Twitter’s New Analytics Tool and the Future of Social Media Marketing

September 14, 2011

Big news in the world of social media marketing! Twitter announced Tuesday that it is launching its own official Twitter Web Analytics tool, which will help everyone understand how much traffic they generate from Twitter and the impact of having Twitter integrated onto their website.

Twitter’s analytics tool will be able to measure the following:

1. How much of your content is being shared on Twitter
2. How much traffic is being driven to your site from Twitter
3. How effective is your site’s Tweet Button integration

The analytics tool is currently in beta and available for free to a limited number of users who apply and are selected. Twitter’s plan is to roll out the tool to all users in the next few weeks. Twitter has also indicated plans to release a Twitter Web Analytics API for developers to incorporate the feature into their own products.

Ok, so what does this mean? Should you really care about this new analytics tool?

Yes, you should care. This will have a huge impact on small and medium-sized businesses. Here’s why.

Twitter’s new analytics tool is the latest in a series of moves to monetize Twitter. And how is Twitter going to make all its money? With advertising dollars, just like Google. In fact, if you read or listen to anything coming out of Twitter, the social media giant thinks they’re about to go from being an $8 Billion company to an $80 Billion company.

Until now, the biggest critique of social media marketing was that it’s a great way for big companies to brand themselves and reach out to a national (or even international) client base. Think of Starbucks using Facebook or The Home Depot using Twitter. Social media is great for big corporations, but not for small and medium-sized businesses because there’s no data-driven way to measure exposure or ROI.

But that’s all about to change. Twitter’s analytics tool is only the start. There are strong indications that early next year Twitter is going to release its version of Google Adwords, which will allow business owners to see pay for placement on popular Twitter feeds and see the impact of the exposure. Just as companies “pay per click” on Google based on how popular a specific search term is, companies are going to pay for advertising placement on Twitter depending on the popularity and reach of each particular Twitter feed.

This is a huge game changer. This means that social media marketing won’t just be about brand promotion and customer outreach. It will be data-driven marketing that focuses on exposure to targeted markets, lead generation and measurable ROI. Social media marketing will be about getting found and increasing sales right away, and having the numbers to see the cost per lead.

Some may argue that Twitter ads won’t have as much impact as Google ads because when people are searching for products and services on Google they are in “buying mode” and your ad is targeted to potential clients are searching for your business already. But this is a gross misunderstanding of how people use Twitter. People don’t use Twitter like they use Facebook. Twitter is similar to Google in that it is a utility-based medium. People use Twitter as their portal for information– news about the world, the latest updates on their favorite sports teams or celebrities, and promotions and deals for products and services. People DO use Twitter to find the things they want.

Now that Twitter has found a way to measure your marketing exposure, companies will be able to the measure their ROI for Twitter ads.

This is just one more sign that the old way of marketing is dying. In today’s world, your clients are using the web to find their products and services. To grow your business, you need to get found on the search engines and social media.

What’s the new marketing mindset?

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