I’ve just been playing with TweepsMap – a site that plots your Twitter followers on a map.
At first glance, this might seem like just a bit of fun, but it can actually give you some really valuable insights into your audience.
Are you reaching the right people?
If your audience is limited by locality (say, for example, you only sell to UK customers) then maybe your Twitter following isn’t a true reflection of your reach.
Local authorities are another obvious example – they are mainly targeting their own citizens. But again, without knowing where your followers actually are, your stats could be skewed. Popular tourists destinations such as Edinburgh may also attract a lot of attention from abroad. That’s no bad thing, but it is something you should be aware of if you’re making any claims about your local reach.
Are you tweeting at the right time?
If your account is of global interest, have you got a clear strategy about when to tweet? By analysing the time zones that the bulk of your followers are in, you’ll be able to more effectively time your tweets to maximise your reach.
Global vs local
Large multinational organisations often run multiple, localised Twitter accounts. This makes a lot of sense, not least because of the time zone issue mentioned above, as well as probable language differences. A bit of analysis of the location of your followers across those different accounts will help to inform how useful that strategy is, and whether there’s also a need for a global account.
Sadly, TweepMaps doesn’t go beyond the “City” level of detail. A really valuable insight for localised organisations would be to locate followers down to a neighbourhood level. This insight could allow even more accurate targeting of hyperlocal content.
Analysing the location of your followers is just one of the ways you can get an insight into your Twitter audience. There are plenty of other tools, (the excellent TweetReach and the questionable Klout, for example) giving additional insights into your geographical reach and social influence. Such tools provide a powerful way of measuring the true value of your tweeting efforts, and should be a key part of your social media strategy.