Social Media Strategist Catherine Engel Dishes On Analytics

Posted on: 07/18/13

Digital and social media strategist Catherine Engel knows her way around analytics and reporting, so lucky for The Social Lights CMTP class, she offered plenty of wisdom on the topic.

The Social Lights Community Manager Training Program 2013

Engel’s presentation aimed to give students an understanding of the role of analytics for digital and social media, as well as types of metrics and how to collect data. A strategic planning, content creation, and analysis pro – among other specialties – she noted that analytics are a major component of her day-to-day activities.

“They [analytics] play a key role in strategic recommendations as well as optimizing content and plans,” she explained. “I prepare reports for content and account performances in conjunction with planning schedules as well as reports for specific marketing initiatives, campaigns, and overall brand awareness.”

Engel has an ability to make analytics and reporting – which are often perceived as the “duller” parts of a Community Manager’s job – interesting. And with a GIF heavy introduction to her presentation, analytics actually became fun.

Social reporting can be confusing and complicated for anyone, and even the most experienced Community Managers can always learn something new.

Analytics have a great deal of value, as they can illustrate the following:

There are several metrics to measure a brand’s impact across social and digital media platforms; including growth, engagement, impressions, traffic and ROI, organic/paid/viral, and qualitative metrics.

Growth measures information about how the audience on the social platforms has changed, with data including new fans, followers and visitors, growth rates, and demographics.

Growth measures information about how the audience on the social platforms has changed, with data including new fans, followers and visitors, growth rates, and demographics.

Impressions provide information on how many people view the content shared on platforms, with data including page and post impressions, account impressions, and page views.

Traffic and ROI helps track how and who is visiting a particular website, with data including total visitors and their demographics, time spent on site, traffic from social media, and E-Commerce sales from social.

When dealing with organic metrics vs. paid metrics vs. viral metrics, it’s important to consider cost factor and effectiveness.

Qualitative metrics provide information on what content users interact with and what they are talking about on and off of the accounts related to your brand. Engel says that providing context for this kind of data is crucial for client understanding and optimization for the future.

Analytic platforms are the resources that help Community Managers collect information for effective social reporting. Social media platforms that possess internal analytics include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google. Each platform has its own monitoring system that tracks page visits/views, audience engagement, post performance, etc. All of these services are free to users.

Outside platforms for reporting including SproutSocial, SM2, Radian6, Spredfast, Simply Measured, and Social Mention. Several of these platforms not only have monitoring and analytical capabilities for Facebook and Twitter, but also have Community Management tools, such as publishing aids and brand mention searches.

Engel also highlighted Social Media Advertising by summarizing the advertising options on various platforms and how to determine the ROI. According to a 2013 graphic by TechCrunch, Facebook is the largest publisher of online display and impressions.

Paid advertising can sometimes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for one post. It’s important to be an effective content creator so you don’t have to rely on paid ads to reach an audience (especially an audience that isn’t already engaging with your brand).

In Q4 2012, Facebook had $1.46 billion in revenue, with 23 percent of said revenue attributed to mobile ads. The website accounts for approximately .36 percent of media spending overall.

Twitter and Tumblr also have advertising, and on all three platforms, advertising can get pricey. Advertising requires the user to choose what will be promoted, as well as the audience that the ad will reach. Advertising on either platform can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Although large media buys seem like they will guarantee a wide reach, 13.4 percent of advertisers said that Facebook ads are not useful in driving purchase intent. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers said that Sponsored Stories on Facebook “hurt or had no impact” on their perception of the brand.

Analytics and social reporting tools are useful in measuring a brand’s social impact, as well as assisting the brand in future social media operations. They allow a Community Manager to see how their content performs with a given audience, along with what audience demographic is actually being reached. Along with creativity and communication, strategy is key for any Community Manager. That’s where analytics come in—insights gained from analytics drive strategy.

Catherine Engel has joined us before (See: Social Hour Recap for details) but this time should brought Ryan Gosling with her…
Catherine Engel - The Social Lights Community Manager Training Program

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