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How to run a Twitter ad campaign. Part 5: measuring ad performance

Once you’ve created the perfect Twitter ad campaign, how to do you measure its success?

  • By: James Fell
  • Date: July 19, 2018
  • Posted in: Twitter
How to run a Twitter ad campaign. Part 5: measuring ad performance

Once you’ve to set up an ad account, created your first basic campaign, targeted your intended audience and incorporated Web Cards into your ads, you need to find ways of measuring its success. That’s what we’re looking at in this fifth and final part of our series of blog posts on Twitter ad campaigns.

Twitter already has tools in place to measure activity from your Promoted Tweets, followers and any interactions with Twitter Cards. If you’d like to measure statistics based on what people do after clicking the ad and visiting your site, you should look at “Website tags”.

How website tags work

The website tag actually performs two different jobs: first it tracks conversion of existing ads, based on users visiting your website through interacting with a Promoted Tweet. And second, it’s designed for remarketing too.

This works by placing a cookie on the user’s computer that’s matched to their Twitter account. Once the audience has been collected in this manner, you can then use them as the basis of a tailored campaign by creating an audience list from the information collected.

You create your website tags – of course – from within the Twitter Ads dashboard, then embed into pages on your website. Here’s how it works:

Set up and embed a website tag

  1. Create website tag

Log into your Twitter Ads account, then click the ‘Tools’ menu and choose ‘Conversion tracking’. From the ‘Website tags’ tab, click the ‘Create your first website tag’ button.

  1. Name and conversion type

Give your tag a suitably descriptive name to help you identify it. Next, click the ‘Select a conversion type’ drop-down menu and choose what to track: site visit, purchase, download, sign up or the catch-all ‘custom’.

  1. Create tailored audience

By default, the tag is configured to be used for remarketing purposes, allowing you to build a custom list audience quickly and easily from the people who visit your website. If for any reason you don’t want to use this feature, untick the ‘Create a tailored audience’ box.

  1. Tweak conversion settings

By default, the tag is configured to credit Twitter with any conversion that happens after a person engages with one of your ads for 14 days. It’s also set to credit Twitter with conversions that happen after a person views – but doesn’t click – your ad for up to one day after the ad is viewed. To change these settings, click the ‘Show conversion settings’ and choose your time periods from the drop-down menus.

  1. Save tag and generate code

With your settings in place, review the terms by clicking both ‘terms’ and ‘policy’ links, then click the ‘Save tag and generate code snippet’ button. A window will appear with the code you – or your developer – needs to copy and paste into the correct place on your web page, namely just before the closing </body> tag. Click ‘OK’ when done.

Once the tag is set up and pasted into your website, you can monitor the results of any click-through actions by returning to the ‘Tools’ menu and selecting ‘Conversion tracking’. You can manage multiple tags from here, and also track mobile app events using one of seven partner services.

Analyse your ad performance with Twitter

With all your performance tools in place, you’re ready to start tracking and analysing the results of your campaigns. Start with Twitter’s own tools – its ‘Analytics’ menu is split into four sections, and covers your entire Twitter account, not just the ads.

Tweet activity

This lets you analyse the performance of individual Tweets as well as your overall performance. Each individual Tweet is ranked for ‘Impressions’ – the number of times the Tweet was viewed – as well as ‘Engagements’ (whether click-throughs, Retweets, replies or follows), providing you with an overall ‘Engagement rate’. For a more detailed look at an individual Tweet, including its performance over the first 24 hours of its life, simply click the Tweet.

For an overview of total impressions, there’s a bar chart at the top of the page – roll your mouse over an individual day to get total impressions for that day. You’ll also see some useful graphs appear down the right-hand side of the page providing an overview of engagement, covering overall rate, link clicks, Retweets, Favourites and Replies – again, roll your mouse over individual points or bars for a précis of a specific day.

By default, the graphs are configured to show information from the past 28 days, but a date picker at the top allows you to choose a different period, including some handy shortcuts covering calendar months and the past week. Look out too for the ‘Export data’ option, which packages up all this information into a handy CSV file you can plug into your own analytical tools.

Followers

This page provides some basic analysis about your follower growth in the form of a line chart, plus includes some potentially useful statistics about the breakdown of your followers according to location, gender, interests and other people they follow. Although the information is sparse, it does contain useful insights you won’t find elsewhere, in particular the interests section where you can get a view about your followers’ top interests as well as their most unique interests.

Twitter Cards

Once your ad campaigns have been running for a little while, this section provides all kinds of useful metrics about the performance of each card based on URL clicks, install attempts (for mobile apps) and Retweets. Each section can further be broken down to provide information as a snapshot, reveal change over a specified period of time, how different card types perform, plus view information about links, influencers, Tweets and sources.

Websites

These metrics work by asking you to paste a small line of code into the header of your website. Then enter the URL of your site and from this point on you’ll be able to track Tweets and Link Clicks that lead to your website, making it possible to see how organic and paid-for Tweets help drive traffic to your site. You can view engagements per hour or per day, and there’s an option for measuring traffic to specific pages too.

In our next blog post, we’ll look at Twitter analytics in more general terms and talk you through the key metrics you need to consider.