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Measure, Rinse, Repeat! Choosing the Right Metrics to Better Understand & Reach Your Audience


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Social media and website measurement workshop presented with @SBanks20 and @digitaleffie at MCN2016, New Orleans, LA. Steps through the process of defining clear, measurable goals for target audiences to streamline digital communications and help use data to tell a story. In this updated half-day workshop, Smithsonian's Brian Alpert, Sarah Banks and Effie Kapsalis worked with participants through a series of methodologies, case studies and a small group activity.

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Measure, Rinse, Repeat! Choosing the Right Metrics to Better Understand & Reach Your Audience

  1. 1. #musedata Measure, Rinse, Repeat! Choosing the Right Metrics to Better Understand & Reach Your Audience
  2. 2. #musedata 2 What digital analytics is often about
  3. 3. #musedata 3 “So What?” Digital analytics is often about:
  4. 4. #musedata 4 What digital analytics is really about:
  5. 5. #musedata#musedata 5 Your goal: use data to tell a story  What was happening.  What it meant.  What you did.  What’s happening now.
  6. 6. #musedata#musedata 6 There is a systematic, step-by-step process  Articulate your program’s goals.  Decide strategies to achieve those goals.  Decide tactics to pursue the strategies.  Decide what and how to measure to validate the tactics.  Benchmark to get a sense of what’s normal.
  7. 7. #musedata#musedata 7 Articulate specific goals  Express what you’re trying to accomplish.  Make high-level goals more specific:  “Increase influence” - too broad.  “Become the definitive source on Smithsonian history” - more specific.  Specificity makes it easier to identify strategies and tactics.  Not too many! It’s a Wonderful Life Start the conversation! Articulate goals and next steps on your own; work with management to finalize.
  8. 8. #musedata#musedata Determine strategies & tactics  Strategies – the plans you make to achieve the goals.  Employing social media is a strategy.  Tactics – the things you do to advance the strategy.  Producing a specific type of content is a tactic.  Individual channels (facebook, twitter) are tactics.  Per the example:  Goal: “Become the definitive source on Smithsonian history.”  Strategy: Increase engagement with history of the Smithsonian content.  Tactic: Make SI-history content more findable and measureable. 8
  9. 9. #musedata 9 Decide how to measure your tactics  Choose measurements to learn if your tactics are succeeding.  Choose a few measurements.  Trend them over time.  Per the example:  Strategy: increase engagement with SI history website content.  Tactic: make website history content more findable / measureable.  Make a “history-content” segment and measure for engagement:  Visit frequency  Visit depth  Bounce rate History-related visits All visits “Deep history visits” were 94% higher!
  10. 10. #musedata Decide how to measure your tactics (cont’d)  Acquisition-related goals  Sessions  Users  Campaigns  New vs Returning  Entrances  Referrals  Engagement-related goals  Session frequency  Page depth  Time on site  Bounce rate  Events  Content-related goals  Pageviews  Page depth  Bounce rate  Issue-related goals  Event-based conversions (exits from on-site search results, etc.)  Contact form submissions  Funnel abandonment  Design-related goals  Users / Events flow  Page depth  Time on site  Funnel abandonment 10  The measurements you choose depends on your goals:
  11. 11. #musedata Examples!  Measureable Goal: Increase social media followers in the 5 key regions by 20%  Tactic: Facebook and Twitter Ads targeted to the five regions  Measurement: Twitter and Facebook followers by geography  Measureable Goal: Increase website sessions and engagement from 5 key regions by 20%  Tactic: Google AdWords targeted to the five regions  Measurement: sessions, pageviews, page depth, time on site 11  Broad goal  Raise national visibility, especially in five key regions  Strategy  Digital advertising in the five key regions
  12. 12. #musedata 12 "I got 20 retweets! Wait – is that good?"  You can’t set targets w/o benchmarks.  You need at least six months of data.  Data is seasonal.  Depends on how much traffic your site gets.  Pull data regularly!  Some APIs limit 3rd party tools to 28 days of data.  Balance targets with factors beyond your control:  Are improvements you’re seeking difficult to achieve?  How much resources will you have to implement tactics?
