Tracking Twitter Links: Twitter Analytics Tools & More

I’m noticing more and more retailers on Twitter these days, and I expect this trend to continue through 2009. So I thought I would share some tips and tools for ecommerce Twitter marketers.

Sync Your Blog or RSS Feed to Twitter


Twitterfeed and Hootsuite (formerly Brightkit) allow you to very easily Tweet anything you publish by RSS including contests, new products, product-back in stock, news, deals-of-the-day and new blog posts.

(No that’s not a typo. It says Anti Monkey Butt Powder).

For example, Musician’s Friend could tweet its Stupid Deal of the Day by Twitter every day automatically by signing up once with Twitterfeed or Hootsuite. Unfortunately, has already been brand-jacked by someone, so they’ll have to get creative with its Twitter Name. (As of today, it could scoop up or /stupiddod (deal of day) — hurry Musician’s Friend!)

This also brings up another tip – register a Twitter account for your brands today even if you’re not using Twitter to avoid such a problem down the road.

There’s no limit to how many RSS feeds you can tweet. You can even tweet others’ feeds if you want (for example, if you sell a certain city’s sports team merchandise, you could sync with updates from the team’s home page or game recaps from the news.

There 2 major advantages of Hootsuite (winner of this year’s Shorty Award for best App) over Twitterfeed:

  • You can manage multiple Twitter accounts through one interface with Hootsuite and schedule tweets in advance. So you can have dedicated deal-of-day account, new products and customer service accounts and manage them without logging in and logging out. Plus, you can stagger your deals of day in advance – set it and forget it.
  • If you’re tweeting out links (your calls-to-action) you want to measure if people care. Hootsuite will show you stats on how many people click on links you tweet:

Hootsuite shortens your links using its own service, so you will only get stats for links, but they will track if your tweet gets re-tweeted by other Twitter users so you can see the full impact of your seeded (or Tweeded) links, even if they’re clicked through social media aggregators like Friend Feed.

Twitter Analytics

Default Google Analytics Report

If you’re not using Hootsuite, you can still track how often your Twitter links get clicked in Google Analytics (or the analytics tool of your choice). But, it’s complicated. Here’s why:

1. Since most URLs get shortened to,, or one of the many shortening services, all traffic that came from Twitter might not show up under the Twitter referral source. And, sometimes your Twitter links end up in FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Facebook or MyBlogLog aggregators:

2. You can see which Twitter profiles referred the most traffic to you by clicking “Twitter” in your Referral Source list to see detail. It should look something like this:

The problem is “Home” referrals. They include any user who clicks on a link from their Twitter feed rather than another user’s profile. Not perfect tracking, but interesting nonetheless.

3. Google Analytics doesn’t show you which individual tweets are most popular. (I chatted with Hootsuite and there may be a way down the road to import Hootsuite stats into your analytics program, but not yet). There IS a workaround if you must track everything in your analytics package (sales conversion and ROI, for example) which is to tag your links with campaign parameters before shortening and sending them out.

Tracking With Campaign Parameters

Create a URL like: utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media

And paste it into a URL shortening tool like this (Hootsuite will create an link for you):

The short link will redirect to a copy of the landing page, registering as an entry page that will appear in your analytics reports (in Google this appears under Site Traffic / Referral Source).

Hat tip to the Epik One Analytics Blog on this one.

Unfortunately this will only track links you generate, not organic tweets about you by other Twitter users. And if you use automatic RSS tweeting, this won’t work because the link will shorten without parameters.

Reputation Management


I hope you all are using at least the free Google Alerts service to notify you when your name, brands, important products and other trademarks are being mentioned online, if not a more sophisticated tool like Trackur for your general reputation management.

But Google Alerts isn’t good at reporting what the Twitterverse is saying about you. I used to enjoy a tool called Tweetbeep which would send alerts to my inbox for whatever keywords I wanted to track. Unfortunately it’s been down for a long time now. Fingers crossed that it rises like the phoenix or something emerges to take its place.

Alternatively you can subscribe via RSS to individual searches using Twitter’s search engine.

What I preferred about Tweetbeep was it would report all your tracked keywords in one daily beep, rather than signing up to each search’s feed.

Coupon Marketing

TwtQpon & Cheap Tweet

TwtQpon is a free coupon generator specifically for Twitter. You can create a coupon with a description (max 140 characters, of course), coupon code, URL (landing page), photo and optional expiration date. Here’s an example:

You can also promote your deals through CheapTweet which is like Digg for tweeted online deals.

