Topsy: Social Media Analytics Done (Almost) Perfectly

As Senior Community Manager of Silverback Social, it’s my job to enhance and monitor the robust social presence we’ve developed for each of our clients. This includes maintaining each client’s social places as well as measuring the results of our social strategies. I’ve recently started using a technology to help me with my day-to-day responsibilities. It’s called Topsy.

Topsy does a beautiful job of providing useful information regarding any Twitter analytics you wish to measure. With Tweet information from all the way back to 2006, Topsy allows you to track Tweets and categorize them based on whether they include links, photos, videos, or just plain text.

Topsy also provides an “Influencers” function, which allows you to identify who has the most social influence for your product or brand. You can even track your competitors’ social influence, giving you a much broader perspective of your product or brand’s impact on the social space. You can track your brand’s Twitter analytics within a specific time period as well as view trends of your brand’s influence within Twitter. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can upgrade to Topsy Pro to get even more statistics regarding your brand’s impact on Twitter.

Topsy Pro provides a myriad of additional features, including the ability to track the geography of users who interact with your content, measure your content’s reach and exposure, and even observe metrics across web domains, including Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Topsy Pro also lets you use operators that can help you narrow down your search even further. For example, by typing “from:@silverbksocial” I can observe every Tweet shared from @silverbksocial and track how many accounts each Tweet has reached. Or, by typing “” I can view Tweets that contain links within

One limitation Topsy has, in my opinion, is that its free version leaves something to be desired. There is a huge disparity between what the free and pro versions offer, and without the features of Topsy Pro, I don’t find the free version valuable enough to continue using. I think if the free version included a few more functions that are featured in the professional version, I’d be more likely to recommend it.

Having only used this tool for a few weeks, I already feel that Topsy has added incredible value to Silverback Social. Not only can we measure the reach of content we share, but we can also observe trends and track which users are serving as the most significant brand advocates for our clients, based on how often those users are retweeting and responding to our content.  Overall, by using Topsy Pro we have been able to attain a much deeper understanding of our clients’ impact within the Twitter community.

You can test out Topsy Pro with a 14-day free trial by clicking here.


Have you used Topsy to measure social analytics? What social media analytics platforms do you use? Tell us in the comments below.

3 Free/Cheap Social Media Tools You Should Be Using

As an online reputation and social media manager, I’m always looking for cheap/free social media tools to help create content and keep track of my social platforms. I recently came across three different tools that are sure to help any social media professional make their life easier. They are Animoto,, and Followerwonk.


Animoto is a social media tool that lets you create truly engaging video content.

Here’s an example of the type of content you can create:

This was done with the “plus” version (which cost us a paltry $30/year) and let’s us create videos up to 10 minutes in length, choose from up to 44 different styles, access to over 300 music tracks, and the ability to download the video. There is also a “lite” version that is free, but video length is only 30 seconds and you can only choose from a limited number of styles.

The best part of this tool is that it’s SO easy to use. You can include images, text, and even other video into your Animoto clip. It’s a simple matter of uploading and rearranging the order you want the content to come up.

My one sticking point with this tool is there isn’t enough customization.  Although the “pro” version lets you create unbranded (no Animoto logo at the end) videos up to 20 minutes with multiple songs, users should be able to do more, like change colors and how the video unfolds from one piece of content to the next.

Despite limited customization, this is an incredible tool for brands to take advantage of.

Infographics are some of the most engaging pieces of content you can create for your brand. They offer a wealth of information, while being easy to digest. To create truly stunning infographics, you’re going to need a designer, but sometimes you won’t have the skills or the cash to make one. That’s where comes into play.

Here’s an infographic we made for the Westchester Digital Summit using this free tool:

Aside from being free, what’s cool about this social media tool is there are a ton of different chart types you can use, as well as multiple infographic styles. Chart types range from simple bar graphs to pictorials and financial charts, and you can even upload Excel data. You can also add text, images, and video to your infographics. also has a “pro” option that costs $18/month (or $180/year), however I only recommend it if you plan on distributing the infographic onto a website, email, ebook, etc. This is because you won’t be able to download/embed your infographic otherwise. The pro version also comes with 4 other design themes, allows password protection for infographics you create, and the ability to privately share the infographic with a non-public URL.

As great of a free tool as is, it really falls flat with its “pro” features. It lacks any true customization – you can’t change the colors of the infographic template, and the charts themselves lack dynamism. Sure you can change the colors of the charts, but paying users should be able to adjust the size of different aspects of the charts (for example, changing the width of the bars on the bar graph).

