Up Close and Personal with Analytics

Last Wednesday, Laura and I were part of a panel on Marketing Through Social Media with SMPS DC – and it was awesome! We spent a decent amount of time talking about analytics, enough that I wanted to share the insight for those who weren’t there. The panel discussion proved that tracking and dissecting analytics is invaluable in developing your social media strategy. And good news – the analytic reporting offered directly by most social outlets has improved dramatically over the past year. Check ’em out:

Twitter Analytics

Twitter rolled out these bad boys in early 2015, and proved it was worth the wait. Instead of logging into a shady third-party service, you can now get the data you crave straight from Twitter, including the ability to export selected data right from their site. They’ve also done a great job at providing definitions for the various terms when you roll over the word with your mouse, and even provide a handy guide on how to get the most of your analytics, here.

How to access: Go to www.analytics.twitter.com while logged into your account on your browser. From there, the home tab offers a summary or you can click across the top menu to get into the meaty data.

LinkedIn Analytics

The amount of detail you can pull out of LinkedIn is astonishing to me. I had no idea the vast reach for my company’s LinkedIn page, even though I’ve always known it was the platform with the largest following. And since keeping a closer eye on the analytics, we’ve decided to shift our social media strategy for the second half of the year with a heavy focus on this platform. What I find to be the most useful is the targeted demographic filters: from seniority to industry to employees, LinkedIn allows you to find out exactly who is visiting, following and interacting with your content (without naming names of course). And once you know this, you can truly target your content – be it recruiting-focused, thought leadership, positioning or otherwise.

And let’s not forget about the stats you can access for your own personal page to see how your profile ranks among your network, and within your company. This is a great feature to show people when conducting LinkedIn training. Why not spark a little internal friendly competition? You’re able to explain how improving your ranking through participating in conversations and groups regularly has a direct impact in your professional reach (yes, behavior you’re trying to encourage anyway!)

How to access: Click on the analytics tab while on your company page in admin mode, and from there you can view stats broken down by updates, followers and visitors. For personal stats, just scroll down the right side of your own profile, and click  on the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” header.

*Note – this is just for the free version of LinkedIn, you can access even more data by subscribing to LinkedIn Premium.

Paid Third Party Platforms

As mentioned above, there are plenty of one-off sites where you can gather this data. But if you’re willing to put in a little cold hard cash, there are some really great third-party tracking services – the two that come to mind for me are Sprout Social and TrackMaven. Both offer extended services such as cross-platform comparison, trend analysis and even competitor monitoring/tracking. You can choose to export the data into your own format, or generate a custom report right from the site. And that’s just scratching the surface on what these platforms can do.

What to do with the data?

Between the sites themselves and all the information you can track through third party services, you can basically drown yourself in data. So make sure you don’t overwhelm your leadership with information just for the sake of sharing. One great tip that came out of the panel is to summarize your key findings into a short series of bullet points. What did you learn from this months activity? What were some standout successes? What were some things that didn’t work? And how are you applying this information to adjust next month’s strategy? Keep it short, meaningful, and easily digestible. So – start pulling that data and keep a history. Which methods are you using to pull analytics? Likes/dislikes? How do you share the results with leadership? Comment below and let’s get this conversation going!