Twitter is such a versatile tool – it’s amazing what 140 characters can do for your brand and business. The great thing about Twitter is that it can also be a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal.
Regardless of how you’re currently using Twitter, we’re about to take your experience to the next level, courtesy of my brilliant friend Jen Wojcik. You may know her as the genius behind TechKaraoke (and if you’ve actually participated in one of her events, more power to you!)
Jen and her team recently unveiled Pinq Sheets, an uber useful Twitter tool that’s designed to help you track search terms and hashtags. She gave V3 a behind-the-scenes look at the new service, and we’re psyched to share it with you. Let’s dive in!
Pinq Sheets: The back story
When Jen and her husband, Brian, launched TechKaraoke (which debuted in October 2009 at Blog World Expo), Jen realized she needed a tool that could track Twitter mentions of TechKaraoke, as well as sponsor mentions of various keywords.
So she asked Brian to build a monitoring tool based on Twitter’s search engine.
“He was able to get in and hack something together, and we were able to track those keywords for all of the subsequent TechKaraoke events,” Jen says.
Not only that, but Jen could generate back-end reports that she could give to sponsors and document their coverage during a particular event. That report “is what really set us apart,” says Jen.
With the infrastructure in place, Pinq Sheets evolved as a subscription-based search and monitoring tool designed to fill what Jen and her team identify as a void in the current Twitter analytics landscape.
“There wasn’t a whole lot out there, tool-wise, for marketers or companies wanting to figure out what their reach is, where their message is going and who’s talking about it,” Jen says.
Pinq Sheets – How Does It Work?
Let’s use a hypothetical case study, shall we? Pretend you’re a tube sock manufacturer and you want to find out when people are talking about tube socks on Twitter. Don’t laugh, it was that wacky Jen’s idea!
“You plug in your keyword, “tube socks,” into our tool, and you track that over a period of time,” Jen says.
You might find that tube sock mentions peak at 9 a.m. and again at 6 p.m., so that gives you a bit of a roadmap for engagement. You’ll direct your conversation and interaction with the tube sock community at those times, since that’s when they’re active.
“You can use this tool in a variety of ways,” Jen says. “If you’re running a campaign, you can see the peaks in activity.”
Let’s continue with the tube sock case study. Say you have a big shipment of Australian tube socks arriving, and they’re made out of New Zealand wool. You decide to launch an awareness campaign built around the hashtag #nztubesocks. With Pinq Sheets, you’ll be able to monitor the hashtag, find out how many times you were RT’d, etc., and thereby generate reports about the effectiveness of your campaign that you can use to provide valuable insight for future campaigns.
Hmmm. Now, Why You Should Use Pinq Sheets
Unlike Klout and other similar services, Pinq Sheets is keyword- and campaign-based, as opposed to user-based. And because Pinq Sheets uses Twitter’s streaming API (instead of the search API), Pinq Sheets subscribers can pull down entire Tweets, rather than just numbers.
Pinq Sheets also does the dirty work for you, compiling the data in readable graphs (see below) that can easily be distributed to your clients. This is pretty stellar. When we do reporting for our clients, we find they love graphs and infographics. When we can make them pretty AND useful, so much the better. Seeing information and insights, for some, is often more valuable than reading a report.
Increased functionality is on the way, too. Jen reports that the evolution of the graphing tool will allow users “to see all the way down to the hour the volumes of data around a specific keyword.”
Additional features include showing users which individuals talk about a particular hashtag or search term the most, giving you valuable insights about either your brand or the brand advocates/influencers.
“If you’re trying to market to a niche, this is the tool that’s going to tell you how to do it and who to talk to,” Jen says.
Tips for Success With Pinq Sheets
We’re experimenting and are already huge fans of Pinq Sheets. By using the service, we’ve compiled some tips that might help improve your results.
- The number of search terms you’ll be able to monitor depends on your subscription plan, so keep that in mind when you’re signing up for the service.
- Once you’ve entered those search terms into the system, be aware that it could take up to 24 hours to return results.
- You won’t find much difference if you search a term with or without a hashtag. However, leaving the hashtag on a term will net you more specific results, whereas terms without a hashtag will produce a more general overview.
There you have it. If you’ve not yet discovered Pinq Sheets, we hope this post inspires you to scoot on over there and check it out. We predict that in no time, you’ll find as many applications for it as we have. And, as usual, Jen Wojick rocks.