If you don’t plan on downloading the infographic, I highly suggest sticking with the free version because you’ll still be able to share the graphic onto your social places (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). There simply aren’t enough options available for paying users to be worth the money, but it is certainly very robust for a free tool.


Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool created by Moz (formerly SEOMoz).  Moz is known for its great SEO tools and is an industry leader in Internet marketing. Followerwonk is one of the most robust Twitter analytics tools on the market today. From the free version alone, you can search twitter bios (i.e., highest Social Authority, journalists, SEO, CEOs, most followers etc.), compare users, and analyze a user’s followers or the people a user is following.

Through the “analyze followers” function alone, you can get a world map of your users by region, active hours of your followers or those you’re following, Social Authority score of followers, gender of followers, keywords used by followers, frequency of @mentions used by followers, % of retweets by followers, % of retweets with URLs of followers, language, total tweets of followers…the list goes on.

For Silverback Social’s twitter, our followers are most active at around 5:00 pm ET.

Breakdown of Silverback Social’s followers via Social Authority. We use this graph to determine who to tweet at and who to follow.

This breakdown of keywords tells us what type of content we should be broadcasting to our followers.

I regularly use this social media tool to manage the social content Silverback Social produces on Twitter so we can tailor our content to get the highest engagement possible. I also use it to analyze our followers’ accounts to see whom else we can engage with in our field.  In terms of finding new engagement opportunities, Followerwonk really makes it easy to pick and choose the right accounts to follow instead of bloating our following number with low quality accounts (i.e., low # of tweets, low social authority).

The search query we used was “social media” and Followerwonk gave us a list of Twitter accounts related to the query.

The PRO version comes chock full of other features. There’s too many for me to write all of them here, but here’s a screen of what else they offer for paying members:

The only downside to Followerwonk is that it comes at a fairly pricy $99/month. However, they do offer a free 30-day trial, which is more than enough time to decide if this tool is good for your needs.  Also, you must be comfortable with looking at graphs and numbers to use the tool to its fullest potential. There is no single way to use it because everyone has different goals and everyone weighs metrics differently according to their goals. If you are serious about utilizing Twitter for your business, I can’t recommend this tool enough.

Have you used any of the tools above? What are your thoughts on them? What tools do YOU recommend?


Taking a Closer Look at Twitter Analytics


With the recent introduction of both Twitter and Pinterest’s analytics platforms, it’s becoming increasingly clear that everyone, from senior level executives down to solopreneurs, want to see quantitative and qualitative results from the time, money and resources they’re dedicating to social media.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring Twitter’s new analytics platform and it’s proved to be a great tool, to measure both quantitative and qualitative data. Here are some of the ways we’re using Twitter’s analytics to gain insight on how successful our clients are on Twitter:

1) Gauge the performance of your current content: With Twitter’s analytics, your tweets are laid out in front of you so you can take a closer look at what you’re sharing on a daily basis. Are you tweeting about one topic too much? Are you tweeting more than you’re replying or retweeting? Using too many hashtags? Not enough? Seeing all of your tweets in one place allows you to get a closer look at the content you’re sharing and allows you to make changes to the frequency you tweet or what you tweet about.

2) Replies and Retweets – These are most important when measuring you or your brand’s social influence on Twitter. I define social influence as how many people look to you to provide relevant content and information – it’s the measure of how resourceful you are. Retweets are indicative of someone agreeing with your insight, finding your content useful and wanting to share it with their network. Replies are someone who wants to directly engage in conversation regarding those insights. The point is, the higher your replies and retweets, the more influence you have on Twitter, which also expands your reach, your brand awareness and further solidifies your authoritative position within your given industry.

3) Follows and Unfollows – At the top of the Twitter Analytics platform, you’ll see a bar graph with blue and pink bars. Blue bars measure “follows” and pink bars measure “unfollows”. You can easily improve your content strategy by gathering insights from this. Cross reference the day someone unfollowed you with the tweets you sent out that day. Does your content give any clues as to why people may have unfollowed you? Maybe you tweeted too much one day…Or maybe you didn’t tweet at all. What about a day when you had a significant amount of people follow you? Did you use a specific hashtag or share a particularly engaging piece of content? Your follows and unfollows can help you understand where to gear your content so that your audience of followers continue to grow, thereby expanding your potential reach on Twitter.

Measuring social media actions, interactions and engagement tells an important story about your brand’s success on social. The challenge is looking at the data, asking the right questions and whether or not you’ll use it to help you be more successful in your approach to social.