First, let’s define what we mean by a digital footprint
Social Media in Marketing in Support of Your Personal Brand - Nicola Osborne
Social Media in Marketing and in
Support of Your Personal Brand
Digital Education Manager, EDINA
In this session we will explore…
• Social media for marketing your work, organisation, product
– As part of a marketing campaign and wider marketing mix.
– As a tool for branding and positioning.
• Social Media for developing a productive digital footprint:
– As a way to reinforce your personal brand.
– As a space for professional networking.
• Some practical tips and resources:
– For developing and producing content.
– For reflecting on your practice.
What I won’t be covering
• SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – although I’ll mention some search
engine friendly spaces/approaches.
• Paid search/search engine ads – I don’t tend to use these spaces though
they can be effective for small and local businesses (e.g. taxi firms in
Dumfries) but the costs can be high for broader campaigns/wider
• Social ads – I don’t use these much at present, though planning to do
more. My audiences tend to be more sceptical of paid content but it’s
all about context, audience and purpose – they can be inexpensive and
• Sponsored posts/product placement – Again, not appropriate in my
sector. These can be expensive and appear inauthentic but they work
really well at some levels and in some sectors such as food, fashion,
beauty where product talk is authentic.
• Competitions and giveaways – be aware that many social media
platforms have specific terms and conditions about how these can be
• Digital Education Manager, leading EDINA’s work in this area and
developing new digital and mobile projects and services.
• Over 10 years experience of blogging and using social media, and over 7
years of advising others on the use of social media in communications,
public engagement, marketing.
• Chair of the EDINA Marketing Group, part of the Information Services
Communications & Branding Change Management Group.
• Led communications planning and support for the €8.5m EU-FP7 funded COBWEB: Citizen
Observatory Web project spanning 5 countries and 13 partners (2012-16).
• One of Jisc’s “50 most influential higher education (HE) professionals using social media”
• Creator of the Social Media module for the MSc in Science Communication & Public
Engagement (and lecturer for that course 2012-15).
• Co-Investigator of the Managing Your Digital Footprint (research strand) project (2014-15)
and “A Live Pulse”: Yik Yak for understanding teaching, learning and assessment at Edinburgh
Social media for marketing your work,
organisation, product or event
• As part of a marketing campaign and wider
• As a tool for branding and positioning.
Where do you start?
• Your audience
• Your brand/campaign
• Your purpose and objectives
Who is/are your audience(s) and
where do they hang out?
• Which audiences are you trying to reach?
• Do you already have a good network of contacts?
Networking opportunities, events, meet ups and
online communities exist for almost any interest,
agenda, and location imaginable.
• Your audience may already be embedded in these
communities, using a particular preferred set of
venues, engaging with particular organisations,
following key bloggers, etc.
– You can lurk/investigate where they hang out
– And you can ask them directly!
• Your choice of tools and activity should be something
that feels right for your intended audience(s), which
can mean being a guest or reaching out via their
events, activities, online spaces.
Finding your brand or campaign voice
• What is the tone of your presence(s) at present? Is it the right
tone for your audience? Will that be consistent across authors
• What do your audience(s) expect the tone and style of content
to be? What culture are you engaging with?
• What are your brand values and what do your
colleagues/management/board expect in terms of tone,
outreach, brand style? (and does it fit with audience tone/style).
• Are there new audiences you would like to engage through your
campaign or presences? What is their voice/style?
• What are you able and comfortable with producing? Do you
need to bring other authentic voices or content producers on
• The best way to find your voice is to try creating content, and
then ask a “critical friend” (e.g. a colleague, a friendly audience
group) to comment and give feedback on the fit/tone/style.
“I originally had Nike in mind…”
What makes a great branded
social media presence?
• Well aligned with the brand, the culture (and demographics) of the
brand, and the existing community around that brand/product/service.
• Designed with a specific audience and purpose in mind - or structured
into clear segments for different audiences or purposes.
• Regular relevant and engaging content – often fun content, sometimes
edgy and experimental content (depending on brand/audience).
• Clearly branded with consistent logos, “about” text, etc.