  13. 13. #musedata 13 CBS News Choosing social media metrics
  14. 14. #musedata 14 “Quantity of Stuff” metrics  No actionable data  Establish scope / context  Measure growth / acquisition  Number of Followers • FB • TW • Instagram • Pinterest  Number of ‘Likes’ • FB Pages • FB Content • Instagram • Pinterest • FB post views
  15. 15. #musedata 15 “Quantity-Plus” metrics  Still about quantity, but more meaningful.  Show the type of content your audience responds to.  Basic  Reach (FB)  Post-Clicks (FB)  Website visits referred by social properties  Better - “mini-conversions”  Retweets (TW)  Favorites (TW)  Comments (FB)  Shares (FB)
  16. 16. #musedata A classic blog post…  Avinash Kaushik’s Best Social Media Metrics  Conversation Rate  # of Audience Comments (or Replies) Per Post  Amplification Rate  # of Retweets Per Tweet  # of Shares Per Post  # of “Share Clicks” Per Post (or Video)  Applause Rate  # of Favorite Clicks Per Post (TW)  # of Likes Per Post (FB)  # of #1s Per Post (Goog+)  # of +1s and Likes Per Post (or video) (Blog / YouTube)  Economic Value  Primarily intended for revenue-driven businesses  Sum of Short and Long Term Revenue and Cost Savings  Goal is to identify macro and micro conversions and then compute economic value.  A manual spreadsheet is available, here, or… Kaushik’s blog Occam's Razor is a great resource for making web analytics fun and understandable.
  17. 17. #musedata Trendable social metrics – YAY! 17  TrueSocialMetrics offers an automated solution.   Free / $30 per month / $100 per month / $350/month plans
  18. 18. #musedata 18 Here is the bottom line!  Your measurements validate your tactics (or not).  On a campaign by campaign basis, you can use “quantity-plus” metrics to tell your story.  “Here was the goal. We did this. That happened. It was the best EVER!  But to improve your overall program, you need more refined, trendable metrics. NY Daily News
  19. 19. #musedata 19 Choosing website metrics
  20. 20. #musedata#musedata Dimensions and Metrics  Dimensions describe the data, or an attribute of the user (“what”):  Traffic source  City  Page  Metrics measure the data (“how many,” “how long”):  Sessions  Bounce rate  Time on page  Lunametrics  Optimizesmart  Dimensions & Metrics Explorer (Google) 20 Optimizesmart Dimensions Metrics GA’s familiar color-coding helps you keep track of Dimensions and Metrics.
  21. 21. #musedata 21 The inevitability of “Quantity of Stuff”  No actionable data  Sessions (previously Visits)  Users (previously Visitors)  Pages (a.k.a. Pageviews)  Establish scope / context.  Measure growth / acquisition.  You can’t improve your site by measuring these.  Reporting them out of context can be misleading. “All data in aggregate is crap.” -- Avinash Kaushik
  22. 22. #musedata 22 Engagement metrics are more meaningful  “Quantity-Plus” for websites.  Proxies for user engagement.  Under Audience >> Behavior  Frequency & Recency  Page Depth (“Engagement”)  “New vs. Returning” (e-nor post)  Use with segments:  Traffic from search engines  Traffic from mobile devices  Do not rely on Session Duration or Avg. Time on Page in a vacuum.  Due to technical issues
  23. 23. #musedata 23 Segmentation: GA’s most powerful feature?  Analyze subsets of traffic.  Search engine visits  Social media visits  Demographics  Import expert-made segments from the Solutions Gallery!  Google Blog  Kissmetrics Overview  Examples (Cutroni)  Examples (Kaushik) Segments are accessed by clicking “Add Segment”. “Organic Traffic” is shown. All Users Organic (Search Engine) Traffic
  24. 24. #musedata 24 Deeper understanding with Conversion Goals  A conversion is any measureable behavior with an implicitly (or explicitly) higher value.  Conversion rates are more informative than just counting.  They enable you to judge and compare metrics regardless of how much traffic a site gets.  Typical conversion goals:  Destination (ex: thanks.html)  Duration (ex: 5 minutes or more)  Pages/Screens per session (ex: 3 pages)  Event (download PDF, play video)  REQUIRES CODE Studying conversion rates levels the playing field, versus merely counting!
