Mindscape Communications New Answers for New Times™

Feb 2013

Web and Social Media Analytics - Yep, Still Gotta Plan

How do you know what kind of traffic your website is generating? How do you know what kind of activity your social media efforts are producing? What about click-throughs on your email blasts? How many people are sharing your content, and how many of those "shares" are returning to your site?

With the explosion of the Web and social media for business uses, many want to know how it's all working. In a competitive business environment, it's all about results, right? Well, yes. And no.

That's because, particularly with social media, attempting to interpret analytical data and correlate it with results it produces isn't always possible. In fact, some might argue it's never possible. Inferences? Yes. Correlations…maybe.

There are many tools available for marketers to measure their traffic.
Google Analytics offers an abundance of information. And, sometimes, when you drill down that data you might be able to find that an email that hit customers' in-boxes at 12:16 p.m. on a Tuesday was in fact responsible for a huge spike in website traffic right at that exact moment. But then the questions begin: Was that due to the day? The time? The email subject line? The email offer and urge to action? All of which leads, if those in charge of these activities are on the ball, to testing…and more testing. That is at the heart of good marketing communications.

Most if not all of the social networks themselves also offer some type of network-specific usage data, although some may be more helpful than others.

There are other analytical tools, of course, which are generally tied in with the use of a particular code or script on one's site or pages:
Statcounter, AddThis, ShareThis and others. There may be some overlap amongst the various tools. But each also brings something slightly different to the data analysis game. Decisions have to be made about which analytical tools will help provide the information that's most meaningful for one's own business goals.

That requires some planning.

Funny how the principles of good marketing don't change.

-- GSM