Analytics for Social Media – Activity Metrics

In this series of articles, I’m talking about what types of social media analytics my library tracks. Today we’ll cover Activity Metrics.

Activity – this one’s easy. How many posts, pins, videos, etc have we made this month? I count each of them so I have a total for each month (most social media tools have a downloadable Excel spreadsheet report that makes counting easy).

For example, in May, here’s what my library did:

  • Facebook – 91 posts
  • Twitter – 93 tweets
  • Youtube – 5 videos
  • Pinterest – 15 pins.

Then I lump all of those together, so that I have a total Activity number for each month. In May, my library created a total of 204 social media posts.

Why do we count this? Two reasons:

  1. It’s important to see what staff are doing and where we’re spending time. If there’s a jump or a lag on an individual social media channel, we can easily see it through the monthly numbers. Then, we can figure out what happened (i.e., someone went on vacation, someone got excited about something, more customers asked questions so we posted more, etc.).
  2. For some special ROI stats that I will share later!

What do you count? I’d love to find out!

Image by Stephen Coles

Analytics for Social Media

Ah, social media channels for organizations. Why are you spending time there again? Hopefully, you’re using social media to connect with your customers, to answer questions, and to just “be there” for your service area.

Do you know if your social media channel is successful? Are you meeting your library’s goals there?

These days, most social media channels have analytics or insights that will help you figure out if you’re meeting those goals.

But what should you track? My library tracks five areas: Activity Metrics, Engagement Metrics, Referral Metrics, Activity Metrics, and ROI.

In my next five posts, we’ll look at each of those.

Image by Search Engine People Blog

Getting More Facebook Clicks – an experiment and some thoughts

our popular facebook post

My library has been running some experiments and pilot projects on our Facebook Page – some on our own, and some with help from Ben Bizzle (who’s doing some research on Facebook Pages) and so far, they have been really successful. This post explains one of them.

See the ecards image? Ben had posted this to a couple of library Facebook Pages, and it was pretty successful – so he asked if I could post it to Topeka’s Facebook Page. So I did – at what I thought would be a rotten time to post – 9:08 am on a Thursday morning.

I was wrong.

This post is the most popular post EVER for Topeka’s Facebook Page. Here are the basic stats I’m getting for it so far:

  • 237 Likes
  • 88 Shares
  • 33 Comments

And from Facebook Insights, I’m seeing this:

  • Reach – 3900 (Reach is the number of unique people who have seen the post)
  • Engaged Users – 748 (Engaged Users is the number of unique users who have clicked on the post)
  • Talking about This – 660 (Talking about This is the number of unique users who have clicked like, commented on, or shared the post anywhere – not just on your page)
  • Virality – 16.92% (Virality is the percentage of people who have clicked the story from the page post out of the total number of unique people who have seen it).

A bit more about Virality, because for us anyway, this is HUGE. The median Virality rate for Facebook Pages, according to ZDNet anyway, tends to be around 1.92%, and a really stong Virality rate, meaning your post was pretty popular, is around +2.5%.

So you can see why I’m getting a wee bit excited about a 16.92% rate, right? That is HUGE. And not just “huge for my little ole Topeka Library” huge. This is actually a pretty big accomplishment. And one I’d like to see more of on my library’s Facebook Page.

So what’s going on here? Why did this particular post get so big? Here are some thoughts on that (you might have some ideas too – I’d love to hear them):

  • It’s visual. Visual is HOT right now. Think Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, etc. And honestly, those victorian ecard thingies are pretty hot too at the moment. So we were picking up on a trendy thing.
  • Visual is also pretty useful. The image supports the message of the post, so more people get it (i.e., those visual thinkers).
  • Another trend – images with words. People like finding an image and putting funny words on them. So … another trendy thing that people might enjoy if done well.
  • The message connects with something our customers love. As in books and reading.
  • Hit on an emotion. This particular message touched on a feeling that apparently many readers have – that horrid feeling towards the end of a book, when you know you’re almost done and there’s NO MORE. I can relate – I had that feeling towards the end of book 7 of the Harry Potter series. So we hit a nerve that our customers could relate to.
  • We asked for it. We asked a question in the post (“We’re curious – does this ever happen to you?”) and people answered the question.

OK David, so you got a lot of likes and comments and shares. So what? How does that help the library? I have an answer for that. A couple of them:

  • Helps your message Rise to the Top: Here’s how Facebook works right now. You don’t see everything. Most people only see highlights (called Top Stories) of the daily postings of the people and organizations they have friended (that’s the default setting – you have to actually click Sort to see everything). If you post stuff that’s popular and a bit viral, that means that those particular posts will “rise to the top” and will actually be seen by more people.
  • More eyes is a good thing: When someone likes, shares, or comments on your post, that post has a good chance of being seen by that person’s Facebook friends, too. So the more interaction you get, the farther your reach spreads out.
  • Like once, might like more: If someone likes one of your posts, they are more likely to watch for and interact with more of your posts. So be silly, funny, or tongue-in-cheek sometimes, and share links to books, events, or online resources other times. Your Facebook fans will start to notice, and will end up seeing and interacting with more of YOUR LIBRARY.
  • Time of day: experiment with posting at different times of the day. We have been posting a lot at night, getting that evening Facebook crowd. By posting at 9am, who did we get? My guess – people who just got to work … who also have their Facebook account up, either on their work computer or on a mobile device sitting at their desk.

