Binoculars V by Chase Elliott Clark on Flickr

3 easy ways to use Google Analytics for social media tracking

I’m a lightweight user of Google Analytics. My questions are simple. What do people like to read? Which links are they clicking on? What keeps them coming back? My goals are to improve engagement and ensure the stuff I’m writing is relevant.

As a consultant, I have to understand what my audience wants. It’s good for me to know if something is useful or interesting. And if people like a particular topic, I can give them more about that. And less about things they don’t care about.

Social media analytics (eg Twitter, Facebook) are useful. But Google Analytics is invaluable once people have actually arrived on your website. It’s the best tool to measure user acquisition, behaviour and interests. If you haven’t already done so, read how to get started with Google Analytics.

Once you’ve set up Google Analytics for your website, here are 3 easy ways to track the effectiveness of your social media strategy.

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Dan meets Kate in The Circle - screenshot from All 4

When the catfish wins, everyone loses

I’m so gutted for Dan! He seemed like the one straight-up, trustworthy guy on Channel 4’s new reality show, The Circle (screenshot above). But Dan got nothing but public humiliation while his fellow contestant, Alex (aka “Kate”) walked off with the £75,000 prize.

In case you missed the show, which ended last night on Channel 4, here’s a summary: 8 contestants are holed up in an apartment block for 3 weeks, only able to communicate with each other via social media (using a specially made platform called The Circle). Every day they “rate” each other: the highest rated contestants become “influencers” and choose another contestant to “block” – or expel.

Fatal attraction

Dan and Kate quickly became friends, but Dan is being fooled. Kate is a catfish: she’s not a girl with a sweet face at all, she’s a “social media comedian” called Alex. At the end of 3 weeks, the highest-rated person wins. That person ended up being “Kate” (in part thanks to Dan’s consistently high ratings).

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What should employers include in a social media policy?

What should employers think about when writing a social media policy? How do you protect your brand? And how far are employees’ opinions your business? These were the questions posed by Richard Cook at the start of Monzo’s Open Office September on Tuesday.

It was great to be on the panel, along with journalists Holly Brockwell and Carl Anka and legal advisor Frances Coyle. Richard (a community manager at Monzo) chaired, and around 50 people attended. You can watch the full video above.

Damage limitation

It was a great debate, with loads of input from the audience, and some passionate contributions on all sides. The main theme that emerged was that it’s not so much brands as employees who need protection.

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Blog - working with design club

Why I’m working with Design Club

Even before the Cambridge Analytica story broke in March, public trust in social media was at an all-time low. The Edelman Trust Barometer published in January reported concern around bullying, extremist content and lack of transparency, with only a quarter of the UK population saying they’d trust social media as a source of information.

Cracking up

The seismic shift in the way we see social media was summed up nicely by a former Silicon Valley executive speaking on Radio 4 this week (The New Age of Capitalism: the Attention Economy). James Williams was working in search advertising at Google, when he realised things weren’t right:

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The easy way to schedule social media

News sites and blogs are great sources of topical content which you can share with your social media followers. You can take a few minutes each day to scroll through your news feeds, pull out any stories that interest you, add a comment and share the links.

But don’t push out all your updates at once. This equates to spamming and is a surefire way to make people hit “unfollow”.

Instead, you can schedule your posts. This means your interactions will be spread out evenly over time. You reach more followers and, more importantly, you reach followers who tend to be online at different times to you.

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Content curation - photo by Giulia Bertelli

How to create engaging content every day using RSS

Sharing relevant stories and articles is a great way to grow your network and connect with your customers on social media.

My clients often ask how to keep their social media channels topped up with engaging content. Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of a a full-time blogger or content creator: social media is usually something that’s shared throughout the team – or done by one or two people with other demands on their time.

An easy way to keep momentum going is to have a create and curate content strategy. It’s up to you what you want the split to be. Mine is probably 90/10 in favour of curated content (content from third party sources).

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Ryan Shea and Melanie Shapiro at CogX18

The future of social media: web 3.0, wearables and chatbots

It’s nearly ten years ago that I met Tim O’Reilly in New York to talk about Web 2.0 and how it was going to change the world.

So it felt a little like deja vu last week hearing Ryan Shea (above, left) and Melanie Shapiro (right) on stage at CognitionX, championing Web 3.0.

Like its centralised, super-social predecessor, Web 3.0 is going to change everything. But Web 3.0 is decentralised – and we’ll not be sharing our data with anyone (unless we want to).

Web 3.0 will give us self sovereign identity  – a core identity that represents us as individuals and is all bundled up with our own data, which we’ll have complete control over. As opposed to government or corporate issued identities (which are what we have now).

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Sofia the Robot at Cognition X

Robots, the universe and everything – CogX has it all

“I hope that one day you won’t take my job” says the journalist.

“I might reconsider” says Sophia the Robot.

Sophia’s comment is slightly threatening, but she follows it up with a super-sweet smile, and everyone laughs. [Watch the video]

That’s the thing about robots these days. They’re awkward, off-kilter, likely to come out with non-sequiturs, unpredictable in a cutesy way – but ultimately programmed to please and make us laugh.

Sophia the Robot is firmly in uncanny valley territory. Her skin is made of a flesh-like, nanotech material. She has cameras for eyes and a microprocessor for a brain. Her advanced AI (artificial intelligence) software enables her to have human-like conversations.

“Are you a person or a robot?” she asks the journalist. It seems like genuine curiosity.

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Photo by Benjamin Wong

How social listening helps you stand out from the crowd

Back in the 1980s London agency BBH came up with a brilliant ad campaign that is now their corporate mantra. The ad was for Black Levi’s and featured a single black sheep in a flock of white ones. The strap-line ran: “When the world zigs, zag”.

Identify a gap in the market and fill it with something different enough to be exciting but relevant enough to sell: this has long been the holy grail of marketing.

When the world zigs, zag - BBH campaign for Black Levi's, 1982

When the world zigs, zag – BBH campaign for Black Levi’s, 1982

In the past, the best ideas depended on sheer creativity and gut instinct as much as market research. Today’s brands have an always-on, direct line to their customers.

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Seyi Akiwowo

5 things I learned at Women Leading in AI 2018

There were so many amazing ideas and themes at the Women Leading in AI conference yesterday, it’s hard to know where to start.

The overarching theme – and one that was centre stage – is that we’re now in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (which has come hot on the heels of the Third). So while we may feel we’re only just getting to grips with the impact of digital, it’s time to start wrapping our heads around AI (artificial intelligence) and automation – and fast.

In social media alone, automation and bots are now commonplace. From chatbot games to automated customer service, organisations are finding that an upfront investment in machine learning software can pay dividends in the long run.

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