Check out the guidelines for how to get your deals included.

Competitor Comparison


Curious how popular your brand is compared to your closest competition? You can quickly create a bar chart at Tweetvolume:

Or, how popular are various brands or keywords of products you carry on your own site:

Keep in mind that retailers that tweet themselves will naturally be higher, as will retailers with affiliates who use Twitter as a channel to broadcast deals and coupon codes.

Bonus: No Turn on Red has built a Twitter-aggregator for some of the largest retail presences on Twitter that updates itself every 30 minutes so we can get a *bird’s* eye view of how they are communicating (deals, links, customer service, random thoughts etc) for inspiration.

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55 Responses to “Tracking Twitter Links: Twitter Analytics Tools & More”

  1. Thank you for the great roundup. An alternative to TweetBeep might be TweetLater ( Its “keyword tracking” feature runs multiple Twitter searches — for your brand, for instance — and emails a digest daily or as frequently as once every hour.

  2. RichApps says:

    That was well of information :), the idea of coupon marketing and competitor comparison works great for promotion and increases sales, something that clicks always.

  3. An excellent round up of Twitter tools thanks for sharing. URL tagging for twitter is essential as 90% of all twitter traffic comes through the API not the site.

  4. Denny says:

    Thanks, great information here. I didn’t know about Hootsuite but it seems to have several advantages over Twitterfeed!

  5. Adam says:

    My favorite system for tracking links so far is I also like as you can post to multiple Twitter accounts and track URLs as well.

    On a related note, has EP come up with any ways Twitter could be integrated with your shopping cart software? Would be cool to be able to click a link in Twitter to make a purchase or something like that.

  6. @Adam, Brightkit is now Hootsuite, so make sure you update your bookmarklet if you haven’t already.

    Regarding Twitter integration with shopping cart – this will not be an out-of-the-box feature but anything is possible with customization of the product. I’m not sure people would be ready to convert right through the tweet, though. Not enough image/description/review/zoom/trust assurances etc to fit in 140 characters :)

  7. What a great post…

    Having a search column on TweetDeck is also a very simple way to track things on Twitter.

  8. Ruairi Newman says:

    Great article, but I was surprised at the glaring omission of Tweetrush ( in an article about Twitter analytics. It’s a Twitter-specific implementation of the Rush Hour Analytics ( system.

  9. matt says:

    TweetBeep is back up as of last week. I suddenly got spewed about three months worth of alerts from them!

  10. I’ve been using TwitterFeed for All Realms ( for a while now and have been very happy with the service. I have twitterfeeds setup directly to the rss so if anyone posts a new blog/comment it automatically gets tweeted out. It’s great considering the site has multiple bloggers.

  11. Josh says:

    This is a great post, but I disagree with the use of (Hootsuite) to shorten URLs. uses a frame-based redirection which in my opinion is similar to sending your Twitter followers a popup ad. Maybe worse. Using frame-based URL shorteners risks annoying your followers.

    (Explained in detail on getsatisfaction and here.)

  12. Check out for tiny URL’s and click-thru statistics. It also provides information on re-tweets for your tiny URL’s, total hits, whois information, and a single web page to list all of your tiny URL’s and their related stats.

    AND – they have the smallest tiny URL’s at only 16 characters!

  13. David says:

    A great post. A url shortening that both handles RSS feeds and automatically ads predefined tracking tags for Google Analytics, omniture, etc. is sorely needed.

  14. Jodie says:

    Absolutely blow away by HootSuite – it’s just amazing to see the stats !! Thanks, and well done! Will be trying out the other tools soon.

  15. DanS says:

    Nice bit of information there – cheers

  16. schneckerl says:

    Excellent! learnt a lot here!

  17. Jeff says:

    There are a lot of “tips & tools” lists out there, but your focus on Twitter marketers makes this one stand out.

    With approx 10,000 people signing up for Twitter every day it’s great to have resources like this to help people out.

    Nice job!

  18. Get Satisfaction is another great tool for monitoring your brand reputation, especially via its “overheard on Twitter” feature.

  19. These useful analytic tips for Twitter will assist with building a business case for SMO. Thanks

  20. Blue Dot says:

    Is Twitter the new My Space? I guess we will wait and see. I have signed up for Face Book and got wildly involved and seen people from years ago. Quite cool…

  21. I hate these low life’s who steal brands names in Twitter. So many bad apples out there ruin a good thing.

  22. I liked this article. Also found a few that were not listed at Twitdom – The Twitter Applications Database. Will update Twitdom accordingly.


