A few years ago, I could have told you that Twitonomy was one of the best apps available for Twitter Analytics, and you probably would have looked at me like I was crazy. I might have been, if I told you too many years ago, because that would have been before it was released. Once it was released, though, it was your failing for not knowing about it before I got to you, not my failing for traveling to the wrong section of the time stream.
What might you expect to find in a Twitter analytics suite? List a feature, and I’ll tell you that Twitonomy has it. Or we can just skip the tedious back and forth; I’ll go ahead and list features here.
- Detailed and visual analytics for every aspect of twitter, including tweets and retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags and likes.
- The ability to browse through and filter the people you follow you and the people you follow, to gain specific insights about certain groups or individuals.
- The ability to backup and export your reports in both Excel and PDF formats.
- The ability to monitor and report on interactions between you and specific other users.
- Detailed search analytics for keywords, hashtags, urls, or specific users. This is everything you could want to set up a hashtag monitor for, and it’s all built in.
- Insights on likes – formerly favorites – for specific users or groups of users as a whole.
- Complete list management functionality.
- Tweet monitoring.
- Actionable insights generated by a followers report.
- A check to generate a list of users you follow but who don’t follow you back, as well as the reverse; the people who follow you without you following back.
- The ability to export your complete followers list and following list to Excel.
- Click tracking for tweet links.
- Follower growth rates displayed in graphical charts.
Now, a lot of this is available for free, but some of it is hidden behind a premium tier paywall. Here’s what they keep in the premium closet:
- The ability to download tweets from users, lists, and searches in Excel or PDF formats.
- The ability to zoom in on specific time frames for profile actions, including custom date ranges.
- The ability to download the tweets and favorites of any user on Twitter, not just you.
- The ability to save analytics reports for external use.
- Broader analytics for mentions, including who your top engaging users are, activity hours, top hashtags, and other data.
- The ability to back up mentions.
- Detailed search analytics on keywords, hashtags, and users.
- The ability to export those search analytics.
- Retweet analytics.
- Follower lists and their exporting.
- Actionable follower insights.
- List management.
- Stat tracking, both daily and in general.
All of this can be seen on this page, but be warned; you have to sign in with Twitter to gain access to it. They don’t show pricing information publicly, you have to “sign up.” Of course, it’s not really signing up when all you have to do is authorize the app to Twitter. It is, literally, a two click process.
So, what does it all cost? It’s surprisingly reasonable. If you want to buy one single month, it will cost you $20. If you choose to subscribe to the monthly plan instead – same features, just billed monthly instead of one at a time – it’s $19 per month. Not much of a discount, but it adds up. If you choose, instead, to bill annually, it’s a $199 per year price point.
When you first authorize the app, you are taken to the Twitonomy dashboard. This presents you with your stats up at the top, just like Twitter. Your profile picture, handle, display username, number of tweets, followings, followers, and lists you’re in are all displayed. Beneath that is a message asking you to upgrade, and the usual news, solicitation for suggestions, etc. To the side is a display of the graphics you can see if you choose to track your followers, analyze a specific profile, and download your content.
There’s also a map visualizer. It shows you where your users are on a map when they mention you. This is powered by Google Maps, and allows you to ignore that other service that just deals with a map. You know the one.
Beneath the side modules are the two feeds, your normal timeline and your own tweets. Here, you can add specific users to monitor, yours or other accounts, add lists, add keyword searches, and rearrange them as you desire.
Up at the top of the page is a header with your sub-pages. You can create a tweet specifically from that header, or click a link to a different page. The first is the dashboard, and that’s where you are to begin with.
The second link is your profile, which shows you more information about your account. It shows you your location, your bio, your ratio of followers/following, and a lot of analytics. You’re presented with a box that shows you roughly the past year’s worth of tweets – at least, that’s what it is in my case, which is about how long this account has been on Twitter. It shows how many tweets I’ve made total, how many per day, how many were retweets, how many mentions I included, how many replies, how many links, how many hashtags, and so forth. It also shows how many of my tweets were retweeted or liked, and how often. Below that is an activity chart, showing high and low points of activity.
Below that is a big breakdown. You have a section showing the users you’ve retweeted the most, the users you’ve replied to the most, the users you’ve mentioned the most, the hashtags you’ve used the most, your most retweeted tweets, your most liked tweets – though it still calls them favorites – and your activity by day of the week and by time of the day. At the end, you see a list of the platforms that have used your account to tweet – things like the web client, the Android app, a promotions app, or a platform like Twitonomy itself.
That’s all the left column. The right column has your tweet feed, your followers laid out in a list, your following list, your liked tweets, and lists that are either following you or that you are following.
The next page along the header is the mentions and retweets page. This shows the times you’ve been mentioned in a timeline spread, which users mentioned you and how influential they are, the users who have mentioned you the most, and a bunch of modules that are just teasers for the premium features.
Then you have the same for retweets, including a statistical analysis, a timeline distribution, and a list of the tweets you posted that have been retweeted. This list has a lot of extra detail, including who retweeted it, their influence, and their potential reach. Each tweet also has an additional set of analytics if you choose to dig deeper. None of my tweets were really that profound, so I don’t have anything interesting to say about that data.
