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Understanding Analytics - Emer Kelly Digital Marketing and Graphic Design

Making sense of Analytics

There are a million-and-one articles out there telling you how to increase your engagement on social media sites, I’ve even written a few myself. These are great jumping-off points for anybody at the beginning of their digital marketing journey, but what about the rest of us? Who’s got the tips and tricks for the intermediates and the pros? Nobody. At a certain point, nobody can tell you what to do but yourself. You’re on your own, but don’t worry, you have your analytics to help you figure out where to go from here.

Analytics can be a little overwhelming but luckily the good people at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, LinkedIn etc. understand that and have made them as digestible as possible. There are all sorts of pretty graphs and tables to help you understand your reach and engagement. These are all great, but often-times there are specific elements you’ll want to track that aren’t pre-sorted into a table for you. What do to? I’m going to share with you here a simple thing I do each week to keep track of my analytics.

I’m going to use Facebook as an example. Facebook’s online insights are great but switching between tabs could cause you to miss the big picture. If you’re like me, you want to be able to find what you’re looking for at a glance. To do this you’ll need to download a copy of your data and put it into a spreadsheet.  When you download your data you might well be overwhelmed by the amount of information you’re given. Every kind of metric is recorded and laid out for you in a spreadsheet that could go on for miles. Take a deep breath, it’s time to dive in.

First, make a list of the metrics that matter to you. This is really important. You don’t want to spend time organizing information that’s not going to be useful. Common metrics are reach, engagement, post-type, link clicks etc. but choose what matters to you. Once you know what you’re looking for, pull the numbers you need from the data, and place them in a new table. Lay them out whichever way makes the most sense to you. Next, color-code your data. Color-coding is really helpful when you want to process a lot of information at a glance.

Below is an example of color coded analytics. You can easily see how often links and images were posted, how many were sent in the morning vs. afternoon, and which enjoyed the highest engagement. In this table I chose to add an additional tracker, topic. This metric isn’t included in the analytics Facebook gives me so I added it manually. Adding additional metrics can be time-consuming, especially if you’re working with large amounts of data at one time, but it’s really worthwhile if you want to focus on something very specific.  Setting up a table like this can be a daunting task but once you have everything organised, it’s easy to update. Choose a freqeuncy that works for you, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly, and try to stick to it.

Color-Coding Analytics Example


This is a great base table to have. From it, you can pull lots of information. For example, I wanted to know which posting times were getting the best engagement, so I pulled some numbers from this table and created the one below. Pulling numbers into separate tables can reveal a lot. I would have guessed that the highest engagement was happening in the mornings and afternoons but this table tells a different story. I can now use this as a jumping off-point to experiment with different posting times.

Pull-Out Analytics Example


There are many, many services out there that can help you organize and understand your analytics but sometimes you still can’t quite find what you’re looking for and this is where knowing how to organize your own analytics comes in handy (It also saves on costly subscription fees!). Once you begin to track your analytics and identify areas for improvement you should see your engagement rise. If you’re having trouble with this, or would like some one-on-one help, feel free to drop me a line and we can work together.

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