Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, issued a little teaser last week. He wrote on Twitter:
The cryptic message generated a storm of questions about the nature of Zarrella’s new brainchild but he kept his recent ‘social media lab’ activities secret. That is, until the beginning of this week, when he announced the birth of TweetCharts – a free analytics tool, which in his own words is “designed to be a simple way for you to quickly and easily obtain Twitter data on any hashtag, username, word, phrase, or URL.”
We spent a bit of time playing with the tool and here’s what we found.
How TweetCharts Works
All you need to do is type in any Twitter word, hashtag or username in the search field, enter your email address and the tool generates a detailed report about the term in question. We tried searching for “inbound marketing”, “#mobile” and “#iwexpo” and in all three cases it took less than three seconds for the data to be generated. Quite a responsive little tool!
A comprehensive, yet concise view of tweets
As illustrated below, the first part of the report details the number of tweets generated over a certain period of time, the proportion of links, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags, unique users, multimedia, the inclusion of a question and gender ratio. What I find to be a significant improvement on other existing social analytics tools is the fact that TweetCharts also measures tweet sentiment, which in the instance of “inbound marketing” is nearly 97% positive.
The report goes on to display the frequency of tweets featuring the searched-for phrase, and a world map of all the term hotspots. The word “mobile”, for instance, appeared in tweets an average of 4.5 times a minute on 2 May 2012.
The last part of the TweetCharts report identifies the top words, links, sources and hashtags, as well as any multimedia content related to the respective search term, such as videos and images.
We did a search for #iwexpo, the official hashtag for Internet World 2012, an event in London we attended at the end of April, and were more than pleased to find out that @brightfireview is among the top 10 most mentioned Twitter users associated with the event hashtag.
How can marketers benefit from TweetCharts?
In an article for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog, Dan Zarrella highlights the importance of TweetCharts for marketers, arguing that its insights can help businesses in finding industry influencers, identifying engagement opportunities, and determining which hashtags their audience is using. And, as we found out from personal experience, the tool can be instrumental in measuring the success of your Twitter campaign.
There is, however, one weakness Zarrella could address – the lack of capability for selecting a custom date range, currently resulting in randomly generated search periods (ranging from three hours – in the case of “mobile” to five days – in the case of “#iwexpo”). Once this little bug is fixed, TweetCharts has the potential to turn into a powerful tool for measuring social media performance.