I’d love to hear your Facebook Page successes! Share away!

Oh – and if you like this post, you might also like my new book, called Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media tools to Create Great Customer Connections. Get it now!

Share posts on Facebook to Gain More Readers

sharingI’m working on a new ALA Library Technology Report (more on that later this year), and discovered something cool while checking my library’s analytics.

Want to get more people reading your library blog posts? Here’s one handy way to do it – share that post on your library’s Facebook Page. Here’s what happened when I did that with one of my library’s blog posts.

So … I have a blog on my library’s website that I started in January. It’s the Digital Branch blog (I figured I’m the Branch manager, so I should have a branch manager blog. I write about web geekish stuff related to the library’s digital branch that our customers might find interesting).

One of those blogposts has gathered more pageviews that all the other digital branch blogposts combined – a post about Pinterest. So far, Google Analytics shows 137 pageviews for that post. Not too bad! I wanted more comments (because we’re working on a pilot project for a Pinterest account), so I decided to share the post on our library’s Facebook Page.

On our Facebook Page, use Facebook Insights to drill down to an individual post (really cool that you can narrow down that far!). Here are the stats for that particular Facebook post:

  • a Reach of 969 (the number of unique people who saw the post)
  • 68 Engaged Users (the number of unique people who have clicked on your post)
  • 23 were “Talking About This” (the number of unique people who have created a story from your page post. This means they commented, shared, or Liked the post, which then creates a post on their Facebook profile for their facebook friends to see).

So of my blog post’s 137 pageviews, 68 of them, or 50%, came directly from sharing that post on our Facebook Page (Google Analytics further backs that up by showing an “Entrance” number of 70 views on that post, meaning that 70 people came directly to that post from someplace other than my library’s website – i.e., from Facebook to the blogpost).

Simple stuff – write a blogpost, then share it out using Twitter and Facebook. Ask people to comment, and they will (I received comments on the blogpost, on the Facebook post, and in Twitter). And you just might get more readers in the process.

Pic by Britta Bohlinger

Poking Around in YouTube Insights

youtube logoA couple of days ago, I was poking around in my library’s YouTube account – generally tidying up the place, adding some info to video descriptions, etc (more on that in a future post perhaps). While doing that, I started looking at our YouTube Insights (that’s what YouTube calls statistics or analytics), and discovered some neat stuff.

And I thought I’d share. The stats are from Jan 1 , 2011- Oct 23, 2011). I created four “Big Insights” that I noticed, and each insight has a Takeaway. See if you can add some takeaways or insights to my list!

Big insight #1: Most people watching our videos are coming directly from YouTube.

  • 32,929 from youtube – almost 70%
  • embedded player – 8657 – 18%
  • mobile devices – 5223 – 10.9%
  • youtube channel page – 985 – 2%

Takeaway: Youtube is its own community. If we want to grow engagement (ie., get more comments, video views, likes, etc), we need to start interacting there. Only 18% of our total video views come from the “embedded player” – which means people watching our videos from the library’s website.

Big Insight #2: Tags are really important!

Links followed to this video – 28% (13,471). This means that someone was watching a video in Youtube, glanced over at the Related Videos sidebar, and clicked on one of our videos.

Takeaway: fill up the Tags box for each Youtube video (found on the Video Information page), and use very descriptive Keywords. Doing this will help your videos be found.

Big Insight #3: Post videos about what you do.

Most viewed videos for that time range:

  • 60 second book review – meditations for women
  • interview with a photographer
  • local history info
  • our really old mysteries of the book depository
  • The mayor playing his guitar for our Air Guitar event
  • rhyme and bounce, a toddler/baby video

Takeaway: See any similarities with these videos? Me neither. The one similarity is this: all those videos focus, in one way or antoher, on our stuff. So the takeaway here (besides making good, short, watchable videos) is to consistently share what your library does via video. If you can set up a regular schedule, that’s even better.

Big Insight #4: Community exists on Youtube!

Our video viewer demographics:

  • 51% male, 49% female
  • largest age range segments – 35-44, 45-54, 55-64
  • Sharing, ratings, comments, favorites – all very low, even though we have 190 subscribers and 188,140 lifetime video views (since March 6, 2007).

Takeaway #1: Our videos are appealing to adults, so we should consider that as we continue making videos.

Takeaway #2: People are there – in Youtube – watching our videos. We need to start answering comments consistently, subscribing to other local organizations channels, and grow our community base in Youtube (if we want interaction, video views, and sharing of our videos).

What’s my ultimate point here? Use your Youtube insights – there’s some great information there. And start interacting with your Youtube community.

Oh, and make videos, too – that helps :-)

image by ukberri