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Today, Twitter said good morning to the world by announcing that users will soon (if not already) be able to download an archive of all their tweets from the beginning of time. Well, from the beginning of whenever they started tweeting, that is. This is certainly an exciting new feature from Twitter, who just yesterday announced in a tweet (how fitting!) that it had amassed more than 200 million monthly active users .

Even as early as this morning, we’ve already seen some great step-by-step coverage from Todd Wasserman at Mashable and Danny Sullivan at Marketing Land , outlining just how to access your personal Twitter Archive. But what marketers should also be thinking about is how the availability of this new information can be useful to them and their business' future marketing efforts. So let's put it all together in one place. In this post, we'll cover exactly how you can get a hold of your own Twitter archive, and what you can do with all those tweets once you have them to improve your marketing in the future.

What You'll Get From Your Twitter Archive

By requesting your Twitter Archive, you'll get access to the following:

  • All the tweets you've published since you created your account
  • All the retweets you've generated since you created your account (Note: Twitter's article was pretty vague about this, but it seems to mean you'll be able to see other users' retweets of your tweets.)
  • The ability to filter through tweets by month
  • The ability to search your archive of tweets using certain keywords, phrases, hashtags , or @usernames
  • The ability to engage with your old tweets just like you can with your current ones

What you don't seem to get in this download is any sort of analytics (such as clicks on your tweets, etc.) besides your sheer amount of Twitter activity, but this is certainly a start!

How to Access Your Twitter Archive

Now, let's quickly review how to request a download of your Twitter Archive ...

Step 1: Go Into Your Twitter Settings & Request Your Archive

Head into your 'Settings' tab within your Twitter account, and scroll all the way down until you see ' Your Twitter archive .' If you don't see this, it just means Twitter hasn't rolled out this new feature to you yet. But not to worry! Twitter indicates that over the next coming weeks and months, the Twitter Archive will be made available to all users around the world. For now, it's only available to a small percentage of users whose language is set to English. If you do have access, simply click ' Request your archive .'


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Step 2: Confirm Twitter Received Your Request 

One you've requested your download, make sure you see the confirmation screen from Twitter that it has received your request and that an email with next steps is on the way.


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Step 3: Open Your Confirmation Email & Unzip the File 

Inside your confirmation email from Twitter, you'll find a bright blue ' Go now ' button. Once you click on this button, you'll be taken to a page on Twitter where you can access your download. Click the also blue ' Download ' button, unzip the file, and open ' index.html ,' which will take you to another page with all your details. (Alternatively, if you'd like to slice and dice the data in an Excel file, you can open the ' Data ' folder to open the file as a CSV.)


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Step 4: Navigate Your Page Details

Once you've accessed this page, you'll see detail options such as the highlighted arrow below (which advances you to the next month) as well as the blue bar charts on the right (which enable you to choose a specific month within a year). These options enable you to easily navigate from month to month, where you can review your Twitter activity during specific periods of time.


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Step 5 (Bonus!): Conduct a Keyword Search

You can also conduct a keyword search by entering a specific query -- to see all of the tweets that match that keyword. This can be very helpful for more focused research.


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That's it! Now you can research all your tweets, group them by themes, and target specific date ranges.

But wait a minute ... While it's always interesting to go back and review your past tweets for fun or for nostalgia purposes, how does this really help marketers? What can you actually gain from reviewing historical tweets -- and is it worth spending your valuable time on this analysis? Why yes ... yes, it is.

3 Actionable Ways Marketers Can Use Downloadable Tweets

1) Do Some Seasonality Dashboarding

describe the image Have you ever been sitting at your desk early on a Monday morning, only to have your boss rush over demanding to know the most active times of year for your Twitter account ? Okay, that example might be a little extreme for most marketers (although it honestly has happened to me). Maybe you're just reporting to a client, and you need to quickly provide a high-level view of their annual activity and predictive expectations for "planning purposes?" If so, then the activity dashboards Twitter provides in its archive will definitely be beneficial for you to not only gauge your account activity over the years, but also during crucial seasonal periods for your business.

2) Analyze Your Content Topic Balance

With all the tweets you publish live each day, how do you keep track of not only which topics you're talking about, but also how often you're covering them? Not always easy, right? For instance, if you're a full-service digital marketing agency, you'd probably want to make sure the information you're sharing on Twitter covers all aspects of digital marketing, including topics such as PPC, SEO, social media, display, analytics, landing page optimization ... the list goes on. If maintaining a certain balance of the topics you tweet about is one of your goals, a great way to measure your success toward this goal would be to download your Twitter Archive, and drop your tweets from a given time frame into a tool like TagCrowd

For example, I ran a quick analysis of HubSpot's Twitter activity so far today, and here are the trends for our account:


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You can see that today, we've been talking about blogging, email, newsjacking , etc. Now imagine if you were to conduct this analysis for your business for the last 6 months -- or a year? This can be a very helpful way to make sure you stay creative and comprehensive in the content your sharing on Twitter. Not one likes monotony.

3) Identify Which Types of Content Led to Highs and Lows in Engagement Rates

Whether you're looking at engagement rates for your paid or organic results on Twitter, as a marketer, it's always useful to understand what drives the highest engagement from your Twitter presence. But it's not always easy to jump back two or four months ago to identify exactly what was the cause of a high spike (or low dive) in engagement, such as referral traffic from Twitter, and leads. While a variety of factors such as seasonality or time of day are important variables to consider, examining the qualitative side of your engagement rates by analyzing historical data can provide valuable insights into the specific types of content that resonate with your audience.

Coupled with your closed-loop marketing analytics , use your Twitter Archive to zone in on times when you've noticed a spike or deficiency in your referral traffic and leads from Twitter. How was your topic balance then? Were you tweeting more heavily about a certain topic that your audience wasn't as engaged with? Was there a specific offer you pushed out then that did particularly well? Do you notice that certain tweets generated more or fewer retweets from other users? Look for patterns and insights that can help you modify and improve your future Twitter marketing strategy .

Well there you have it! This new feature from Twitter is certainly a welcomed one. The more information you can learn about your Twitter activity, the better informed you'll be for future Twitter management and planning.

How else could you use your Twitter Archive to improve your future Twitter marketing efforts?

Image Credits: niner bakes , Marketing Land , Twitter

Originally published Dec 19, 2012 5:15:00 PM, updated October 20 2016


Twitter Marketing Data