Metrics, Analytics and Insights — Oh My: A Guide to Finding Meaning in Measurements

The graphs. The charts. The ROI.

Dreaded measurements all, but more importantly — proof that your job actually means something, and that you don’t just play on Twitter all day. Now, if you’re a content creator and you aren’t thinking about these things, I suggest you take a step back and ask yourself a simple, yet critical question:

Have your efforts this quarter proved successful?

If you answered “yes,” then the next question to ask yourself is, “Okay, so how do I know I’ve been successful?”

Exactly — you don’t, meaning you may think that there’s something to tell, but you’ve got nothing to show. Unless, of course, you’re consistently measuring your results — not as though it’s an extension of your job, but with an understanding that it is your job

1*MHLHQePgLF09Xe4oSEx9wwOf course, it’s not always easy to balance content creation with a metrics-driven mindset. Nevertheless, it’s imperative that we hold the artistic value of the content that we create accountable to concrete, data-driven goals. For our purposes, the logic is two-fold: Not only does this help us help our clientsdefine and achieve their goals, it also drives new business development — establishing communicable standards for gauging effectiveness and a clear image of our success.

So, in the ever-evolving world of digital media, how do you make this a pointed part of your practice? Start with Redbird’s “Six B’s.”

The Six B’s of Measurement

  1. Be intentional. Establish a practice around measurement. Every social strategy should not only identify clear KPIs (key performance indicators) such as engagement rate, growth, etc., but also how you’ll be measuring your KPIs. For example, will you be using a social tool, reviewing insights directly on the platform, or will you be manually measuring your indicators? How often will you be measuring them, and what will each person’s role in that process be? Consistency is key, so consider holding recurring meetings that focus solely on analyzing metrics and noting key insights.Lorem Ipsum
  2. Be inclusive. Even if your team includes a social strategist who focuses entirely on metrics, make an effort to include your entire team in the conversation. This allows community managers, editorial managers and other team members to help paint the bigger picture, pinpointing challenges and solutions you might otherwise miss. This will also help instill a metrics-driven mentality across the board, ensuring that each member of the team is working towards a shared goal.
  3. Be consistent. Don’t wait until after a campaign or a quarter to review your numbers. Make sure to look at them weekly or even daily, jotting down any thoughts on content performance. Know that any consistencies among outliers are key to understanding, revising, and ultimately improving the framework of your initial strategy. If you can explain why these outliers exist, you’re in a better position to replicate positive deviations — and avoid the negative ones.
  4. Be insightful. It’s not just about the numbers — it’s about how you usethose numbers to refine your strategy. Apply each set to some high level — and sometimes painfully honest — thinking. What would you differently if you could do it all over again? Don’t avoid the hard questions. Remember: Not every metric will point to a pattern, and not every pattern will require a change in strategy — but all the numbers matter. The trick is to isolate the most important takeaways and integrate them into your practice.
  5. Be flexible. No strategy is perfect, and that’s okay. Don’t hesitate to use what you’ve learned — however unexpected — to amend your strategy accordingly. Any drastic deviations from the “game plan” may feel uncomfortable, but your purpose takes precedence over comfort, and that purpose is to create content that your client and your digital community really, truly appreciates.
  6. Be realistic. Sometimes, no matter what we measure or how often we measure it, it simply isn’t going to be clear why the content is or isn’t working. The fact is, social is a reflection of the greater world; not every failure will be easily understood — every success replicable.

Here at Redbird, we’ve found that when we develop strategies that blend creativity with a metrics-driven practice, our clients are eager to expand our scope of work. That’s because our methodology is not only fiercely loyal to the creation of beautiful content — it’s also transparent. If we create content that doesn’t perform as expected, not only are we aware, we’re driven (and armed) to understand why, allowing us to make changes for the better.

We’re diligent about measuring our work because at the end of the day, clients are simply looking for standout content that works. And, in order to find that sweet spot, we need to have our eyes on all the right indicators.