Tag Archives: analytics

What Does the Data Say?

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The unending flow of data within our countless digital platforms can make it easier to know what’s working and what’s not – if you know what to look for. Check out these recent case studies and new data points that can help you navigate and make sense of your digital campaign results.

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Social Media Today: What We Learned About Instagram Story Performance by Analyzing Over 800 Accounts
Social Media Today monitored more than 800 Instagram accounts’ story analytics to determine early usage trends and best practices. Read what they’ve discovered about adoption rates, influencers and prime posting times. Read more after the jump…

What Your Social Media Metrics Are Missing

social media metrics dashboard | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, COAre you the keeper of your organization’s social media metrics? If so, perhaps you’re like me and are a bit obsessive over data accuracy. Perhaps you dutifully copy and paste numbers from Facebook, Twitter or some other measurement tool every week, month or quarter to track your progress over time. But are your spreadsheets missing a key element? What happens when you go on vacation or someone else takes over after you’re gone?

You might have read this far and expect to hear something about what you should be measuring. That’s not what this post is about. Certainly put thought into your goals/objectives and match them with your measurement, but if you want to use data to measure your progress, the important thing is that you are measuring the same thing in the same way on a consistent basis.

Read more after the jump…

Why Facebook’s Inflated Video Metrics Don’t Matter (That Much)

How long is long enough for Facebook video views?

How long is long enough for Facebook video views?

It was reported last week that Facebook had been artificially inflating the average viewing time of videos on the social media platform for upwards of two years. Obviously the news is somewhat of a shock, as indicated by the outcry of complaints by marketing professionals.

This is absolutely big news in our industry, and I’m definitely in favor of creating some form of third-party verification for social media platforms and their native analytics. But I do challenge the impact of this news a bit, and believe its something that highlights a larger issue within our industry: A greater focus on meaningful metrics.

Read more after the jump…

Tracking Social Conversions

Google is rolling out a new system for tracking actual conversions on your from traffic generated by Social Media links. Techcrunch posted a great synopsis of the new Social measuring tool bundled with Google Analytics. As we see more and more people seeking to leverage Social Media for traffic, it is going to become even more important to gauge engagements and conversions. This new tool provides some assistance with being able to provide real stats on conversions from Social Media platforms.

Stay tuned for more info on this exciting new way to measure engagements.

Measuring Success

Measurement and analytics usually fall under the bailiwick of SEO and Marketing firms, but tracking and understanding numbers is equally important in PR in order to better understand how your messaging affects your target audience and how well you are engaging with that audience. Whether you are new to analytics or a seasoned pro, here are a few items to consider when analyzing traffic and how to make the most of the numbers.
Step number one: Leverage Analytics 
Neglecting to gain access to clients’ analytics so that you are able to measure successes can impact your opportunity to tout progress. Sure, many factors contribute to increases in traffic but why should Marketing, SEO or WebDev get full credit for driving customers to your clients’ sites? Being proactive about baselining (establishing pre-campaign stats); annotating when news coverage, social media pick-ups and events occur; and tracking up-tics in traffic are paramount to ongoing PR opportunities and further client successes. Take this one step further by creating unique URLs and landing pages for your PR endeavors to ensure that you can really target traffic and check traffic sources (social media, specific publications/blogs where articles have run, etc.) to fully capitalize on your efforts.
Step number two: Get creative about how you measure successes
Pure traffic volume is certainly the primary way to measure success in any PR campaign. If you can show increases in unique visitors, returns and overall visitor traffic to client properties, you can clearly celebrate “wins” in your favor. But there are other, less obvious ways to ring the bell when it comes to success in PR campaigns. If you can look beyond the basics, you can not only demonstrate progress but can get a fuller understanding as to how messaging resonates with your audience and at what level they engage the brand. There are many ways to get creative about measurement. Here are just a few:
  • Twitter List-to-Follower Ratio: Trends indicate that Twitter users leverage lists to offset “experts” from other resources they are simply following. If you have a high list-to-follower ratio, that can indicate that the materials you are presenting are deemed more informative, interesting or valuable and that your tweets are cutting through the churn. 
  • Re-Tweets, Shares and Link Click-thrus: Audience engagement can be further assessed through analysis of Re-tweet, Shares and Click-thru metrics. High figures in these key categories can indicate how well your messaging resonates with audiences and how well engaged they are with your brand. If your posts are being distributed frequently by your listeners, you can be sure that what you are saying is having an impact.
  • Measure interactions: Creating a two-way dialog between your brand and your customers is paramount to tout success in the social media space. If you can create engagement (as you or your organization defines engagement internally), you can really start to crow about your effectiveness in the marketplace. High volumes of comments per blog post, Facebook post, YouTube placement or Pin demonstrate engagement and are great ways to demonstrate campaign successes. Tweet-this, shares, +1s and the like from your blog are also great ways to measure how well you are reaching an audience and how well your message is resonating. Stay creative with how you measure successes to show the full breadth of your benefit to your clients or senior management.

