Tracking Twitter users, the analytics way

Third-party analytics tools compete to help you follow, unfollow, engage more

Tracking Twitter users, the analytics way

A huge Twitter following might give you a big ego boost. But what if most of those followers are hyper-inactive? Tracking their daily activity, analysing engagements and helping you unfollow inactive accounts is now a big third-party business online, a thriving trigger for tech startups.

The name of the game is Twitter analytics, an activity that banks on individuals, politicians, filmstars and corporates obsessed with making it big on social media. Automated to understand the Twitter user's tastes, interests and follower base, the analysts are out there with their machine-learning tools.

The latest entrant in this competitive field is Cloohawk.com, a startup that relies on its Artificial Intelligence engine to help you identify who to follow, who to unfollow, what to like, how to engage and more.

"The engine summarises and tracks tweets that you might like, would want to promote. It becomes your beacon on the net," the startup cofounder Subbukrishna Rao tells DH.

Every activity is listed as daily social media tasks. Non-engaging members in the network are identified to unfollow. Also listed are tweets with potential to go viral.

"Repost these and increase your social media engagement by more than 100%," so goes one task.

Since Twitter has become the de facto communication channel for politicians, the focus is clearly on how effective those tweets are. Film stars and brands tend to outsource twitter promotions to agencies, while individuals with big following prefer automating some of these tasks.

With AI and machine-learning, Twitter analytics have matured beyond bulk follows.

"The rules of the game are formulated by Twitter. We live in the shadow of the gorilla. But Twitter encourages developers to create tools to leverage everything that the platform offers. We increase the engagement and utility for the users. It is a win-win scenario," explains Rao.

Twitter's own Analytics site helps users track engagement through three categories: Tweets, followers and Twitter Cards. Clicking on any Tweet opens up a detailed view of the number of retweets, replies, favorites, follows, impressions or clicks.

The Followers category helps you check how many users engage with your Tweets, and also track the location and demographics of the followers.

Of the third-party analytics players, Hootsuite has been around for years. A Hootsuite account helps users schedule posts in advance, create custom Twitter reports, track mentions, hashtags and Twitter lists. Statusbrew, Twittercounter, Klear, Buffer and Tweetchup are also active in the analytics field.

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