Mar 14, 2012

Introducing Tweet Trends: New Insight About Your Subscribers

In MailChimp v6.9, we launched a new feature called Tweet Trends that uses a direct integration with Twitter to analyze public social data and gives you interesting insights about the people who are subscribed to your lists. For example, it shows me who my subscribers generally follow:


Want to learn what your subscribers like? Go walk a mile in their shoes. Read what they read. Shop where they shop. With Tweet Trends, you can follow who they follow.

And, just like with our Wavelength app, Tweet Trends can give you an idea of what kind of company you’re in. I was pretty delighted to see that in addition to following my company on Twitter, my subscribers are also following David Lynch and Merlin Mann:

Which makes perfect sense when you consider how MailChimp once commissioned a rock opera with Mr. Mann, who happens to go by the Twitter handle "@hotdogsladies," and when you consider that a restaurant named "Pink’s Hot Dogs" was in the David Lynch movie Mulholland Drive, and when you consider that as a child, I loved playing the game Merlin (it’s 6 electronic games in 1), which was long and red—like a hot dog. Well, in a David Lynch kinda movie that would all make perfect sense. Don’t think too hard about it. Just dance.

As another example, MailChimp’s Amy Ellis manages the email marketing for Atlanta Roller Girls, and she showed me the people her subscribers follow:

Yep, Atlanta women with a healthy sense of humor, and who you would probably be wise not to scorn.

Aarron Walter, head of our UX team, showed me the results from his list:

Aarron’s subscribers follow some very influential people in web design, UX, and usability.

Find out what your subscribers are tweeting about you

Yes, we all know that we can see what people are tweeting about us by using the keyword search tools inside Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Twitter. You can even filter tweets by sentiment if you use tools like LongReply. But when you do that, you get tweets from everybody. And I’m not complaining about being flooded or overwhelmed or anything—all this customer feedback is a gift.

Here’s what I mean. Using Tweetdeck, I can  see tweets like these:

The first one mentions a talk given by Jason from our UX team. Nice. Next is a tweet from somebody who’s a fan of somebody else who blogged about his switch to MailChimp. Nice. Third is a tweet from someone recommending our WordPress plugin. Nice.

It’s nice to get information about how people feel about your brand. But what if the general public loves what you do, while your own customers are having problems? Or the converse: What if your customers are generally happy and content, but the world outside absolutely hates you? You need to see both sides of the customer-experience equation.

Inside MailChimp, Tweet Trends can show you what your customers are tweeting about you.

So when I see this:

I’m a bit more motivated to jump in, because I know she’s a customer. I replied to her with a link to this. Well, first I Google-translated what she said, and then I replied to her.

Find out what hashtags your subscribers are using

Tweet Trends also aggregates the hashtags your subscribers use, so you can see what topics they’re discussing on Twitter. Apparently, my subscribers are talking about a social-media meetup event, CRMs (hmm, I seem to remember a couple CRM newsletters in my Wavelength results, too) and email newsletters.

I smiled when I saw the #mailnerd one.

For comparison, I checked out the hashtags used by Atlanta Rollergirls subscribers: #llcooljdrinkinggames, #zombies, #seatbelts, and #runningmucheasier. Note to self: Do not mess with the Atlanta Roller Girls.

Hashtags used by Aarron’s list of web designers include: #uxbookclub, #uidesign, #design, and #inspirational.

How to activate Tweet Trends

Tweet Trends is free (because we love you). In order for Tweet Trends to work, you’ll need to make sure your MailChimp account is integrated with Twitter first (here are instructions for managing your integrations).

Then sign in to your MailChimp account, click "Lists," and open a list. Hover over "Stats," and then click "Tweet Trends."


Next, click the big "Start loading" button:



Depending on the size of your list, it may take a few minutes or a few hours to load Tweet Trends. Finally, it’s worth noting that Tweet Trends only works on lists that you’ve actually sent email to—you can’t simply upload a list and get all this wonderful data. You have to be a MailChimp user. That, by the way, is how we getcha: We make useful stuff to make you want to switch to MailChimp. Then, we keep making useful stuff to make you want to stay.

Our take on social

The motivation behind all of MailChimp’s social features is not to help you find new places and new ways to blast messages at your audience, or to "like-gate" them into listening to you. Our motivation is to help you hear and understand your audience. We want to help you use social networks to have more meaningful conversations with your customers. Not because we’re happy-go-lucky, fluffy, anti-marketers (we kind of run a marketing business here). We think about social like this because we believe that there’s no better way to differentiate yourself from your competition than by being more human. It’s easy to start a business these days. Building products that have a soul, and running a business that has a personality that resonates with your customers–that’s the challenge. Tweet Trends combines the powers of MailChimp and Twitter to make that job a little easier.