  23. soccer says:

    very informative, heard of quite a buzz about twitter, but never noticed what it is before reading this article. thanks

  24. Awesome tools. Thanks for putting them all in one place!

  25. Maria says:

    This is perfect! I am going to share this with all my friends who are new to Twitter-nation. Thanks for putting all the info. in once place, and in such a clear and concise manner.

  26. S. Ghosh says:

    Found this to be a very informative and enticing for people like me who are on the verge of plunging into tweeting.

  27. Clayton says:

    Thanks for the great post,..already a big fan of hootsuite, thanks for putting me onto it.

  28. Thanks for the great set of tools. I really appreciate it.

  29. Hiphop says:

    These useful analytic tips for Twitter will assist with building a business case for SMO. Thanks

  30. Chris says:

    great article–thanks for the tip on hootsuite.

  31. Justin K. says:

    Great post! You should add to your list. It’s an amazing new tool for turning Bible verses into short URLs.

  32. Thanks, great information here. I didn’t know about Hootsuite but it seems to have several advantages over Twitterfeed!

  33. justin tv says:

    it’s such a great article.

  34. lig tv says:

    i’ve shared this information with all my friends!

  35. Look at the alpha of Tweettronics ( ) for advanced Twitter metrics that go behond simple (and mostly useless) influence measures and into brand and topic monitoring and automated sentiment analysis.

  36. Great article! I am new to tweeting and always curious how it can be integrated with other technologies. Definitely going to see if it will work for our site. It seems like we have a learn a new social site every five years.

  37. Thanks for the post. I didn’t know about twtQpon. That looks like a great option for my site. I’m heading over to sign up.

  38. Great post. It prompted me to create my own list of twitter tools on my blogsite Proud To Be Pinoy. Hope you get to see it when its done.

  39. Uri says:

    Very interesting article. I was looking for products that allow tracking twitter back to the source to generate leads. Optify ( is offering a Twitter for Business application that allows you to track tweets all the way to a lead. it uses APIs to get all the available data about your links into one place. You can also tag your Tweets with campaigns and lists to organize your work. You can read more about it on Optify’s Blog.

  40. Not sure if I’m the only one – but when survey questions like those at FootLocker are made required, I *will* take the time to fill them out…but with the wrong information. Just to be a PITA because I don’t like the form. :)

  41. MartinLe says:

    I really like the fact that you can post tweets in advance with hootsuite that would save me so much time. Thanks for the great apps/tools

  42. I didn’t know these tools, looks great even if I’m not so convinced of the link power that Twitter can bring.

  43. [...] February Tracking Twitter Links: Twitter Analytics Tools & More [...]

  44. This is good list of twitter analytic tools. But among those I like twitteranalyzer the most.

  45. Lahiru says:

    I’m very much like to use it is easy to publish tiny url , and also we can edit that auto generated link also.

  46. rap says:

    These useful analytic tips for Twitter will assist with building a business case for SMO. Thanks

  47. Im ıslak kek tarifi thank you very nice

  48. Hootsuite is a great tool, I’m really glad it made the cut for this list. Also, the new owl icon is adorable when it blinks.

    For lighter weight analytics, I built a tool called, that will calculate the average CTR of any Twitter account that makes use of links. This can be really helpful when you need a simple, reliable numerical comparison of different Twitter accounts.

  49. Thomas says:

    Thank you for the clear and concise insights about HootSuite. I am going to give it a try. I used to think like I just didn’t get Twitter. A friend of mine had a saying that “Twitter was millions of people talking but nobody listening.”

    For a month or two, I’ve gotten active again on Twitter and am noticing there actually are some people listening..especially if you give them content which has some real value.

    Again, thank you for sharing useful information (with real value!)

  50. wow this is really informative source about An excellent round up of Twitter tools thanks for sharing.

  51. Stefani says:

    HI (”;)
    How do you track people who unfollowed you in the past i.e (from Jan 2011-Sep 2011) ? I cannot find one tracking tool that does this


    • I used to use a tool called Wefollow that would tell you when people left and followed and who you were following but weren’t following you and vice versa, not sure if it does the historical following, that depends if it’s possible with the Twitter API.

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