Weathermen, accountability and analytics

Cars are backed up, stores are packed and all people are talking about is snow.  Well at least here in Boston, today.  Boston, a city which on average has 22 days of snow each and every year still gets thrown for a loop every time it snows.

No Need to be Accurate

It is no secret that people take shots at weathermen all the time for getting the forecast wrong.  No one takes into account all the variables in predicting the weather.  I am not sticking up for weathermen, I wish I had a job where I can be right, for what feels like only 50% of the time, but if someone on the weather.com says it’s going to start raining at 7a and it doesn’t start till 8a, it really hard to fault them. I am talking about days like today where the local weather literally said “over the next 48 hours Boston will get somewhere between a dusting and a foot”.  I mean seriously?  Thanks.

But then it hit me.  Accuracy, accountability – weathermen aren’t really held to those two words, but those are the things that people love and FEAR in regards to social media and digital all together. Your analytics are there in plain sight, people can see your work and the results. No longer can you over-promise but under-deliver.  When a campaign is over the numbers are there and numbers don’t lie. In some regard it takes the  back-end emotion and salesmanship out of the equation.

So unlike weathermen if we work on social media/digital campaigns we can’t forecast with a low percentages of being right.

Key Metrics

Trying to figure out what the key metrics in regards to social media isn’t as easy as it seems.  So I spoke with “the specialist”: Al Beuscher, Web Guy.   We went back and forth and came up with this hit list:

  • likes
  • followers
  • referral traffic /click-throughs
  • comment activity
  • inbound traffic
  • rise in traffic (3 months before the campaign compared to 3 months after)

Tools to measure analytics

Then you need to know where to all those beautiful numbers; charts, data, graphs, etc, are to be found and how to get them.

There are many other metrics and many other tools to analyze them, yet this is a good start.  If you can develop plans and goals based on patterns and facts you will succeed.