Twitter Analytics: 9 Metrics to Measure on Twitter to Improve ROI


Ranjani Raghupathi

October 8, 2015 8 min read

Updated on May 2, 2017

Being a millennial (or a youth as my boss calls it), I’m biased towards Instagram as a user. Pictures, filters, no word limit, it just seems like a social network that’s a lot more fun. Also, lots and lots of Kim Kardashian selfies.

Now that’s not to say that I don’t stalk brands on Twitter for the occasional freebie. The more I think of it, I notice how both the social networks cater to the different interests of the audience.  While Instagram is my go-to social network for entertainment, Twitter is the temple of bite-sized information.

In this blog post, I took a look at the key metrics every company needs to track on Twitter. While Unmetric itself offers a treasure trove of data-driven insights, these are the most important metrics to measure.

1. Hashtag Usage

Why measure this metric: To measure campaign reach.


Though digital marketers need no convincing, it has been proven that tweets with a hashtag get twice the engagement. If that leads you to the question of “So what?”, we have the answer. It used to be difficult to gauge the audience reaction to your campaigns on mass media. But with digital media, engagement is a direct measurement of your campaign success. Your content performing well is an indirect sign that your audiences are likely to make a purchase. 

Coming back to hashtags, the more they’re used the better.  In 2012, when Dominos ran their #letsdolunch campaign that went viral, online sales shot up 43%. A good hashtag is more than just a brand name. It is usable and fits into even a non-brand related conversation. My favorite hashtag of all time is Budweiser’s #BestBuds. It gave their already adorable puppy more fame. The subtle brand tie-in made the hashtag user-friendly and relevant in a larger variety of contexts. This has been the best performing hashtag for the brand of all time.


Hashtags are a great way to aggregate the thoughts of an entire social network’s universe about a specific topic under one feed. People don’t just love overusing them in their own tweets; they also use hashtags as a key search tool. Even Twitter has recognized their value in an exclusive blog post.

To sum it up, when people use your hashtag, it shows their approval. As more people use your hashtag, it increases visibility and extends your campaign’s reach.

2. Customer service 

Why measure this metric: To gauge team productivity and ensure proper after sales and marketing.

Social media customer support isn’t optional anymore. A study by Gartner found that companies that don’t provide support on social media are likely to experience a 15% increase in churn. Much like on a phone call, customers want immediate redressal. This can happen only when an online support team is well trained with common issues and their solutions. Any customer query or complaint needs to be addressed ASAP.

A study found that 30% of Twitter users expect an answer within 30 minutes while 81% expect an answer the same day. Due to this rise in expectations, customer support is a key factor in keeping your customers happy.

Customer service can be split up into three different metrics: Average Reply Time, Reply Rate, and Sentiment. While Unmetric allows you to measure it as a whole, it can also be sliced to assess support efficiency at a granular level.

Based on the issue at hand, it could take different time periods to answer questions. On average, a Twitter handle’s reply time must be on par with the industry average. Unmetric found that JetBlue’s exceptional customer service on Twitter brought them recognition in the form of multiple ‘Airline with Best Customer Service’ awards. Between 2013 and now, the air carrier replied to user tweets within 15 minutes, while the average brand from the aviation industry took 9 times longer.


The rule of thumb with customer service is to reply to as many queries as quickly as possible. However, compromising on quality of service isn’t acceptable. For some brands, particularly in the service sector, replying to every single brand mention isn’t viable. This is when the reply sentiment is a good measure to see if serious queries are addressed. Though it’s simpler to respond to appreciation, resolving an issue is critical.

In the example below, the brand seems to be more comfortable replying to neutral mentions than negative. This would be an opportunity to look into the challenges of the support team and restructure to make sure more grievances are at the least acknowledged.


By tracking customer service metrics, a brand can analyze the efficiency of the support team. Moreover, the data can be used to make sure the customers are happy and maintain online reputation.


Why measure this metric: To get a sense of what part of your community would recommend your message to their followers.

Like engagement, you can question the validity of Retweets and other vanity metrics. To make sense of social media and in turn get ROI from your efforts, establishing goals is crucial. Whether your goal is to get clicks, or increase store walk-ins or encourage purchase, Retweets help spread your message.

Engagement can be a broad indicator of content performance. Retweets, on the other hand, are a solid sign of how many people endorse what you’re saying and also share it with their social circle. As social networks limit the number of views on your content and the feed format lowers visibility, Retweets help in multiplying reach.

4. Favorites

Why measure this metric: To evaluate strategy,

Favorites hit the bull’s eye when measuring likability. One could argue that Retweets indicate pretty much the same thing, but there is a distinctive difference between the two. And what is the difference? Based on your goal.