  25. 25. #musedata#musedata ‘Event Tracking’ is super-important  More sophisticated Goals typically involve creating “Events”:  External links  Sign-ups, form submissions  Downloads  Many types of conversion goals  To use Events:  Define and categorize events.  Configure and add the javascript code, usually right in the link (not always).  Many social-share widgets automatically add Events.  Google Analytics Event Organizer (Smithsonian’s Michelle Herman)  The Complete Google Analytics Event Tracking Guide Plus 10 Amazing Examples (old code, good examples) 25
  26. 26. #musedata#musedata 26 Universal Analytics means all new code  We are (still…) in phase three of a four-phased, multi-year rollout.  All GA accounts have been migrated to Universal, but many website pages still carry the old code.  Phase 4: legacy code will be deprecated (date TBD – “in the near future”).  “Data received from deprecated libraries will... be processed for a minimum of two years…”  You should upgrade your code SOON!  You also need to upgrade custom code, e.g., events, virtual pageviews, etc.  Universal Analytics Upgrade Center Vampyre Fangs
  27. 27. #musedata#musedata 27 Out with the old, in with the new!  What code are you using?  It’s easy to tell!  If your site is newer than mid- 2014, you have the new code.  If your site is older, do View Source.  Search for:  gaq  old code  ga.js  old code  analytics.js  new code Scrap for Joy
  28. 28. #musedata 28 Here is the (website) bottom line!  Your measurements validate your tactics (or not).  To work the process and improve your site, you need meaningful data:  Engagement Metrics  Segments  Goal Completion / Conversion rates  A-B or MAB (multi-armed bandit) tests  Qualitative data (surveys)  If your goal is purely audience acquisition, you can use “quantity-of- stuff” metrics to tell your story. NY Daily News
  29. 29. #musedata#musedata 29 Google’s “Analytics Academy”  Free video-based courses  Digital Analytics Fundamentals  Google Analytics Platform Principles  Ecommerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions  Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals  Google Tag Manager Fundamentals
  30. 30. #musedata Resources 30  Google Analytics Academy  Google Analytics Blog  Absolute Beginner's Guide to Google Analytics (Moz)  Avinash Kaushik’s “Occam’s Razor”  Analytics Talk (Justin Cutroni)  Cardinal Path Training  Kissmetrics  Lunametrics blog  Lunametrics Training  Universal Analytics Upgrade Guide  Discover the Google Analytics Platform (advanced tools)
  31. 31. #musedata Social Media Metrics Reporting Framework Sarah Banks Online Engagement Coordinator
  32. 32. #musedata Plan for Reporting – Set Your Goals! Tie social media reporting to museum goals Gather meaningful, actionable data Create a manageable and flexible process
  33. 33. #musedata Creating the Framework: Step 1 Align Goals and Priorities, Then Select Metrics Smithsonian Strategic Priority – Revitalizing education Air and Space Museum Goal – Enhancing outreach efforts Social Media Goal – Increase engagement with online communities Metrics – Engagement rate, comments
  34. 34. #musedata Creating the Framework: Step 2 Decide on Frequency of Data Collection: How often can you collect AND analyze data? How do those reports relate to each other?
  35. 35. #musedata Creating the Framework: Step 3 Set up Your Templates: Think about who will read your reports Position elements in priority order
  36. 36. #musedata Creating the Framework: Step 4 Test and Refine: Expect bumps in the road as you collect and analyze data. Adjust as needed!
  37. 37. #musedata More Tips! Start small and build – do what you can do consistently Research tools to help you simplify data collection Focus on a balanced blend of pictures, storytelling, and data Be vocal about sharing your reports
  38. 38. #musedata Case Study: Reporting on #BoldlyGo50
  39. 39. #musedata Opportunities and Challenges Opportunities:  Highlight the Museum’s connection to Star Trek  Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Original Series Challenges:  We were one of many places celebrating  Nearly all of our social media following is not local
  40. 40. #musedata Consider Your Audience Must tell a complete story using a mix of data, photos, anecdotes, and benchmarks Audiences for your reports can be varied and have different needs (senior leadership vs. data hounds)
  41. 41. #musedata Identify Goals Foster connections with enthusiastic Star Trek fans – whether onsite or online Highlight the Museum’s connection to Star Trek and remind people that the model is back on display Promote content we created in honor of the 50th
  42. 42. #musedata Writing strong goals  No un-measurable or boring goals! • Start an Instagram account = tactic not goal • Make the Museum look cool = hard to measure  Goals = a change you want to make with your audience around a program, project, etc. If you can’t measure it or it’s not worth doing, rewrite it!