• Clear path for audience to engage.
• Embedded within, or well linked to, key authoritative web presences
• Clearly connected to other social channels, with sharing
buttons/functionality that make it easy for your audience to share
• Visually appealing design, which may be differentiated from main web
presences but is in-keeping (e.g. colours, fonts, etc.)
• Strong navigation and routes to explore content – via menus, tags,
categories, authors, search, use of featured images for content, etc.
Branding and Maintaining
Social Media channels
• Brand your presences (including personal presences) and
ensure keep profile information up to date. Always link back to
your definitive research profiles and project websites.
• Regularly share interesting engaging content, use
images, listen to and engage with the audiences you are
reaching out to.
• Ensure you keep profiles and presences up to date and
relevant, review their effectiveness, and ensure they represent
your work as you want it to be seen.
• Think about developing, creating and scheduling content
ahead of time – images, campaign highlights, etc. What
could be your next post/story?
Social Media should just be
part of the marketing mix…
• Social media and traditional marketing channels, events,
activities work best when they work together.
• Social can build buzz, attract an audience, provide
backchannel/feedback, raise visibility, gain media
attention, allow immediate response and reaction but…
• Traditional media gives credibility, helps people find social
and understand how to use it.
• Physical and tangible resources and items can be
delightful, engaging, unexpected – they stand out more
when others are using digital only.
• Social and digital – and analytics from these spaces - can
help focus (more expensive) offline marketing on a more
active, engaged section of your audience.
Try to plan big activities 3-6 months ahead so that you have
time to prepare blog posts, videos, or more involved social
media, and so that this content fits well with other plans for
Facebook bus stop advertisement for “Live”
Planning Content & Campaigns
• Social media should be part of an overall
campaign plan (across media) with goals and
• Think about timelines – key dates for the
campaign and for your audiences. Look out for
clashes, opportunities, challenges.
• Think about building towards focal points.
• A simple calendar-like planner is included in
the resources links at the end of these slides.
Engaging your audience
What level of engagement are you looking for in a campaign or ongoing branded
• Sharing of the post – easy, lightweight. Will you repost/retweet/share onwards to
• Comments – more involved. Are there questions or limitations that you can set to
make this easy? Will you respond to comments? What will you do with comments you
receive? How will you handle problem comments/reported issues? Can you seed the
comments by asking particular people to be involved?
• Participation/attendance of an event – more involved, may require encouraging your
audience to spend money. How can you build excitement and encourage them to take
that next step? What do you need to signpost here? Are there tags/hashtags your
post should include to encourage buzz?
• Guest posts, participation in a project or much more involved participation. How can
you motivate your audience? Who is/is not in scope? How can you make the process
clear and coherent? How will you manage expectations (and potential
Calls To Action
Calls To Action are triggers for your audience to do something, to take a next step.
They might be:
• A request to comment, e.g. “What was your highlight of Hogmanay 2016? Tell
us on #blogmanay.”
• A link or sign post to the next step, e.g. “Click here to book for this seminar.” or
“Join our mailing list to find out more.”
• An encouragement to take part, e.g. “We are looking for representatives from
the BME community to help shape our next video. Contact use to find out
• Follow up information and encouragement to share the post, or content in
another channel, e.g. “Share your pictures of #DigScholEd on Twitter and
Managing and Moderating Feedback
Social media channels are public and can present some risks.
• Listen to your audience. A timetable is useful to ensure your audience are listened
to, rewarded for participation and questions are responded to – particularly
important at busy/campaign periods. This can minimise issues & “social media fail”.
• Learn from others mistakes – the web is awash with social media campaigns gone
awry so learn from those. And learn from what goes well for others too!
• Always use Comment Moderation and have a clear process for who will monitor and
approve/remove/report comments. Quick approval (and response) will be much
more encouraging for your audience.
• Spam Prevention and settings matter. On blogs Akismet works well (always
“blacklist” repeat offenders). Check Facebook, Twitter, etc. settings to minimise risks.
Be aware of reporting and blocking processes.
