Our Digital Marketing Director Meg is running a course at Goldsmiths University about how to run social media and digital marketing campaigns – we’ve managed to pick her brains about the kind of things she’ll be talking about, and one of them is all about the stats.
It may be said that “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics,” but we fully believe that if your social media efforts are going to pay off (figuratively and literally) there can be no smoke and mirrors. Once you know how to navigate your way round the analytics side of things, you’ll be opened up into a whole new world that goes beyond the face value of seeing how many likes you have.
Here, we’re going to go through our favourite tools out there to help you see the data clearly. It always seems a bit heavy at first, but if you can get your head around the stats it will give you a much more in-depth insight into your achievements, as well as where there may be room for improvement.
Let’s get number crunching!
1. Facebook Page Insights
For anyone using Facebook as part of their social media strategy, the insights provided by Facebook itself are fantastic. By simply clicking on the tab that says ‘Insights’ at the top of your Facebook Page, you’ll be directed into a comprehensive study of precisely how well your posts are doing.
As well as seeing the basics, such as how many new likes you’ve had and which posts are performing well, you have access to detailed information about the demographic of your audience – something that is crucial when planning content and the direction of your marketing efforts. It can even tell you the times of day that most of your followers are online which is incredibly useful for scheduling posts, allowing you to get the most reach out of your content. Plus, it gives you suggested Pages to watch that are similar to your business, so you can keep track of the competition and better understand the needs of your customers.
2. Twitter Analytics
Similar to Facebook Insights, the Twitter Analytics function is a good way to check out how well your tweets are performing. Albeit not quite as in-depth as Facebook’s version, Twitter Analytics are still a really handy tool to get a better idea of where you’ve been most successful. We particularly like the fact that it’s easy to see how you compare month to month – useful if you have someone to report back to that needs to see if there have been any improvements.
As well as having all the important stats, such as your most popular tweet and how many visits to your profile there’s been, Twitter shows you who your most influential follower is – this will be relevant if you’ve read our blog about how to amp up your social media engagement. Once you have that information, you’ll know who to go to to expand your reach.
Wordsmith for Marketing is one of those programs where once you’ve found it, you won’t remember what you did without it. A saviour for anyone that has to put together reports based on the metrics, Wordsmith compiles all the data you need into a user-friendly document that is particularly good if you’re working for a client that doesn’t necessarily know the more technical side to digital marketing.
It’s so quick and easy to use – Wordsmith just links up with your Google Analytics account and pulls its information from that, saving you so much time in the long run. Even if you don’t need to create reports to hand over to clients, it’s an incredible thing to have to hand even just for yourself to familiarise yourself with the main stats in an accessible format.
Running along the same lines as Wordsmith is a program called Quill Engage. Again, it’s all about taking the complication out of the statistics and compiling them into a comprehensible report with no effort on your part. The reports are easy to customise with your business’ own logo, so if you do need to send it elsewhere they still look totally professional.
The stats side of things can sometimes be tricky, so programs like Quill and Wordsmith are a great way to save yourself some valuable time whilst still knowing that the all-important analytics are being taken care of.
5. Google Analytics
We’ve left this until last because what self-respecting blog about stats could forget the all-important Google Analytics?
While we have suggested above two different ways that you can make the information coming from Google Analytics more accessible, it’s still really important to have at least a basic understanding of what’s going on there.
Considering that having your website showing at the top of Google Search results pages is pretty much the ultimate dream for anyone in digital marketing, regularly checking Google Analytics is going to be key for you. We all know that when it comes to search engines, Google is the big fish – so any information coming from Google about the status of your website and any marketing going on alongside it is going to be essential.
As well as being able to see your online sales and how many people are visiting your website, Google Analytics can tell you how people are coming to you – are they searching for you organically? Finding you using your keywords? Coming via social media? All these things are really important, because they’re the signals that can tell you which areas you need to work on.
Don’t let the statistics side of your business fall by the wayside. By mastering how to interpret and how to act upon them, you’ll go from a company that dabbles in digital marketing to an absolute guru. All the information is there for you to really make your business a success – you just have to know what to do with it.
If you’d like to know a bit more about this and see Meg speak, you can enroll online here!
Image via Simon Cunningham on Flickr