

Twitter ad engagement is up 27% –  you want to keep your consumers engaged on current content. And you can never know how many of them scroll back in your feed to see what you said about x, y and z. In today’s environment, you can be sure that it’s many.

Auditing your Audience

Who are the people in your Twitter neighborhood? Demographics is an integral part of reaching any audience. Without understanding who makes up your audience, you can’t target them effectively.

And then there are bots to consider – or fake followers. We’ll get to them in a moment but first let’s look at an integral piece of the audit puzzle – demographics.

Twitter unfortunately did away with their audience insights feature in January of 2020. This critical piece of a Twitter audit allows the user to break their followers down into groups. Instead of having a group of people who like your brand, you can now see that this big group is made up of animal enthusiasts, coffee lovers, gamers and much more. It’s extremely helpful to have a consumer intelligence tool that can locate and connect consumers by interests, professions, gender, geographical location, etc. This aids your brand in targeting your consumer with messaging curated just for them.

age demographics

Age demographics of a top CPG brand. May3, 2021 – June 3, 2021

Identifying and Removing Unwanted Attention

Carnegie Melon studied 200 million tweets in January 2020. It found that of the top 50 retweeters, 82% were bots. They are everywhere and it seems everyone, no matter who they are, has at least one bot following them.

Twitter bots are automated Twitter accounts controlled by bot software. Their purpose, aside from liking and commenting, is to share content for a specific goal on a larger scale.

They can be helpful like retweeting emergency weather reports, or in in customer service interactions, by aiding consumers in finding orders. But in Twitter-verse, they can be harmful by spreading around fake news, spamming or violating privacy. Here’s how they affect brands:

  • Credibility Killer – Twitter users are curious. So, if they click on your profile, they’ll likely look at who is following you. Twitter users are also smart and recognize bots. If they see loads of bots in comparison to real accounts, it may cast your brand in a bad light and kill your credibility.
  • Engagement Assassinators – Bots won’t be clicking on links to your website. And they screw up your analytics. If you’re trying to reach an audience of authentic people, bots are being measured as a part of those impressions. Your analytics could be way off, depending on how may bots you have following you.

Additionally, if you purchased bots to fluff up your follower count, be prepared to lose them as Twitter has launched a great war on bots. They don’t like them, and they’re getting rid of them. And when they are banned, their impressions go as well.

So, being proactive about it and finding and eliminating bots should be a part of your Twitter audit. But how do you identify them?

Twitter has a nifty tool called Twitter Audit. You simply put your username into the search bar and Twitter looks at each of your individual followers and sorts them according to real or fake profiles. Once you know who the bots are, you can block them. This requires upgrading to their paid Twitter Pro Audit tool.

But you can recognize these false friends easily yourself by being aware of a few red flags. According to Norton these are some of the top clues:

  • Automation – A bot account will usually tweet short replies that appear automated and possibly not on the subject.
  • Account creation — Be wary of Twitter users with recent creation dates. This doesn’t always mean it’s a bot, but it’s a good first clue to be compared against other aspects.
  • Account description – Keep an eye out for accounts which seem automated. For example, its username contains numbers or it appears like an assigned username. The account may also have no photo, biography, or profile description.
  • Account activity – Bots often follow a lot of accounts but may not have many followers of their own. And it’s retweeting and tweeting faster than is humanly possible.

So, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it just may be a duck. Press block and don’t look back.

Auditing your Profile

After you’ve weeded out the bots, your profile may need attention. Staying current involves updating your profile as needed. If you’re rebranding yourself, you’ll want to be sure that your overall look and messaging reflects this new change.

Or, if you’ve updated your brand logo, you’ll want to be sure to update this on your Twitter profile. And you’ll want to update your pinned tweets regularly. Ideally these tweets contain current content that you want to highlight, so making sure it’s applicable to the times is key.

And – why bother? Well, there are ways your business can be hurt by not auditing your profile, including:

  • Being perceived as not caring – When you leave outdated information on your website it sends the message to your consumers that you’re just not paying attention. Or that you don’t care. So, if you don’t care, why should they?
  • Sending the wrong message – Consumers who are just finding you have little knowledge of who you are. If your site looks outdated, they may think you’re closed for business. Or if you’ve recently become more active in incorporating diversity and inclusivity, but your old messaging online hasn’t changed, you may alienate consumers looking for progressive companies to support.
  • Pushing consumers to your competitors – If your content is outdated and looks like something from five years ago, you’re making an excellent argument for consumers to support your competition who presents an updated online profile and image.

Consumers want new and shiny, not dull and rusty. A consistent Twitter audit will help keep you polished.

Auditing can feel painful and is more of a manual job than it needs to be when one lacks a separate analytics tool that can monitor the crowd. A Twitter audit is wonderful for a basic understanding of your followers on that channel. However, the addition of social listening and consumer analytics is ideal.

Knowing where you stand on a variety of lead generation channels offers crucial intel around perception and share of voice, and so much more. And you can be sure those leading your category (or nipping at your heels if you’re the current leader) are paying close attention to their channel analytics. If you want to stay one step ahead on Twitter and elsewhere online, reach out for a demo!

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