• For projects, consider having “House Rules” or commenting policies that help your
audience understand what is, and is not appropriate behaviour (many media sites
offer good examples, e.g. Guardian, BBC, etc.)
• Ensure more than one person has access to the social media presence, and to
moderate content, and that it is always clear who is expected to manage the
comments around a post, and understands processes for managing difficult or
What are your priorities for this post/series of posts/project?
• Who are you trying to reach? How can you do that?
• What do you want your audience to get out of it?
• What next step would you want an audience member to take?
• Do you want feedback or comment? Do you have a purpose or use in mind?
• How can you encourage and support them to participate or contribute?
• What would success look like?
Start by thinking about your audience:
• What is their interest here?
• Why should they engage? What’s in it for them?
• What recognition or reward is there for taking part? What will make them
come back and take part again?
Example: COBWEB: Citizen
• 4 year citizen science project funded under EU FP7, spanning 5 countries
and 13 project partners.
• Multiple audiences including:
– European Commission (reporting) and local, national and international policy
– Project Collaborators (internal comms; participation in comms)
– Related/competitor projects and organisations (geospatial, environmental,
citizen science) across UK, EU, World.
– Citizens in pilot areas across English, Welsh, Greek and German speaking areas.
• Communications Plan (v.3 available on the web) developed addressing
audiences, key messages and channels, from pens and flyers, press
releases and articles, social media and web, to films and a comic book.
• Cross promotion, local contribution from partners, and clearly branded
reusable assets were key to making social media work to promote and
support other activities.
• Print and traditional media – and face to face engagement - were key,
especially for reaching small community groups.
• We used partner organisation and European Commission opportunities,
collaborative events, and web and social channels to build on their
visibility and existing audiences.
• Timelines, clear objectives, and central guidance helped ensure that all
could stay “on message”.
Initial art work for the COBWEB comic
by Kirsty Hunter
Social Media for developing a
productive digital footprint
• As a way to reinforce your personal brand.
• As a space for professional networking.
Where do you start?
• Think about your personal goals and priorities.
• Look at what others’ do – what works well, what works less
well? Whose presence do you admire?
• Consider who you want to connect to and engage – how are
they using social media and web presences, where can you
make those connections?
What is your digital footprint?
It's the data you leave behind when you go online. It's what you've said,
what others have said about you, where you've been, images you're
tagged in, personal information, social media profiles and much more…
What does your digital footprint look like to…your friends, future
employers, your family?
Workshops, resources and more can be found at www.ed.ac.uk/iad/digitalfootprint
Why does your personal online
Having a visible online presence across social media, websites and other online
tracks and tracks can help you to:
• Ensure you have an effective “Digital Footprint” that showcases you in the
way that you want to be seen.
• Be visible and credible to recruiters, employers, clients, potential project
• Develop your network and build a personal professional brand.
• Establish new collaborations and opportunities.
• Raises the profile of your work in your field – whether that’s
professional/placement work, volunteering, personal projects, or just your
Task: Understanding Your Priorities
In a group of 3 or 4 look at your priorities for engaging others
in your work – think about your personal online presence.
• Who you want to reach? Where does that audience hang
• What are you wanting to achieve?
• What are your top priorities for your online presence and
personal digital footprint at the moment?
• What would success look like?
[10 mins to do this, 10 mins to discuss].
What tools should you use?
1. Whatever your audience/key influencers use…
2. And want you to engage in…
3. And is an appropriate space for you to use…
4. And suits your current priorities and objectives…
5. And is appropriate for the subject matter…
6. And that is accessible to you via your current internet connection,
at your budget, with your skills etc…
7. And benefits you – with current awareness, connections, etc.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU USE: Check settings; think about what you
post; consider the impact on your own and others Digital
Blogs – are they still “a thing”?
Blogs quietly power the web in 2016, with many having influence and impact,
shaping public debate and mainstream media priorities.
Mainstream news and media includes blogging as a key source of ideas (e.g.
political blogging and election coverage) and format for output (e.g. Channel 4
News’ blogging presence).
