For a long time now, I’ve been pumping out blog content to various social media channels as part of my marketing plan. I enjoy blogging and playing around with images so have really just been doing this for fun and recreation. Recently though I started to think about whether all of my efforts are actually worth it and in terms of marketing for my business and if they are really working. Sure, I have attracted the odd lead here and there but I couldn’t really tell you whether or not it was because of my social media activity or indeed which particular channel was responsible. So I decided it was time to delve into analytics. I wanted to know more about my audience and why they gravitated to my content. I looked at Facebook, Twitter, my Website (Google Analytics) and my newsletter metrics. This is what I have discovered so far.
I started looking at analytics results for my marketing efforts in July this year and created a spreadsheet in which to record my data. I’ve shared it with you here (Social Media Analytics 2014-15.xlsx) in case you find this blog useful and would like to start looking at your own analytical data. If you use my spreadsheet, feel free to customise it to your own needs – you may wish to track other types of metrics that I haven’t included.
Recently, Twitter released its analytics tool to all Twitter users. I am using this tool for my analytics review. I am tracking various metrics including:
- Engagement rate (clicks, retweets, replies, follows, favourites etc)
- Retweet number
- New follower number
- Location and gender of followers
- Most popular blog retweeted
- Overall impressions (number of times users saw tweets)
Since July, my retweet and new follower numbers have increased. Most of my followers are male and come from Sydney and Melbourne. My most popular blog retweeted was “Xero’s business model stinks (but their software is cool)” and the highest number of impressions was 1.1K which is pleasing. My Twitter account is doing well!
If you have a Facebook page for your business, you can access Facebook Insights which is where you’ll find all of the metrics about your page. I find Facebook metrics a little clunky but am slowly getting used to it. For this channel I am tracking:
- New page likes
- Highest reach organic (how many people saw my content via clicks and visits to my page)
- Highest reach paid (same as above but via paid promoted content)
- Most popular post organic
- Most popular post paid
- Page visits
- Audience gender, country, city and time they are on Facebook
My Facebook page isn’t doing that well. New page likes are actually decreasing and I only seem to achieve a high reach result when I use the paid option. I don’t seem to have many visits to the page at all. I guess bookkeeping content is pretty boring! In terms of my audience, most are female, come from Australia and live in Sydney and Melbourne. Interestingly, most of my “fans” are visiting Facebook between 5 and 8pm. This is obviously when I should be posting my content!
I use Google Analytics to track visitor activity to my website. You can track many different metrics with Google Analytics but again, I want to keep it simple and directed to my blog so I am tracking:
- New visitor percentage
- Returning visitor percentage
- Number of site visits
- Audience age, gender, country and city
- Most popular blog post
- Second most popular blog post
- Most popular website page
- Social channel used by most visitors
- Popular keywords
In terms of audience, my visitors are mainly male and are aged 25-34 years. They are mainly Australian and come from Sydney and Melbourne. Consistently, my most visited website page is my Key Dates page and my most popular blog is 29 Common GST Mistakes. Most of my visitors are coming via Twitter which makes sense considering the success of my Twitter account. I am also tracking the keywords used by visitors to assist with future blog post writing.
I use Campaign Monitor for my email newsletters. It’s a great tool but I’ve found out via my analytics review that my newsletter efforts are probably futile. I am tracking percentage of open and clicks and numbers of unsubscribers and new subscribers. It seems that only half of my email list open the newsletter and while no one is unsubscribing yet, I am only averaging only 1 new subscriber per month – pitiful! I am seriously thinking of ditching my newsletter in favour of more direct informational emails to my clients which I believe would be more valuable. I could also use these as short blog posts on Facebook and Twitter.
I am glad that I started to review social media and website analytics. I am finding out which channels are working and which ones need more attention (or removal). By tracking this data I am discovering who my target market really is, what they are interested in, and how they are finding my website. I will be able to use this data to create to more specific blog posts directed to that market and their needs. I will also be able to use it to make decisions as to which channels I should retain and which ones I will lose in the future. This has been a very interesting experiment so far. I am looking forward to seeing the results at the end of 12 months.