I love analytics. I really do. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I’m an analytics junkie. Why? Because analytics are validation. They show how your social media efforts are paying off, and what you should be spending your time on. It’s the hard data that you can use to find out if what you’ve done is bringing you the traffic that can make you money, or if it’s a complete waste of time.
Which posts are people reading? Which pages are they visiting on your website? Where are they coming from? Where are they going next? Are they clicking on your links? By using simple tools, you can easily measure the return on your social media investment. And it’s also just fun when you know that people are looking at your stuff. 🙂
So what should you be looking at on a daily basis?
- Blog/site visitor counts – You should have site analytics built into your blog and website. If you’re using a wordpress.com blog like this one, the site visits are built right in. If you’ve got a website, you should be registered for Google Analytics, and put the code on each page of your site. Then watch the numbers over time. When are people coming to your site, and how much time are they spending there? Are you getting more visitors over time? Then your strategy is probably working. If you’re not, then you know where you need to focus your efforts.
- What people are looking at – Does specific content draw a crowd? What type of content does your niche market value? For this blog, one of my most popular posts ever was when I told people what NOT to do in social media. So I learned that people are looking for ways to improve upon what they’re already doing. Good data. And it helps me formulate what to write next. It also helps me figure out what content to include in my newsletter.
- What people are clicking on – Where do people go next? On your website, use Google Analytics to follow their path through your content. Do people go where you want them to go on your site? If not, what can you change so you get the conversion objectives you’re looking for? If you’re a blogger, do people care about the links you post? Are they subscribing to your newsletter or considering the product you’re highlighting? By taking a look at the percentage of visitors that click, you can determine how engaging your leadup is, and if you need to make changes.
- Where people are coming from – What is driving traffic to your site? Which search engine are most visitors using, and what keywords are they using that finds you? Are other bloggers referring your work? Are your social networking efforts resulting in traffic to your blog or website? By keeping track, you can thank people that mention you, and focus your efforts on the areas where you need to improve.
For example, when I was CEO of a direct sales company, we taught our sales force how to use Facebook to market their businesses. Facebook became one of the top 5 referrers to our website, with 3-5 times the average visit length of any other referrer. What did this tell me? That our training efforts were paying off, and our efforts were effective.
Another story…when I started this blog, I posted occasional articles to LinkedIn groups I was a part of. I didn’t see many comments there, and it was tempting to think that this effort was a waste of my time. However, I discovered through analytics that most of my weekend traffic comes through LinkedIn, and so it’s a valuable activity for me to continue. Without analytics, I never would have known.
- Link analytics are also important. By using http://cli.gs or the equivalent (there are plenty out there) you can see how many people are clicking on the links you use in your emails and throughout social networking sites. Does the following you’ve built care about what you’ve posted? Does anybody click in Facebook and Twitter when you recommend something? By using a link analytics tool, you can find out.
There are many components to an effective analytics strategy. But by keeping on top of your analytics, you can measure growth, and adjust your efforts accordingly. And that just makes you better.
How are you using analytics? How have they helped you with your overall social media strategy? Would love to read your comments below!
Did you know? Jennifer Fong is offering a course for direct sellers to learn step-by-step how to put the power of social media to work for your business. Learn how to create an effective blog, and optimize your work on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and niche-specific groups. You’ll get PERSONAL feedback from Jennifer on your blog and profiles! To learn more and register, click here!