  43. 43. #musedata Goals: Foster connections with enthusiastic Star Trek fans – whether onsite or online Highlight the Museum’s connection to Star Trek and remind people that the model is back on display Promote content we created in honor of the 50th Strategies: Invite people to share how Star Trek influenced their lives and/or careers Share the story of our restoration of the studio model Give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of our highlights tour in Klingon Selecting Strategies
  44. 44. #musedata Selecting Tactics Strategies: Invite people to share how Star Trek influenced their lives and/or careers Share the story of our restoration of the studio model Give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of our highlights tour in Klingon Tactics: Create a “Share Your Story” opportunity on our website & promote via social media Host an InstaMeet the morning of the anniversary for local Instagrammers with curator as a speaker Write blog post and do a video with the creator of the Klingon language 44
  45. 45. #musedata Strategies vs. Tactics Strategies are more broad and can be supported by several tactics Tactics are more specific and get down to the platform level 45
  46. 46. #musedata Which Metrics to Report? EXAMPLE: Foster connections with enthusiastic Star Trek fans – whether onsite or online Strategy: Invite people to share how Star Trek influenced their lives and/or careers Tactic: Create a “Share Your Story” opportunity on our website & promote via social media Metrics: Number of stories collected via website, quality of stories 46
  47. 47. #musedata Gathering Your Report Ingredients Get tools in place Hashtag tracking tools Google campaign builder & Storify Folder for screenshots Set your benchmarks What does “average” look like? Get stats from peer institutions Compare to past campaigns 47
  48. 48. #musedata Metrics for Native Apps
  49. 49. #musedata What’s Possible? As with websites, Google Analytics is a powerful tool to help you know if you’re meeting your goals. Basic GA only give you so much. Event-based analytics allow for more nuanced data about usage. You have to ask your developer to add it in. Can’t be added later unless you do an app update.
  50. 50. #musedata The Process Write down your goals for the app and think about the concerns/questions that are arising during development. Use the app to see where users take action – make a decision, click something, etc. Label each point of action, as well as things with duration. Those are your event-based metrics. Think ahead and name each event with “appname_label” in a way that will make sense to someone who doesn’t know your system. Put all labels in a spreadsheet and give to developer.
  51. 51. #musedata Pilot Pals - Lots of Choices to Make! Personalization Select games Select aircraft within games Try again Play again or return to main menu Reset personalization Mute or unmute sound Access parents section and its tabs
  52. 52. #musedata Pilot Pals – What’s Measurable with GA
  53. 53. #musedata Thanks! Any Questions? My Contact Info: Sarah Banks @sbanks20
  54. 54. #musedata 54 Coffee Break – 30 Minutes
  55. 55. Activity #1 Help us fix our jumbled up report. Sort the jumbled pieces of the report into categories (goals, metrics, etc.) and arrange them logically. If you have time, critique the metrics. Do you think they are meaningful? If not, write a new one you think would be better.
  56. 56. AMBUSH! You’re on the elevator at BLAM and the museum director jumps on. She’s read your report and has a few questions. No escape! How might you answer her? a) Which of these metrics is most and least? meaningful? b) I saw 3 negative comments on Facebook. And our number of Twitter followers didn’t go up very much. Are you sure the campaign was successful? c) So did we “go viral” yet?
