Screenshot of Google analytics page

Know your Audience using Analytics

Developing a strong social media presence can have multiple benefits for VR consumers.  It can drive them to the agency website so they are more aware of VR services and how to apply.  It can alert them to employment related resources such as information about desired job skills, strong applications, or resume building, and highlight upcoming events, like career fairs, college tours, or training opportunities.  Overall, it can increase consumer engagement with job search activities and the VR system, in general.  All these benefits, however, rely on pushing content that resonates with your target audience. Web analytics is one strategy for assessing social media posts to maximize efforts.

There are multiple built-in or free web analytic programs for evaluating consumer engagement.  Some platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have their own analytics, which can be used to measure the number clicks, views, and user demographics. Google analytics can be coded into websites to assess incoming traffic.  Each of these tools provides an array of information that allow you to develop a strong posting strategy.  This blog describes how these tools might be used.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics allows you to see how your tweets are performing in terms of mentions, follows, and unfollows (Agius, 2016). You can also see engagement by day or download data to compare monthly data or trends over time.  These data provides details about the best time(s) to post and what content is most interesting to your target group.  Twitter feeds are fast-paced so timing can make a big difference in who sees your post.  One way to test this is to schedule similar posts at different times of the day to see which ones get more attention (Agius, 2016). Similarly, use analytics to assess how different hashtags or key words reach your audience.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook allows a range of content, including posts, links, images, and video, to be tracked using analytics.  Not only can you see which links generate the most views, but you can get a picture of who is looking.  Facebook collects a range of user data based on profiles, such as location, demographics, interests, education, and employment (Agius, 2016).  These data are used to describe your audience.  If your target audience is transition aged youth, but user demographics indicate older viewers, then your content may need to be modified.  This might include posting more visual content, such as video or images that appeal to younger social media users, posting shorter posts with catchier titles, or changing your social media platform altogether (Hutchinson, 2015; Modo Labs, 2016).

Google Analytics

If a goal is to drive traffic to your website, Google Analytics can help you understand how people find your content, and what content is most important to them. Google Analytics can tell you what percentage of  views originate from social media, which social media channels are responsible for directing people to your site , and how  people engage with the website in terms of time spent looking, number of pages visited, and number of new visitors (Friedman, 2014).  Google Analytics can also show trends over time or spikes in visitors, which can be used to evaluate which social media posts resonate with your audience.

Overall, an important advantage of developing an online presence is the ability to tailor your messages and website based on real-time data.  As Tanya Wise, a Social Media Technologist with Georgia VR highlights, “What’s really nice about social media…or anything having to do with online presence, is you get almost instant feedback…So you can really change direction if you need to, to find that balance for creating something that’s successful” (personal communication, June 1, 2016).

References

Aguis, A. (July 19, 2016). 4 ways to use Facebook and Twitter analytics to improve your marketing.  Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-ways-to-use-facebook-and-twitter-analytics-to-improve-your-marketing/

Friedman, J. (December 3, 2014).  2 easy ways to measure the impact of your social media use.  Retrieved from https://janefriedman.com/measure-impact-social-media-use/

Hutchinson, A. (August 12, 2015).  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat most popular networks among millennial teens [Report].  Retrieved from http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/adhutchinson/2015-08-12/facebook-instagram-snapchat-most-popular-networks-among

Modo Labs (April 26, 2016). Social media use among college students and teens – What’s in, what’s out and why.  Retrieved from https://www.modolabs.com/blog-post/social-media-use-among-college-students-and-teens-whats-in-whats-out-and-why/

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