Many news sites also borrow blog formats (e.g. interactive stories) and writing
styles, presenting informal short form content alongside commenting and
discussion space. Indeed most traditionally printed newspapers have moved from
news production to blog-like comment pieces as core unique offering.
Blog posts – often as well edited and illustrated stand-alone pieces of writing or
content – make up a huge amount of the content shared across social networks of
Blogs are a great way to practice writing for different audiences and find your own
writing voice. They are easy to experiment with, particularly as a guest contributor.
But they do take time to research and write (my rule of thumb is ½ day for a great
500-800 word post).
Blogs are great as a…
• Platform for getting your voice heard and build a professional looking
presence where your skills and personal perspectives can be
showcased throughout the year, not just at key notable focal points.
• Way to bring projects and portfolios to life, and to highlight ongoing
work and activity.
• Form for playful storytelling and more human angles, opinion, stories.
• Place to expand on key events, news, reports, issues, successes.
• Space to develop and engage your audience, to build a sense of
community and engage in discussion.
• Alternative news streams and routes to engaging the media,
• Search engine-friendly content management system – great for helping
your audience to find your other work.
• Content sources for social networking sites, sharing, buzz generation.
Innovative storytelling and marketing:
NPR’s Seed to Shirt
What makes a compelling blog post?
• Images – at least one, more if they have a real role in the story.
• A compelling story that speaks to your audience.
• Something surprising, unexpected, delightful, important, playful.
• Something useful, purposeful, relevant to your research area/project
and to your intended audience.
• Clear concise, well checked writing – whether 100 words, 250-300
words, or longer (if your audience engage with long form content).
• Good use of links and appropriate resources (e.g. embedded video,
audio, images) within the text.
• A genuine call to action and clear next step for your
audience/readers – even if that’s to read on...
• Good tagging, categories, author information, sensible URL.
• Good promotion, sharing, follow up.
• Feedback and engagement with any comments, acknowledgement
and reward for participation.
Podcasts are a quiet but influential
• Around 3.7 million adults in the UK listen to podcasts (RAJAR 2015), with 57%
of them using smart phone to listen – meaning they can look up topics
discussed, explore articles, etc. whilst they listen.
• The popularity of Serial, This American Life, Radio Lab, etc. drives interest but
podcasts are cheap to make enabling a huge diversity of podcast types and
voices (e.g. Millennial, The Tech Gypsies, Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood,
The Guilty Feminist, etc.)
• Skilfully explained intellectual content finds a receptive podcast audience.
Popular statistics and economics podcasts include: More or Less; NPR Planet
Money; FiveThirtyEight Elections; Gimlet Media’s StartUp; Freakonomics Radio.
• The barrier to entry is low: smart phones, digital recorders (e.g. Zoom mics), or
podcasting microphones all produce good results. Editing software is free or
inexpensive. Creative commons licensed music can be used for free. But time,
research, and a good ear for what makes an enjoyable podcast are required.
• As with blogs, podcasts influence and feed into mainstream media coverage
Great Podcasts Have Their Own Voice,
style, or Sound…
Twitter is for networkers…
• Approx. 11-12% of adult internet users engage with Twitter – it doesn’t have
the take up of Facebook – but…
• Twitter is an influential space, particularly for engaging with policy makers,
politicians, activists, press and media, public figures.
• Time commitment to Twitter is minimal but it is more effective when you post
at least once a day and engage actively around, e.g. event hashtags (hint:
• Twitter is an exceptional networking tools (despite all of recent changes and
tailoring of the platform). It enables direct access to people who are hard to
reach any other way.
• It is also an invaluable space for amplifying other activities – links to reports,
sharing infographics, videos, reports, key news, booking links, etc.
• Don’t get caught up in numbers - look for the right people to follow and learn
from/engage with, try to attract appropriate followers, make sure it is a space
that works for you.
Twitter is a powerful tool…
• For networking, building personal
connections, sharing your work.
• For promoting your blog, encouraging
participation in discussion.
• For publicising papers, publications,
forthcoming conference appearances,
milestones and achievements.