Below that is the same for “favorites” which they haven’t bothered to rename yet. It shows all of the same data in the same way as for retweets, including the feed and statistics.
The next tab over on the header is the Search tab, and it’s going to be disappointing to you, because it’s all a premium feature. Any of the search tracking, monitoring, and analytics is all premium stuff. They show you a sample of the data you’d get by running a search for the hashtag #TwitterMarketing and presenting you with the data. The data ends up showing you a tweet feed, activity chart, influential users list, engaged users list, activity map, and more.
The next two tabs are the followers and following tabs. The followers tab shows the people who follow you. The columns of the table include their basic information and profile picture, whether or not you’re following back, when they joined, how many tweets they’ve made, how many people they follow, how many people follow them, how many lists they’re on, and how long ago it was they tweeted. This last bit of data is excellent to know, because it helps you prune out the people who aren’t valuable to you at all. For example, in my test account, I have a couple of followers who haven’t posted in over a year. There’s no reason for me to pay a lot of attention to them, because they don’t retweet or tweet to promote me. Interestingly, they have to be still active, because they followed me more recently than their most recent tweet. At least one is definitely a spam account, though, and only followed me to fish for a follow back.
The following list is identical in terms of data. This is even better to see the “last tweet” data because it allows you to prune people off your list if they haven’t tweeted in an extremely long time. There’s no reason to keep following someone who doesn’t post, right? I have six people I follow who haven’t tweeted in over a year, none of whom follow me back. Guess who’s getting unfollowed?
Finally, in the header, you have the lists tab. I’m not really a member of or subscriber to any lists on this Twitter account, so I can’t tell you what goes on in this tab, but judging by the rest of the site, it’s a lot of great information.
Now that you have an idea of what’s available for free and for premium, you can get some idea of how to use the platform.
While you can use Twitonomy for multiple accounts, it’s not the most robust multi-account manager, so you might still want to use Tweetdeck or one of those other big dashboards for managing multiple accounts. It also, as far as I know, doesn’t have team or collaboration functionality. It’s much more of an analytics panel with some additional posting features, rather than a management platform.
As a personal user, I don’t have a lot of use for the analytics features it provides. I got some interesting information, like being able to prune my follows, but that’s about it. However, as a small business owner, the monitoring is great. Set up modules to track the activity of people you really want to network with. This gives you an immediate, real time reading of the tweets they make, so you’re on the cusp of interacting at every possible moment. You can also track hashtags and links, so you can monitor how broadly your marketing is circulating.
The mentions maps are kind of a gimmick in my opinion, but I’m a digital marketer. If you had a local business, it could be useful to see how much of your engagement is going on locally to you, versus how much is circulating around the world at large.
Essentially, you’ll be using the dashboard to stalk your influencers and try to be among the first to engage, so you can get in their attention. You’ll have competition, of course, but that’s nothing new. The one downside to using Twitonomy for this is that it doesn’t have taskbar notifications of any sort. You can’t set up alerts for the people you track. If you want a monitor with more detailed alerts and tracking, you’ll need to use some other app.
The premium features largely involve the search monitoring, which is incredibly useful and worth the $20 on its own. At least, it is if you’re not doing search monitoring in another way, like with your own custom bot.
The best part of the premium version, though, is the data exports. This is ideal for larger businesses that want to generate reports, or who want to export data to use in other scenarios. If you wanted to download your followers list for some reason, for example, you would need to upgrade to the premium version to get it. It’s still one of the easiest ways of getting that list, though, and a one month payment to download the data you need – and gain access to the rest of the features to see if you like them – is good enough for me.
Why Use Twitonomy Over Other Dashboards?
After all, there are dozens of other analytics suites and Twitter dashboards out there. Some are even free. So why use Twitonomy, particularly when they gate some of their most useful data behind a pay wall?
For one thing, the analytics are top notch. The wealth of free data is enough to convince me, and the paid data is just icing on the cake. I consider the payment more for the ability to export data than for anything else, because that’s largely what it is. The charts, the timing analysis, the custom lists; it’s all great.
For another thing, it offers a lot of good analysis that you would have to pay for on other platforms, for free. Sure, it’s not completely free, but it’s still a much cheaper option than many other tools.
I consider Twitonomy great for analyzing and pruning your followers and following lists, as well as for identifying influencers at a glance. It’s also excellent for timing analysis, so you don’t have to work your way through the steps of figuring out timing yourself.
On the other hand, if you need a team-based solution or if you need more persistent alerts, you’re not going to get them here. There’s a limit to the functionality the web app can do for how cheap it is, and that’s where they draw the line.
That said, they are always open to suggestions and the founder of the app is available on Twitter for direct communication. I haven’t talked to him myself, but I’ve seen other bloggers talk about being informed of Twitonomy directly, and that’s great proactive marketing. They’re very responsive to suggestions, though they don’t always implement them. In general, it’s just a great free app. Give it a shot; after all, it’s only a couple clicks.