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Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Smart webmasters and marketers know analytics is the key to online success. Analytics services are the best way to know exactly how your site or content is performing and what you can do to improve it, but it has traditionally been more difficult to monitor your performance on social media through anything other than followers, likes, and retweets. Thankfully, that is all starting to change.

Twitter has operated an analytics service for users for over a year, but today they have launched a significant upgrade to its analytics tool which promises to give marketers and webmasters much greater insights into who their audience is and how to reach them.

The upgraded analytics tool, called “Audience Insights” offers a much deeper analysis of demographics, interests, lifestyle, consumer purchasing behavior, television viewing preferences, and even mobile carrier and device usage. The service works by matching data from Twitter’s Marketing Platform Partners such as Datalogix.

According to Twitter, the new Audience Insights will help brands improve their paid and organic marketing strategies on Twitter, and will be especially effective for advertisers as Twitter product manager Andrew Bragdon explained.

For example, if you’re running a campaign to increase awareness about a new cosmetics line, you can use this tool to learn about your potential customers on Twitter — the beauty products they’ve recently purchased, what fashion trends they’re interested in and even TV viewing behavior. Based on this information, you can identify the best segments to target within Twitter Ads, along with which creative — such as a Vine or video clip — your audience will find most compelling.

The insights dashboard offers easy and convenient tracking categories including gender, occupation, household income and net worth, home type, home value, marital status, education, consumer buying styles (premium brand vs. natural living vs. weight-conscious), favored television genre (drama vs. sports vs. comedy), type of credit card, and consumer good preferences.

The advanced analytics tool also makes it easy for marketers to compare their followers and organic audience against the full Twitter audience.

Audience Insights are already available for all Twitter advertisers and users of Twitter analytics. To access it, just visit ads.twitter.com while signed in, click on the “Analytics” menu, and select “Audience Insights”. You can also access it at analytics.twitter.com, under the “Followers” tab.

Below, you’ll find screenshots of each audience insights category as originally compiled by Marketing Land:

Overview

twitter-insights-overview-800x531

Demographics

twitter-insights-demo-800x519

Lifestyle

twitter-insights-life-800x420

Consumer Behavior

twitter-insights-consum-800x466

Mobile Footprint

twitter-insights-mobile-800x453

 

 

Twitter has grown from a small social media platform to one of most popular ways to share and interact with everyone from friends and family to celebrities and clothing brands. But along the way Twitter also got a reputation for being one of the most highly efficient marketing tools possible.

While Twitter isn’t the first social media platform to allow brands and public figures to interact with their audiences, it has continuously been one of the most powerful and easy to use platforms available. The only thing holding it back was a lack of analytics tools.

Last month, Twitter took the first step in rectifying this issue by launching an analytics dashboard similar to Google Analytics that specifically focused on Twitter. The analytics dashboard did everything from measuring the performance of your tweets to monitoring how many people are seeing each tweet. Too bad only advertisers and verified users had access to it at the time.

Thankfully, everything changed yesterday when Twitter engineer Ian Chan announced the wide release of the analytics dashboard via a tweet.

https://twitter.com/chanian/status/504712774321074176

Twitter also added a new page to the help center which explains everything you could want to know about using the dashboard and familiarizing yourself with the layout. To get access to the analytics dashboard, you only need to have an account that has been open for more than 2 weeks and primarily tweets in English, French, Japanese, or Spanish.

Twitter has become an undeniable force in modern culture. Even if you aren’t signed up for the social media platform, you can hardly turn on the television without being bombarded by tweets and hashtags.

Every major news network solicits tweets from their viewers in order to get real-time responses to issues, and any new episode of a show is bound to have at least one hashtag hovering in the bottom corner of the screen.

But, those TV hashtags highlight one of the biggest problems with Twitter: few people actually understand hashtags or how to use them efficiently. Sure, we all know how to tag Instagram photos with them, or we slap a silly hashtag on the end of tweets to add a little more information, but the number of people actually using hashtags to organize and sort through the constant tidal wave of new tweets is actually quite low.

It isn’t that Twitter’s users aren’t smart enough to use hashtags more efficiently, but it is difficult to make hashtags a very useful sorting device without going through a middleman. Twitter’s search engine can let you broadly search hashtags, but if you want to actually make sense of the mess you most likely need an extra tool to help you out.

Ann Smarty from Search Engine Journal pulled together five such tools to help Twitter users everywhere turn hashtags into a vital part of their information consumption every day. If you want to be smart with your hashtags, these tools are the best place to start.

1. Twitter Chat

twitter-chat-tool

When Twitter began using hashtags, it didn’t take long for users to figure out that the tags can be used to create a conversation between numerous people. Rather than directly messaging an individual, you are able to put a topic or “chat title” in the form of a hashtag so users are able to create a real discussion. But, the conversation was still cluttered and not well laid out for the average reader.

TwChat allows you to take those hashtags and monitor them in real time. It also lays the tweets in a more cohesive way, so that you can more quickly read and understand the conversation. Best of all, it is super simple to use, free, and doesn’t require downloaded software.

2. TagDef

TagDef

Originally, there was an unspoken rule that hashtags should be easy to understand at a glance. Obviously, this rule has fallen apart over time. Hashtags tend to be a combination of slang, inside jokes, and promotional material that makes no sense without context.

With the help of TagDef, you won’t have to worry about not being caught up with the latest American Idol hashtag or the slang younger people are using to keep up with the meaning behind hashtags popping up in your feed. The tool lets you search a hashtag and get the meaning instantly. You can also edit and add your own meanings. TagDef acts like Urban Dictionary exclusively for hashtags (and potentially a little less focused on profanity).

3. Hashtags

Hashtags Tool

Hashtags gained its reputation as the largest hashtag database on the web, but there is much, much more there. The site includes analytics, how to articles, blog posts, a chatroom, a forum, a hashtag dictionary, events, trending hashtags, popular hashtags (long-term), and even more.

4. Tagboard

tagboard

Of course, hashtags aren’t limited strictly to Twitter. The history of hashtags goes all the way back to IRC chats, but they have spread to nearly every major social networking platform out there. Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Vine have all implemented the organizing tool. Tagboard takes hashtags from across all those different platforms and displaying them all on one page. You can even use it as a social network dashboard, allowing you to like, share, or retweet as you desire without ever having to leave the site.

5. Hashtagify.me

hashtagify

There is no rule you have to use only one hashtag per post. In fact, many add three or more hashtags on a large number of their posts, but it can be hard to see how they are related from Twitter’s site. Hashtagify helps you see how different hashtags are related and their usage patterns, as well as offering in-depth analysis in their pro version. They also have active breakout alerts, so you can always be the first to know about the new cool hashtag.