Getting data for your blog, your content marketing or perhaps even your own business strategy itself can feel frustrating. Google is great for some questions like “How many tweets get sent every day?” But what if you want something more specific or something more in depth?
We’ve highlighted four of our favourite places to find free data quickly and easily for all manner of purposes. Now go out and write something interesting with your findings!
Twitter itself is a fantastic source of information on everything to do with Twitter, if you’re looking for data on your own account that is. You may have noticed their new analytics dashboard. This now offers a whole host of new insights about how your own tweets have been performing. Understand not only the number of retweets and favourites you got but many more interactions such as:
- Clicks on content
- Clicks on your profile
- When your tweet was expanded
- Actual number of impressions your tweet made
Can you really blog about your own Twitter performance? Of course! If you think you have a crafty new technique for getting your content seen, do some experiments and publish your findings. With the new key metrics there’s plenty of information to back up your theories. Try A/B testing with different variables like: Tweet length Timings Reposting Images and Video Hashtags Keywords and see what insights you discover. Everyone loves to read about a social media success story (and tips they can implement themselves!).
And of course, don’t forget the real purpose of Twitter: sharing! If there’s a fact or measurement you really need to back up your points, ask your followers!
If it’s Facebook data you’re after, this neat free tool offered by Quintly is the place to start. You can choose to analyse page rankings or live statistics about almost any page’s fans. Page rankings can be filtered by topic or industry. So you can get a quick overview of which brands or organisations are leading the field in Music, Non-Profit or Retail or see which journalists or politicians are being talked about the most.
Compare the likes each page is getting and the rate of change or find out which company has the highest People Talking About This score (PTAT). You can also get real-time data for a particular page and see the total likes, growth in likes per hour or per day.
Pew is a heavyweight research outfit that has data on all sorts of things from business to social media to public-opinion. Their publicly available ‘fact sheets‘ are regularly updated and they’re a great place to find those key statistics that give your blog that much needed fact to back up your points.
Want statistics on how many internet users are on Twitter by gender, age or income? Pew has the numbers you’ve been looking for. From there you’ll find links to a whole host of published content. Be careful you may spend all day on there!
If it’s web traffic data you’re after then head over to Alexa. Type in the website you want to know more about and the free dashboard will give you a simple overview of the number and type of people visiting the site.
Alexa gives sites a global ranking rather than exact traffic numbers. But you can get an idea of a site’s change in ranking over time and there’s a whole lot of information on who is visiting. Take a look at bounce rates, average time spent and pages viewed. You’ll also see a breakdown of visitors by country, gender, education and whether they’re surfing at home or at work.
When using data you’ve found online, always remember to implement best practices.
- Reference your sources – be careful not to simply state statistics as ‘facts’. Also, it’s polite!
- Be consistent – comparing similar information from two different sources risks skewing your findings if one is using different a method to collect data.
- Check dates – information stays on the web for a long time. Don’t quote a statistic from a web page that’s 4 years old. (Unless you make it clear that’s the most up-to-date data around.)
- Show all the data – it’s tempting to make the data tell the story you want to tell. But presenting only part of the data can be deceptive. For example: “I got 100% engagement on my tweets last month” sounds impressive but what if you only sent one tweet?
And of course, if you want influence data and content analytics, our new platform PiQ allows you to search our database of over 210m active Twitter users and see what they’re talking about. Try it for free today!