Social media metrics extracted from the measurement of social media/website efforts and metrics should be analysed beyond face value. In this article, I take time to highlight several important observations I make in my daily line of duty and engagement with clients regarding metrics in digital reports.
Every major platform has some form of analytic tool, but it can be difficult to wade through the sea of data generated daily and figure out the effectiveness of your efforts.
By accepting the numbers, you are given and not digging any deeper, the metrics are comparable to an unexplored gold mine. Data is only as good as, how it is interpreted and analysed.
Some tips to help communicators get meaningful sense from the deep pool of data are:
Stop glorifying Impressions
What is an impression, you may ask. It is simply the number of times your content is delivered and displayed into user’s newsfeed. It is NOT the number of people who have seen it.
For instance, if my four year old playfully scrolls through my newsfeed and sponsored content is delivered while at it, that counts as an impression. If a Facebook user sees your post, and another friend shares it and they see it again, that counts as two impressions from one user. None of it counts as an engagement, because nobody engaged with the post apart from just seeing it on their feed.
Thus, if we are to dissect the value of impressions, it is safe to say that if we remain stuck in measuring only impressions, we will be getting more impressions than the total global population.
Analyse retweets further
Within minutes of creating a Tweet, it just received 20 retweets within the first few minutes of its life—I can relate with adrenaline rush this gives you, congratulations! You swiftly check Twitter’s analytics to find that the tweet achieved a high engagement rate in the first few moments post creation.
Make an extra effort of finding out the retweeting. Do not celebrate just yet.
As I aggressively tweeted public health messages for a campaign one day, I realised the tweets were retweeted multiple times to my joy, including by key players in the public health sectors. This actually gave the tweet traction in the digital space.
Majority of the tweets however came from my public health circle of partner organisations. Therefore, during post campaign reporting, I gathered that the majority of my following was oblivious to the health subject being tweeted. The recommendation to the organisation therefore was a need for awareness creation and inform sharing with the key publics regarding ongoing projects.
Page Views is not where the audience lies.
When using analytics to measure and determine the portion of a target audience that have viewed your web page(s), it is important to distinguish between page views and unique page views.
Page views are a summation of the total number of times that page was visited (one person may have visited multiple times and each visit is counted separately.) Unique page views on the other hand measure the number of individuals that visited the page. The latter is a more accurate representation of audience.
Important to note also is that your internal publics are also visiting your website. However, they are not your key targets of your content. More so, if your internal publics constitutes a huge population, your total views become over inflated. The take home lesson here thus is to filter out page views that originate from within your internal/ corporate network.
Sheilla is a Digital Media-Buying Manager at Havas Media Kenya.