• Staying up to date with your field and
engaging in dialogue with your own and the
• Twitter can be a productive, supportive
space, but it can also be a troll-ridden
environment for sensitive topics and needs
to be used with appropriate
awareness/thoughtfulness and monitoring.
Twitter use can be very professional,
very personal or a blend…
Don’t be limited – any online space can be the
right one to promote your work…
What should you share?
• What your interests are, what work is about and what it aims to achieve.
• Processes, updates, changes of approach – to the extent that such
transparency is appropriate and acceptable.
• Interesting findings, reflections, outcomes, work in progress – be
realistic, don’t overpromise.
• Quirky, playful and accessible content around your work and research
• Publications, presentations, press mentions and materials that reflect
research outputs and expertise.
• CHECK ANY EXISTING PRIVACY, NON-DISCLOSURE OR SOCIAL MEDIA
POLICIES AND ENSURE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE OR ACTIVITY
What should not be shared
• Commercially sensitive data or other material your employer/project
partners/PI would not want shared or that might breach guidelines.
• Personal information about colleagues, participants, those at partner
organisation that might breach Data Protection law or ethical guidance.
• Similarly do not share location information that might compromise your
own safety or that of your colleagues.
• Material (images, discussion board posts, tweets, etc.) that might impact
on your own professional reputation or the credibility of your research.
• Anything you would not want a funder, professional peer, project partner,
or future employer to see or read.
Social media guidelines can help establish consistent approaches, particularly
within an organisation. You will find a link to openly licensed guidance in your
handout, and an example blog comment moderation flow chart (adapted
from the US Air Force).
Planning Social Media that actively
engages your audience
• Be open about who you are and what your interest is to be authentic and build
trust and engagement from your audience.
• Ensure you keep profiles and presences up to date and relevant, review their
effectiveness, and ensure they represent your work as you want it to be seen.
• Manage expectations about the type of engagement being sought, about what will
happen as follow up, how often events etc. will take place, what they can expect if
they attend, about who should get involved, etc.
• Think about creating and including Calls to Action – the thing your audience should
do next on reading a post, engaging with a video, etc.
• Reward participation so that your audience is motivated and interested in engaging
again, and understands that their input matters. Acknowledging participation goes a
long way to ensuring public engagement activity is successful.
• Build your network and community so that future activities can build on previous
successes, so that your participation is authentic and you are visible to your key
Some practical social media
tips and resources
• For developing and producing content.
• For reflecting on your practice.
We’ll particularly focus on:
• Gathering data
• Evaluation, review, improving practice.
Planning social media activities
• Consider what goal(s) you want to achieve. What will success look like?
• What are your key messages? What are your calls to action? Different
tools will suit different purposes, tones, audiences, and interactions.
• Think about your audience(s): where do they hang out online? What
will engage them? How can you make it relevant to them?
• Be creative – what events, activities, opportunities, publications,
community groups, social media tools, etc. could help you to reach
• Be pragmatic - what best fits your (or your team’s) skills, budget, time,
expertise and personal style?
• How can you track progress?
Developing great content
Is about drawing out what makes your work unique,
interesting, exciting, and thinking about what your audience
expectations are, what they will enjoy and find enticing
• Think about your voice and personal or organisational
brand – formal, informal, chatty? How much room for
playfulness is there?
• Public engagement activities need to be appealing - how
will you communicate your work in language that speaks to
your audience and engages them?
• Make use of what you have in terms of skills, materials,
interest from others, assets, coverage. Play to your
Calls To Action
Calls To Action are triggers for your audience to do something,
to take a next step. They might be:
• A request to comment, e.g. “What was the most
interesting thing you saw at this year’s festival? Tell us in
the comments below.”
• A link or sign post to the next step, e.g. “book tickets to
this production.” or “Join our mailing list to find out more.”
• An encouragement to take part, e.g. “We are looking for
representatives from the BME community to be part of our
• Follow up information and encouragement to share the
post, or content in another channel, e.g. “Share your
pictures of #policychange on Twitter and Instagram.”
Turning existing assets into great
opportunities to engage
You will already have much of what you need to create great content:
• Key achievements, past successes, awards, notable work.
