The social media landscape changes constantly and with the competition between the major players – Facebook, Twitter and Google(+) – increasing, communicators should be prepared to face a more rapid rhythm of changes. For instance, Twitter constantly updates its API (see a calendar of upcoming changes here) its most recent updates tightening security and making data impossible to be processed by third party platforms withouth the explicit consent (and login) from the account owners. This means that many of the Twitter monitoring tools are not working anymore and therefore this means less competition for Twitter’s own analytics platform. (Although websites like searchenginewatch claim that Twitter Analytics is free for every twitter user, every time I tried to use it I am sent to Twitter’s advertising platform and therefore can’t see any statistics without hading over my credit card details and without setting up a campaign).
As with the previous lecture on web metrics, Tuesday’s lecture focused on two elements: everything that can be measured and some tools that can help monitor and track activity. The rule stays the same:
Objectives dictate tactics. Tactics dictate metrics. Metrics dicate analytics.
Metrics are just numbers. They mean something only when to link them with your objectives and when you correlate them with other metrics.
Digital media measurement comes with a lot of jargon. Learn it.
Platforms tend to have their own associated metrics. Learn the rules, learn the vocabulary, check out the definitions they provide.
Twitter metrics and analytics
Please check last year’s lecture notes on Twitter metrics as it covers metrics with and without a login as well as provides definitions for reach, sentiment and influence.
Some of the tools however have changed. Foller.me is not working anymore, Crowdbooster and SocialBro are now a paid for services and Twentyfeet has been sold and now rebranded to SumAll, a much more comprehensive tool that can be also used with Facebook and Google among others.
Here are some new ones for you to consider:
- Mentionmapp – visualizes the mention network of a given account. The more connections, the more dialogical an account is.
- Vizify – enables you to identify the topics you write most about (very good to see whether to stay on message). It also provides a visualization of one’s connections (this is a good feature to verify how relationships and dialogues evolve as well as whether you are reaching your influencers).
- TweetLevel – an alternative to Klout and PeerIndex. It provides a score for the account’s activity and assigns it to one of the following categories: viewer, commentator, curator, amplifier and idea starter. The first is the least influential and the latter is the most. The plaftorm also identifies influencers and people who are influenced by the account. Similar to Vizify, this could be helpful in indenfiying whether you are reaching your target audience and your influencers. TweetLevel is also one of the very few platforms that provides a clear and transparent methodology for its calculation algorythm.
- Twitonomy – includes mention and RT statistics together with a map for visualizing where the mentions are coming from. This can be a particularly useful feature to track online talk but also to identify whether your messages reach the geographical areas that are of relevance to your campaign. The platform also provides a follower analysis – an overview of follower’s data including tweets, following, followers and the most recent tweet. The list also has a search function which could be useful when used as an influencer, topic identifier tool.
- Twtrland – similar features with Twitonomy.
Facebook Metrics and Analytics
Facebook launched its Insights plaform for pages last year. Facebook Insights has been recently updated. It now reports data on likes, reach, engagement (including clicks on links), visits, posts and people.
The likes reporting page focuses on mainly on volume of likes overtime. Of particular intrerest howver is the “net likes” tab which makes a difference between unlikes, paid likes and organic likes. The “where your likes came from” tab (referral traffic) is also relevant as it can help you assess whether you content sharing strategy works (especially when you share facebook links outside the social network).
Total reach is defined as the number of people who saw any activity from your page including posts, posts by other people, Page like ads, mentions, and check-ins. The reach reporting page includes other metrics such as post reach as well as a volume reporting of likes, comments and shares and hide, report as spam and unlikes. While the comments and shares could be categorized as positive actions (as users took a decision to contribute content to the network), the hide, report as spam and unlikes are negative measures very important in identifying the content that drives users away.
Similar to web metrics, the visits measure on Facebook Insights reports the number of times each of the Pages tabs have been viewed (similar to page/views). It also has an external referrers graph, particularly useful in linking traffic drivers to campaigns that you might be running and content that you share (or is found) outside Facebook.
The posts metrics tab organizes reach and engagement information (found in the reach and visits tab) and displays it in relation to each post.
The people tab reports information on all the fans of the page but also on the people reached (people who saw the posts in the past 28 days) and those engaged. For the people engaged tab to be seen a minimum of 30 likes per post is necessary. This should make you aware of critical mass and what Facebook considers as a minium benchmark of interaction and engagement. If your targetting and segmentation has been done well, this tab should help you keep track of whether you are speaking to the people you actually aimed for. Moreover, the comparison between your fans and people reached will enable you to figure out whether your posts are viewed outside your fan base. In combination with posts data, this can provide you with valuable insight into how to adapt your content.