The Best Free Tools for Twitter Analytics

Twitter logoWhat are the best free tools for analyzing a Twitter profile?

During a social media audit I like to run a company’s Twitter profiles through some basic analysis tools to set benchmarks and compare them to competitors.

I got good response to my post on Facebook analytics tools so I thought I’d do something similar for Twitter. But this time I’m going to highlight free tools that anyone can use.

I’m focusing specifically on profile analysis as opposed to Twitter tools for other purposes. For a list of trend tools see the Twitter section in Free Tools for Monitoring Hot Search Trends.

Twitter tools frequently come and go, especially the free ones, so a list like this is always evolving. But here is a small collection of tools that I like to use.

Twitter Web Analytics

Twitter has created its own free analytics tool, however it is still in beta and not yet available to everyone:

Twitter Web Analytics

The data is fairly basic; the publishers we work with that already have access have not found it particularly useful yet. But it is always good to get data straight from the source and the toolset will continue to evolve.

Topsy Social Analytics

Topsy’s Social Analytics tool offers a good way to trend and compare mentions and replies for up to three profiles:

Topsy Analytics

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In addition you can track links to a domain or mentions of a particular keyword. Topsy also provides data on the top links in the past 24 hours for each profile.

Twitter Counter

Twitter Counter lets you compare the growth of followers, followings and tweet volume for up to three profiles:

Twitter Counter

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I like to see how a profile is stacking up against its competitors in terms of overall growth.

TweetStats

TweetStats provides a nice overview of overall activity including tweet volume and density plus aggregate daily and hourly tweets:

TweetStats

It takes a little while for it to compile the data but it’s worth the wait.

I like to check the average tweets per day, particularly against the competitive set. There is no ideal range for tweet volume as every profile has to find the right mix of frequency, timing, content and style that makes sense for its user base. But you can get a basic idea of whether or not there may be opportunities for adjustment.

TweetEffect

TweetEffect provides some interesting figures on how many followers were gained and lost after the most recent tweets:

TweetEffect

In addition to providing the numbers in aggregate it allows you to see the follower change after each individual tweet.

UPDATE: Unfortunately TweetEffect has been discontinued. Followerwonk provides similar data.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk provides some comparative analysis between profiles. In particular I like the Venn diagram that illustrates unique and shared relationships:

Followerwonk

Basic use of the tool is free but larger requests require the purchase of credits. Keep in mind that larger profiles tend to trigger the credit requirement fairly easily.

UPDATE: Followerwonk was acquired by SEOmoz. SEOmoz PRO users can now access the full features through their account.

Klout

The pros and cons of Klout have been widely covered (and then some!) so there’s no need to go into that here. But it does provide a simple way to benchmark a profile and compare it to others:

Klout

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I had some fun with it for my post on head-to-head Twitter matchups in the NBA playoffs.

Kred

Kred is the new kid on the block that’s been getting a lot of attention lately:

Kred

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Klout has a pretty big head start but Kred is positioning itself to become another popular option in this area.

Twitalyzer

Twitalyzer changed up its offering and now provides an overall summary of a profile (including data from other sources) plus a variety of performance scores via its metrics dashboard:

Twitalyzer

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TweetLevel

TweetLevel from Edelman has been around for quite a while. I don’t use it much but it offers another way to do some basic benchmarking:

TweetLevel

wordCURL

wordCURL is a new tool that developer Brett DiDonato called to my attention in the comments. It provides a series of nice charts for things like tweets per hour and day, most used words and most mentioned profiles, among others:

wordCURL

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I’m not sure how many people will have the need for its curse word frequency charts but that’s kind of fun too.

What Else?

So that’s a quick overview of some of the free Twitter analytics tools that I like.

What else are you using?

Comments

  1. says

    Nice! I wasn’t aware of some these tools, and I like me some free stuff. I like how you let your readers know exactly how many posts to expect in a week. I wonder if this keeps you from having the reader drop off that is usually associated with sparse postings.

  2. says

    Thanks Thomas.

    Re: post frequency, posting only once a week (and sometimes once every couple weeks) does make it more difficult to keep momentum going and maintain a regular readership. So hopefully that notice in the sidebar helps to set expectations. I do this blog just for the fun of it, but it’s certainly nice when posts get some traction and engagement.

  3. says

    I’m sure, but like I preach at my site, content takes center stage and makes up for a lot of things. Good post, and I followed you on Twitter.

  4. says

    Thanks for the overview!
    Please check also recently lanched twtGear (www.twtgear.com). Simple free tool, yet powerful insights. These include your Most Engaged Followers, Top Tweets by Responses, and Trends in your Audience, Activity and Visibility. And more to come soon.
    Adam and others, please have a look and let us know what you think.

  5. says

    Hi Adam,

    Rather than followers, I was wondering whether you knew of a good tool to follow a # conversation and see both how popular it is over time, and by whom. I’ve been thinking about looking at this year's Edinburgh Fringe which most people usually use the #edfringe to talk about. If you know of anything it would be great to hear it. Thanks, Tim

  6. NickWC says

    Hello, I’m looking at the first five weeks of Occupy Wall Street (from September 17th-October 23rd, specifically) and seeing how news mediums differed qualitatively and quantitatively within that time period. I’m wondering if anyone could find a twitter analytics tool in which I could find data such as: to what extent #ows or #occupywallstreet trended within the first 5 week, how much outreach there was in that time frame, etc. I know there are a lot of twitter analytics tools out there, but I can’t find any that are for a fragmented time period.

    The tool doesn’t have to be free either- my school will pay up to $200.

    Thanks!

  7. says

    Tim – unfortunately I missed your question when you original posted it, sorry about that. Hopefully you found what you were looking for but I wanted to reply now just in case.

    I’m not familiar with a tool that does exactly what you are looking for, but Topsy’s advanced search does some of it: http://topsy.com/advanced-search. Another option is http://www.whatthetrend.com/.

    Other hashtag sites like http://hashtags.org/ and http://twubs.com/ are more for real-time monitoring as opposed to historical analysis.

  8. says

    I’d also check out macrotweet (http://macrotweet.com) – unlike the others, macrotweet does all of the analytics on your computer or phone. It’s perfect for live analytics, like tracking the popularity of different topics as they came up during the presidential debate. It is designed to help you understand how different topics relate (ie Romney, Obama, and Big Bird), rather than just telling you volume or clicks

  9. says

    TweetEffect is no longer in effect, unfortunately. When you click on their link, they inform you that changes in Twitter’s API have stopped the data analysis. Do you have any other suggestions on a similar program?

  10. Sandra says

    Amazing list. I have personally used justunfollow.com and tweetadvise.com
    Justunfollow is a free service for following and tweetadvise is a paid service for following, unfollowing and tweeting

  11. george says

    Thanks to this piece, I found Edelman’s ‘TweetLevel’. I’m on my way to an in-depth research/dissertation, using twitter analytics!

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