  57. 57. Effie Kapsalis Head of Web, New Media, & Outreach Smithsonian Institution Archives #MWmetrics @digitaleffie
  58. 58. Target Audiences  Researchers (interns, fellows, academic researchers)  Serious online researchers (Wikipedians, Collections mystery solvers on Flickr Commons etc)  General public enthusiasts (Lifelong Learners, DIYer looking for information and help)  Smithsonian record creators @digitaleffie
  59. 59. Broad Organizational Mission “The Archives’ mission is to document the goals and activities of the whole Smithsonian in its pursuit of increasing and diffusing knowledge, and exciting learning in everyone. The Archives is also responsible for ensuring institutional accountability, and for enhancing access to the rich and diverse resources in its care. ” @digitaleffie
  60. 60. Step 1: Identify Goals Credit: Avinash Kaushik, “Digital Marketing and Measurement Model,” measurement-model/ @digitaleffie
  61. 61. Step 2: Identify Strategies/Tactics Credit: Avinash Kaushik, “Digital Marketing and Measurement Model,” measurement-model/ @digitaleffie
  62. 62. Step 3: Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Credit: Avinash Kaushik, “Digital Marketing and Measurement Model,” measurement-model/ @digitaleffie
  63. 63. Strategy: Increase Representation of Archives’ Collections on Popular Research Websites @digitaleffie
  64. 64. Home site vs. Flickr Commons vs. Wikipedia 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 Views on SIA Website Views on Flickr Commons Views on Wikipedia @digitaleffie
  65. 65. Wikipedia Page Views: BaGLAMa GLAM/Wikipedia Tools -
  66. 66. Wikipedia Page Views: BaGLAMa @digitaleffie
  67. 67. Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Outcomes @digitaleffie
  68. 68. Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Outcomes
  69. 69. Strategy: Increase Share & Quality of Conversation around SIA Collections & Resources @digitaleffie
  70. 70. Strategy: Increase Share & Quality of Conversation around SIA Collections & Resources (Twitter) @digitaleffie
  71. 71. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  72. 72. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  73. 73. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  74. 74. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  75. 75. Foresee Open Ended: Did not find looking for • Collections (30) • Of 30 responses, only 4 were searching for items we DO have. • “list of architectural styles of the Smithsonian buildings” • “Mary Henry's complete diary” • “Electronic version of the Smithsonian Annual Report 1895.” • “http:// but got AFRICAN MUSEUM” • Photos/Digitized Collections (3) • In general, people were looking for more. @digitaleffie
  76. 76. Foresee Open Ended: What ways can we improve search?  Want “Google” results  Many of the titles are unclear about what they contain  I wish audio were available  Need greater clarity on what can be accessed electronically.  Access to records, pictures  Who to contact for help, live chat @digitaleffie
  77. 77. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  78. 78. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  79. 79. Improve Collections Findability @digitaleffie
  80. 80. A Web-Refresh We Go! @digitaleffie
  81. 81. Mobile Explosion! Device Percent Change, 2014-2016 Desktop 4.64% Mobile 25.93% Tablet 0.19% @digitaleffie
  82. 82. Interests, Desktop vs. Mobile Traffic @digitaleffie Desktop Visitors Interests Mobile Visitors Interests 1. Collections 1. History 2. Blog 2. Blog 3. History 3. Services 4. Services 4. Collections 5. Search 5. Search
  83. 83. Mobile Acquisition @digitaleffie
  84. 84. Mobile Interests @digitaleffie Page Source History of Smithsonian Castle Google Organic Search How do I preserve my newspaper? Google Organic Search Some Archival Career Advice Google Organic Search How do I deal with a photo stuck to glass? Google Organic Search How do I deal with little white bugs in my papers? Google Organic Search Blog: Earliest photo of the Castle Facebook James Smithson Webpage Google Organic Search
  85. 85. Keep Learning  Know your bone (Colleen Dilenschneider) -  Beth Kanter – How Connected Non-Profits Leverage Networks & Data for Social Change-  Avinash Kaushik - @digitaleffie
  86. 86. #musedata 86 Food for thought (to go)! Okra: 1 new way you’ll communicate metrics to colleagues or partners Shrimp: 1 way you’ll improve & jazz up reports Roux: 1 way in which you will try to implement this metrics model Sausage: 1 tool you’ll give a try Adolfo's  Discuss today’s workshop “takeaways”: What are your NOLA #musedata ingredients?
  87. 87. #musedata Thanks! 87  @SBanks20  @digitaleffie  @balpert