While some content is directly aimed to make a direct or indirect sale, some content is created exclusively for spreading awareness and cementing positioning.  A research conducted on almost 300 Twitter users to discover why we Favorite found that the action is mostly driven by a gut feeling. Or as the study puts it, it’s mostly subjective.

Though Favorites don’t do much for social selling, it’s a great metric to understand if your campaign content is well received by the audience. A Favorite also works as a bookmark. In short it helps understand if your content resonates with the viewers.

5. Time of the Day and Day of the Week 

Why measure this metric: Demographic activity indicator

Creating great content is one thing, putting it out for public viewing at the right time is another. A colleague recently made the data-backed argument that if you’re tweeting at a reasonable time in the day, it doesn’t matter when in that window you tweet. I mostly agree but with a few caveats.

For most brands tweeting during the regular working hours of about 9 AM to 6 PM gets decent engagement. However, being a brand aficionado, I believe every brand is unique. Irrespective of how similar your products or how you’re targeting the same market, every brand differentiates itself through its positioning.

Take Coca-Cola and Pepsi for example.

Both are cola drinks with similar tastes that appeal to a largely identical market. Then how are they different then? Through branding and positioning. Over the years, Coca-Cola has worked hard to place itself in the category of beverages that are associated with family, large gatherings and bringing happiness. Pepsi, on the other hand, is more about a youth, adventure, and fun.

We found that Coca-Cola receives the highest engagement in the afternoon, assumably when their audience is more active. Pepsi’s younger audience seems to be interacting with their favorite brand’s content in the evening, which is when the brand gets its best engagement.


If the brands alter their tweet schedule to publish more content in the higher engaging window, they would be more likely to get better engagement and interactions.

6. Tweet Type

Why measure this metric: To understand the preferences of your demographic.

Pictures are huge engagement raisers on social media. But do you know if your audience really likes them? The internet is full of suggestions as to what works well and what doesn’t but. What brands forget is that generalizations don’t always work. Your audience might react better to short videos or might prefer a simple link with no media. The only way to find out is to assess the performance of your different tweet types and the engagement they’ve received.


In the above example, I analyzed the tweet types of a sports team. Though the brand shared more tweets with links and hashtags, the plain text tweets that were announcements or updates are what performed the best.  

Competitive metrics

Analytics begins with an inward measurement of your own performance. Competitive metrics come into play when you want to take your reporting and analytics up a notch.

7. Twitter ads and tweet tools

How awesome would it be if you could get the inside scoop on what your competitor’s paid strategy is? Unmetric has the ability to detect Twitter ads and helps you do just that. You can identify the tweets that your competitors find worthy of putting money behind. Though we can’t say how much money was put into the tweet, we can tell you the tweets that have been sponsored. With this data, you can uncover your competitor’s paid strategy and leverage it to frame your own strategy.


Another small nugget of information that can help stay ahead of the competition is knowing publishing tools. By understanding which domain peers use to publish their tweets, you can discover their toolset and automation strategy. 

8. Influencers

One of social media marketing’s biggest strengths is the interactiveness. Unlike mass media, you aren’t yelling out your message with no feedback. Whether it’s a reply, mention or a Retweet, your target group will be able to give you immediate criticism. 

In the social media universe, some users are more influential than others. A single mention or retweet by a Twitter celebrity could give you the edge you need. There are two types of influencers you need to keep track of – a. The publications or celebrities with the larger follower base, b. The followers who frequently spread good word of mouth. Segregate influencers by both follower number and tweet/mention number and build that relationship to give your content more mileage.


9. Benchmarks

You might be getting hundreds of retweets, but that’s not good enough if your competitor is getting thousands. To look at the bigger picture, a comparison is vital. It’s not just enough to see how your brand is doing, it’s important to see how the performance is when compared to peers. Benchmarks are derived by averaging the metrics of all brands across an industry. For better social ROI, it’s key to making sure your brand is always performing above average. 

Benchmarks are available across most metrics. The 3 metrics we recommend you benchmark for sure is Average Reply Time, Engagement and Follower Growth Rate

Unmetric doesn’t just give you all these metrics on a silver platter; we also automate report creation to make your life easier. 

We’ve come to the point where we need to take our relationship to the next level. We can get serious and get you started on a free trial or demo of Unmetric. Or if that’s too soon, we can show you the 6 most important metrics to measure on Instagram or the 10 thoughts you’ve had for sure as someone working in the data age

Ready to get measuring the key metrics? Fill out the form below and get started on your trial. 

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