• Events, activities, reports, feedback, participation data or survey results*.
• Projects with clear outcomes and success metrics.
• Press and blog coverage, news.
• Behind the scenes details and information on process, new staff
or interesting staff achievements.
• Relationships with other organisations, performers, notable fans/supporters.
• Sharable stories and insider “secrets”* – things that have gone wrong, tips for
others, surprising facts, mythology about the organisation or building.
• Resources - Images, video, audio, slides, interactive content, etc.
• Interesting people to highlight or contribute – staff, volunteers, experts,
performers, supporters, etc.
* Avoiding any genuine secrets, or commercially confidential, inappropriate or embargoed stories.
The biggest risk around public engagement is not participation
• Be realistic about what you are asking your audience to do.
• Make it easy to take part. If you get a lot of responses, be open about
any delays or issues arising from that (in a positive way).
• Be swift and clear about how you will manage feedback or challenges.
• Respect and reward contribution. Promote it when appropriate.
• Manage your own and colleagues expectations around participation
• Do make an effort to encourage participation but don’t be too needy –
your audience might be enjoying what you do but not interested in
• Reflect on what does and doesn’t work and feed that into future plans.
What are your goals and Key Performance
Indicators for social media in your campaign?
• You can capture MUCH more information than is actually
• Establishing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
Relevant, Timely) goals for a project will help you decide on
appropriate KPIs to measure progress towards those goals.
• Setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) early on, and
reviewing them regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, at key
campaign review points?), will help you capture and track
progress and impact.
• Scheduling and documenting your process will ensure you and
your colleagues can maintain records and tracking of your
project over time.
Task: Identifying content you can share in a
Think about a recent class project, personal project or campaign you have been
• What do you already have available that might be interesting to share or
engage people with?
• How do you want your audience(s) to engage? To hear about it, to offer their
comments, to enter a dialogue or collaboration?
• How will you make the content and campaign relevant and interesting to your
audience – what’s the hook that will draw them in?
• Are there practical considerations around the content, the activities you are
able to run, support your audience may need?
5 mins to discuss in groups, then 10 mins to discuss with the room.
Think about what success would look like, what you’d like to achieve, how you
will know you’ve achieved this.
Put measuring and evaluation tools in place, which could include:
• Google Analytics – including tracking codes for specific promotional
channels or referrals if you have capacity to set these up. Work out which of
the many metrics, or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you want to use
against your SMART goals as there are more than you can usefully capture.
• Use in-built analytics/measures (e.g. WordPress.com stats; Twitter
analytics, Bit.ly links; Tumblr reposts and likes; Blogger stats; Facebook
Insights; YouTube Insights; etc.)
• Include your social channels in existing audience research where
appropriate – surveys, focus groups, informal feedback processes.
• Capture relevant engagement or highlights from each post or key content –
number of comments, shares, or any key follow up or tangible outcomes
associated with it, including new opportunities, etc.
Indicators of success in social media
• Tangible results – sales, trials, email sign ups, enquiries, etc.
• Indicators of real engagement – contributions to a hashtag, comments, replies,
write ups, genuine participation, advocacy for a campaign, project or brand.
E.g. comment threads, a group of tweets to a hashtag, etc.
• Data with context and a relationship to other richer engagement with your
project, or of acting upon that project by taking the research out into policy,
the community, etc. E.g. a blog post describing these impacts.
• Evidence of change or meaningful engagement – e.g. indications of an action
after having been part of a social media dialogue, citing of social media
posts/videos/information in another document or report; participation in an
event promoted via social media.
• Stories of change, success, influence – these may be self evidenced through
social media, reported or shared there, etc. e.g. an instagram post on a
personal change; a facebook post sharing a newspaper article on the campaign
with commentary; a very impactful tweet by a notable figure resulting in an
action or tangible change.
A word about Google Analytics…
• It is VAST and provides far more types of data than you will need.
• It relies on cookies on your audience(s) devices to work. Not all activity
will be captured in the same way because of this.
• Be aware that you can trace referring URLs back to blogs etc., and you
can switch on additional features for tracking social media shares.