Step number three: Be sure you are measuring what you WANT to measure
There are some pitfalls in the numbers game to avoid, or about which to at least be aware of when setting up your campaign and analyzing information along the way. One trap comes in the form of Facebook “Likes”. Often times, clients express a desire to increase their fan base and see their pure number of “Likes” as a measure of how they are engaging with an audience. Sure, this is one measure of success but are these fans engaged? If a campaign is created to generate “Likes” and that campaign relies upon users “Liking” (or “like-gating” as some call it) the brand in order to participate (for example, in a contest), you may drive pure numbers but probably aren’t generating an audience that has a true affinity for the brand. Plus, this type of campaign (though seen all the time on Facebook) is actually in violation of Facebook policies. 
The inverse is also true. Often times, companies get concerned that the stats showing the number of pages visited on their site is deplorably low. They get focused on this particular metric and struggle to find ways to drive traffic deeper into their site (not, in and of itself, a bad tactic, incidentally) neglecting to recognize that their site is primarily a blog with the majority of the content served up on the homepage. The site structure has created the situation where people, particularly more frequent visitors, don’t NEED to dive deeper into the site to access material. Better measurements for clients with sites of this type would be “amount of time spent on site” and “returning visitors”. 
In short, be sure to establish campaign goals and how to best measure and report successes at the onset to be sure your campaigns are being measured thoughtfully. Keep your focus on engagements in the social space to ensure that you are developing active participants in your conversations. And don’t be afraid to look creatively at numbers to measure the true success of any PR campaign. There are a lot of metrics available to measure, and ensuring that you’re tracking the right numbers that will impact your overall goals is the most important first step.

Stop Taking the “Social” out of Social Media

Measurement is the “Social Media 2.0” topic of discussion in 2011. From sessions at South by Southwest Interactive titled “Value of a Facebook Fan” to client inquiries about the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) dollar value of social media, metrics and analytics of social media efforts are front and center these days.

The problem is there is no silver bullet for social media measurement just yet. The social aspect itself is what makes measurement so challenging. What and how social media efforts are measured is going to be different for every business and/or business objective. Social networks exist online, but that doesn’t mean they can be tracked in the same ways, or even with the same expectations, as your online advertising or SEO efforts. Don’t forget that social media is “social.”

We all have access to free services like Google Alerts and Twilerts that provide frequent updates on mentions of your brand, but how can you be sure you’re not missing an important conversation? Subscription-based tools like Radian6 and Sysomos* have become the industry standard for aggregating online conversations about your brand and measuring engagement numbers (things like sentiment, share of voice, etc.), but what about those private Facebook conversations or password-protected Yelp reviews that currently aren’t funneled into your results? Similarly, Google Analytics and trackable links like Bit.ly allow us to monitor click-throughs and conversion rates, but how can you know exactly why a person clicked at the time they chose to do so? Was it the post itself that motivated them to click? Or was it a combination of other influences that resulted in a click on that specific post?

I often compare time spent on social networks to time spent at a cocktail party. For me (and most surveys and industry articles agree), it’s extremely annoying when a person talks all about him/herself without actually having a conversation or lively banter with you. And it would be unheard of to have someone walk up to you, hand you a business card, and then turn and walk away. Have a conversation. Get to know the person, what they do, and how they might help your business. Then, take it a step further and introduce people who might benefit each other. That’s the beauty of networking, and that is what should truly be measured as a result of your social media efforts. Social media is first and foremost about connecting with people, building your brand, being a thought leader. The sales leads and CRM will come as a result of making quality connections. It really is about the quality of your connections, not the quantity.

Twitter’s recent announcement that it has started allowing promoted tweets (from brands you don’t even follow) to appear in your feed is a prime example of removing the “social” from social media. I understand the purpose or end goal – Twitter is working to find ways to boost revenue through “guaranteed” or increased visibility and click-throughs. But please, don’t interject yourself in my current conversation, hand me a business card or a coupon, and then leave. You wouldn’t do that at a cocktail party, and you shouldn’t do that on social platforms either. It’s disingenuous, and sure, it might result in a brief spike in web traffic, but what does it say about your brand and the impression you leave with your customers? Treat social media as an opportunity to connect with people, a chance to network and build your brand. Then measure how well you’re doing it.

~ Jim Licko

*GFM subscribes to and frequently uses both Radian6 and Sysomos on behalf of its clients.