Frequently Asked Questions

Why use CrowdTangle?

Who do you find uses the tool the most within your media client teams?
Analytics teams, audience development and social media editors are usually the quickest to adopt, and then we see later adoption amongst editors and reporters.

What are the actions people are taking from this information?

  • Reposting great content
  • Generating story/content ideas
  • Identifying distribution partnerships through Link Checker and our Chrome Extension, as well as saved search leaderboards
  • Sharing best practices easily across organizations
  • Improving and streamlining internal reporting
  • Augmenting competitive benchmarking


How do the logins work? Is it a shared dashboard?
It can be. Within the dashboard it’s unlimited access for your team, and everyone can access the same dashboards. If you want to build separate ones for various teams or individuals you can contact your CrowdTangle rep.

How do I invite people to the dashboard?
Click on the gear at the top of any dashboard, then use “Invite People,” or you can grab the url of your dashboard, and go to dashboard settings to find the admin and read-only passwords to pass along to any member of your team.

Where can I find help documentation?
Click on the gear at the top of any dashboard > HELP or come here to You can find how-tos and video tutorials specific to each feature of CrowdTangle. You can also view past webinars.

Do you host webinars?
Yes, we do them every other week. We do both basic trainings and feature-specific tutorials. RSVP at


What is a list?
Lists appear on the left hand side of the dashboard. With lists, you can track specific accounts, channels, or Pages.

CrowdTangle dashboards are preloaded with some stock lists that might be useful to you, and you can customize further by using the Browse Lists section on the left hand side of the dashboard. Lists are fully customizable and can be deleted, expanded or cut down.

How does search work?
Search is a powerful part of CrowdTangle. It not only looks at the Pages/accounts you follow, but CrowdTangle’s full database. Currently, that includes every local media outlet in the United States, any US/English Feed with >750K likes, and thousands of brands, athletes, sports teams, media outlets, politicians and nonprofit organizations.

Search allows you to find posts containing certain keywords or urls, so you can follow what's happening around major events, breaking news, or interesting keywords specific to an issue or interest. You can also track adjectives like “crazy” or “inspiring” to surface interesting content.

How do I set up referral tracking for my website?
To set up referral tracking for your website (or any website), create a new saved search and type in your URL (e.g. You can include any URL shorteners (e.g. you use as well. Remember to enter your own account or set of accounts in the "Exclude Pages/Accounts“ field so you filter out your own posts.

How do you populate the Explore section?
Our team is updating Explore with new lists and accounts all the time. We typically add lists around big events, such as Awards Shows and big sports games, as well as continue to build out general lists in topic areas like news, sports, politics, local and more. Our team manually puts these together — if you have suggestions or see something missing, let us know!


How is overperforming calculated?
We take the last 100 posts from a given account and of a given post type (link post, image post, etc.), calculate the average number of interactions all those posts have at each age (5 minutes old, 30 minutes told, 5 hours old, etc., etc.), then when a new post comes in from that account, we compare it to that average and multiply the difference by the weights in each dashboard (the scores on the bottom left) and that's the over/underperforming score.

What does underperforming mean?
Underperforming is a relative score as to how posts for that Page or account normally perform. If it’s red, it's performing below average.

How is interaction rate calculated?
The average number of interactions per post, divided by the size of the account.

How come the benchmarks seem off after I initially start following a new Page?
If a Page or account isn't in our database currently, that just means it will take a little bit of time for the system to pull the post history and calculate the benchmark for an average post. We’ll have its post averages after a couple of hours and the numbers will normalize.

What is Scoring?
Scoring, located on the bottom left of the dashboard, allows you to choose which interaction is most important to you. You can give more weight to a comment or share (or retweet, like, view or revine, etc.) and easily see what the most shared/commented stories are. This is helpful to see specific types of viral content. Sharing on Facebook, for example, may indicate a more engaged audience rather than simply liking a post. It also correlates closest to clicks.

What’s the “best” setting for scoring?
It depends. If you're looking for content that might go “viral," we usually recommend putting shares at 1 and everything else at 0.

What is the leaderboard?
A leaderboard allows you to see how a single account or a group of Pages/accounts are performing over a set period of time. This feature is helpful for reporting purposes, and for competitive intelligence. Additionally, when you hover over an account or Page you can glean insight and trends from that account about what types of content were posted.

Do interactions correlate to clicks?
It depends on the account. We have found that, in general, the more folks interact with a post, the more likely it is that they are also clicking through to it. However, that's not always the case (sometimes people like a post that they don't click through, and sometimes people click through to a post they don’t like). In general, shares are probably the best proxy. The social network APIs currently don’t give public access to clicks or reach, so they will not be displayed within the dashboard.

How does Link Checker work?
CrowdTangle's link checker feature is useful in figuring out where your traffic is generated. Some analytics tools will tell you broadly that your traffic is coming from Facebook or Twitter, but the Link Checker lets you see which Pages or accounts have actually shared the specific link in question. It can even find posts that were changed into a or included a UTM code.


Can emails go to different people?
Absolutely. If you go to notifications, you can add as many different people as you want to any notification, and you can create as many notifications as you want. Users that have access to the dashboard will show up with automatically, but you can also add an email subscriber only, eg. someone that doesn’t have dashboard access, but can receive notifications via email.

Can I get a combined email alert or notification from all platforms? Ex. Overperforming content from all of my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter accounts in one email? Not currently at this time.

How do I set up Slack alerts in my dashboard?
Click on the gear icon at the top of any dashboard, then go to “Dashboard Settings” and add your Slack webhook. Go to “Notifications,” expand the settings for any viral alert you want to integrate with Slack, click advance options, and then “Yes” to “Enable Slack.” Finally, add the #channel you would like to post alerts too.

Use Case Specific

We don’t do real time, how and why would we use this?
Our system also makes it incredibly easy to see what content did the best over the last week, last month, last six months, etc. Moreover, our leaderboards are a great way to have a sense of where you stand in your industry.

Can you see who’s mentioning us right now?
We're not pulling from the firehose on any of the platforms, so we can't tell you if Sarah, who has 5 Twitter followers, mentions you. But we're tracking close to half a million important and influential accounts and we can tell you if any of those mention you. For instance, we're tracking every single Page on Facebook that has at least 750K likes (and tracking more and more every day) and we can tell you when, how often and in what context they mention you. We’re also tracking all verified Twitter users.

Can this help us discover influencers? How?
Yes. Create a saved search, then click "Leaderboard." It will populate and show you the Pages/accounts driving the most interactions around that term in the last week.

Platform Specific Questions

Does covering trending topics on Facebook directly increase traffic?
Yes. We've found over and over that part of being successful on social media is participating in the conversation. That means posting content that is relevant and timely, as well as simply participating in those huge viral moments where a story or topic explodes.

How can you see if a post is boosted?
At this point in time, Instagram’s Feeds API, Twitter’s Accounts API, and Facebook’s Pages API do not allow us to show whether or not a post is promoted.

Can you separate Facebook boosted posts or non-boosted when looking at performance?

How far back can I get historical data for the various social accounts?
Within the dashboard you can go back to any custom date range. We’ll have the data as long as those accounts were in our system at the time, and you’ll be able to see a maximum of three months at a time. You can see the best posts from the last world cup, what your competitors did for Christmas, or which keywords were mentioned the most in April.

If you want exportable data, let us know what you need! You can export the history of any account going back to the very first post they made. *Twitter allows the last 3,200 tweets.