Why are we obsessed with vanity metrics? Like Love Island, we know they’re bad for us, but we keep coming back for more. There’s a guilty pleasure in notching up followers, or clocking more likes on a post. But measurements that involve sheer numbers, such as follower counts and likes, don’t actually prove very much. They aren’t particularly good indicators of how well you’re really engaging your audience.
It’s been great to work with Nesta’s Destination Local programme over the past few months. Like other sectors, local news has seen its fair share of disruption and, as local print papers decline, it’s interesting to see how independent online media are stepping into the breach.
First, some background
In September 2015 Nesta announced that it was awarding funding to ten very local (“hyperlocal”) publications, including On The Wight (Isle of Wight), Star & Crescent (Portsmouth) and A Little Bit of Stone (Staffordshire). The funding was accompanied by support and training and was intended to help participants “define and measure their success online”.
I was brought in to help with social media analytics. Although the resources I produced were created for hyperlocal publishers, the practical advice is relevant to anyone publishing online today – so whether you’re a blogger, content marketer or freelancer, please take a look!
The 4 social media analytics resources
- A Guide To Social Media Analytics (video)
- Twitter Chat On Social Media Analytics (Storify)
- Setting Up A KPI Spreadsheet (blog)
- Six Great Insights Social Media Analytics Can Give You (blog)
I hope you find these useful. I’ve tried to make my recommendations as jargon-free as possible and they’re all low-cost to implement.
Why do analytics matter?
Social media analytics can show you who your audience is, what they want and when they’re online, and well as whether or not your content strategy is on track. They can tell you where your most engaged fans and key influencers are, and what your competitors are doing.
It’s worth remembering that one-size doesn’t fit all, and you need to think carefully about the metrics that are right for you, and make sure they’re firmly tied in to your business strategy.
Don’t always focus on vanity metrics (like follower counts). Think as well about softer targets like engagement, brand awareness and community building.
Please feel free to share, and let me have your feedback and any questions in the comments. And you can always tweet me @JemimaG.
Photo: Joanne Wan
I’m chatting to one of my local primary schools about using Twitter. Like many organisations, they’ve set up a feed, but don’t seem quite sure why they’ve done it or how to make the most of it.
Twitter is a great way to connect with the surrounding community (hyperlocal publishers are always great sharers of local content) as well as a means to get your school noticed by the wider educational establishment. Twitter lists are a good way to keep tabs on local media and education experts.
But what should primary schools actually tweet about? Here are some ideas: