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

Twitter has Analytics!

Timeline Activity - Twitter AdsWay back in 2011, Twitter announced they were starting to offer Analytics for some Twitter accounts. Finally – almost two years later, they are offering analytics to everyone!

Here’s how you access those analytics:

  • Get into your Twitter account (the web version)
  • Click the Settings icon (looks like a gear)
  • Click Twitter Ads (and sign in again. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter Ads, you’ll need to do that first. No cost associated with signing up, so do it for the analytics)
  • Once you’re logged into Twitter Ads, click Analytics (in the black bar at the top of the page)
  • You’re in!

What types of analytics do you get? 

Right now, there are two choices – Timeline Activity and Followers:

Timeline Activity

The Timeline Activity view provides most of the analytics. At the top of the page is a handy graph showing Mentions, Follows, and Unfollows for the last month. Hover over the graph, and you can see a per-day breakdown of those numbers.

Below the graph are Recent Tweets. This shows individual tweets, going back all the way to your first tweet (I think – I scrolled back about a year)!

For each tweet, you can see these analytics:

  • # of Faves
  • # of Retweets
  • # of Replies
  • If there’s a link included in the tweet, you can see how many clicks that tweet received.

For example, I now know my tweet about Twitter analytics (as of last night) was favorited 7 times, retweeted 3 times, and the link included with the tweet was clicked 45 times.

You can also choose which tweets you want to see – All, Best, or Good.

  • Best shows the top 15% of tweets with some level of engagement, going back to August 27 (so, about 10 months).
  • Good shows the top two-thirds of tweets with some level of engagement, in that same timeframe.
  • All shows all tweets in that same timeframe.

This page also includes a CSV download, which provides a list of all tweets with numbers for Faves, Retweets, and Replies.

Followers:

Followers is the second option, and includes some pretty cool stats about your followers. At the top of the page, there’s a graph showing your per-day follower count from day one of your Twitter account. Below that, you are given some interesting topical, location, and gender info, including:

Interests:

Most unique interests – shows the top five most unique interests of your followers. I’m assuming this comes from some data-mining of follower’s Twitter accounts. For my Twitter account, my followers most unique interests are:

  • 39% Biographies and memoirs
  • 11% job search
  • 9% Education news and general info
  • 7% freelance writing
  • 2% geneology (yes, that’s how they spelled it. Oops)

Top Interests:

The top ten interests of my followers, which include:

  • 72% politics and current events
  • 58% book news and general info
  • 56% business and news
  • Etc. Hover over any of the numbers in this section, and you can see a total number for that percentage.

Location:

This shows the top countries and states of my followers (USA, Kansas, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Massachussets). Also a lot of people from Australia and Canada.

Top Cities:

In my case, they include: Topeka, Wichita, Sydney AU, Melbourne AU, and Perth AU. Alright – you Australians are awesome!

Gender:

45% male, 55% female.

And finally, a Your Followers also Follow list. My followers, unsurprisingly, also follow these Twitter accounts:

So that’s that! Twitter – thanks for the analytics! There’s some really good stuff here!

This Year’s Annual Report

Why can’t annual reports be cool? Or at least interesting enough to actually read, watch, etc?

That’s what my library tries to do with ours, anyway. For the last two years, our annual report has been video-only. This year, we improved upon that a bit, and did three things:

Here’s our 2011 annual report, for those interested.

Why do this?

We have to create some type of annual report each year. And honestly … people mostly DON’T look at these. Sure, you can mail them to everyone. Print them out and place them in strategic locations in the library. Send them to parter organizations in your community.

But read them? Maybe some people will give it a cursory glance … and them toss it into the trash, like a greeting card.

With our video? There’s enough eye candy there for people to watch, and maybe learn something more about their library, and what their tax dollars are actually going to.

That’s the idea, anyway!

 

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!