• You can create custom tags to track channels used, campaigns, etc.
• You can set your own goals – pathways through the site, campaigns.
• You can annotate your stats – including peaks etc.
• You can create custom dashboards – to view just the data that matters
• You can integrate GA with your blog, MailChimp newsletter, etc.
• Twitter Analytics provides excellent overview of most successful posts.
• TAGS can capture mentions of accounts, hashtags, search terms. Full
tweets are saved to a Google spreadsheet, can create archive and
network visualisations through the tools.
• IFTTT can be used to automate further capture or sharing of tweets
(and other social media).
• Twitter.com, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite can be used to monitor mentions
• Use URLs (right click on the Tweet timestamp) and screenshots to
• Tweets are used for sharing – use Google Analytics with Twitter or
TAGS to find influencers, evidence of impact and engagement.
• Lots of 3rd party tools to review activity, e.g. QuillConnect
Facebook Insights are the key way to find data on Facebook
• They include a lot of unnecessary data.
• The format is complex and has changed multiple times in
• They can be exported for a limited time window (180 days
• Use their own terminology, including:
– Reach – number of people who have “seen” the post in their
newsfeed. Combines “organic” and “paid” appearance in the
feed. You can promote/boost a post – that is paid reach.
– Engagement – Divided into clicks on a post (blue) and reactions,
comments and shares of a post (pink)
• WordPress.com, Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, etc. all
have their own stats.
• Use GA in addition to these.
• Best measures of engagement and impact are often
qualitative – responses, related posts, comments,
etc. Often captured via images or in written reports.
• Sharing of blogs (through various channels) can also
be a useful measure of engagement.
Other sites and tools
• Instagram, Flickr - stats and qualitative measures.
• LinkedIn – profile views, group posts, shares/likes etc. of group content.
• YouTube – Insights provide detailed view of engagement during video.
• Vine, Boomerang, etc. – simple measures of likes/shares.
• Google+ includes analytics type information for groups/pages.
• Bit.ly – enables trackable links when sharing in print, on websites, etc.
• GitHub – track code/data use through forks, engagement, questions, etc.
• Snapchat – simple measures plus more sophisticated data for brands.
Investigating the data
(AKA Playing Scooby Doo… !)
Stats and obvious feedback are great but you also need to…
• Capture any known impact that isn’t otherwise obvious –
e.g. one tweet = new contact = articles and influence of
• Investigate Google Analytics data and trace referrals back
to their source…
• Google Alerts for project mentions will pick up additional
• Searches with Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. will surface more
engagement and impacts beyond obvious content.
• SocialMention (patchy but includes exportable data),
Social Searcher, etc. find additional information – but
likely to be noisier source.
• Storify is a good way to regularly monitor and capture
mentions, and follow up leads…
• Searches within social media will capture more data than
third party tools.
scooby-snow2 by Flickr user
A successful post… But why?
Our most popular MediaHub (digital
service) post every since as soon as it
• A niche subject but of high interest.
• Originally timed to fit release of the
film War Horse.
• Well publicised and shared on release.
• Well linked to and well tagged – easy
to find and well ranked by search
• Included rare content.
• It’s a good post but… We won’t make
all our posts the same as it doesn’t fit
our wider goals and objectives.
Reflect on what the data and evidence
is telling you…
• Are you posting at the right time of day, in the right spaces, in the
right types of format, etc?
• Is there more you need to do to make the campaign more visible –
bit.ly URLs, focusing efforts on most effective channels etc?
• Do colleagues/partners/clients etc. need reminding of keywords,
campaign names, hashtags etc? Are those terms visible on
websites, print materials, etc. (if relevant).
• Are there champions to identify and engage with? Can you
encourage them by sharing exclusive content or raising their
profile? Can they tell you more about the tangible impacts here?
• Can you engage supporters in social media activity that will bring in
new audiences, or increase attention for your project?
Taking this forward: Check List
Take a look at the (digital) check list
after today’s session – it should help
you to capture your notes and ideas
for knitting this all together and
putting it into action.
Don’t be afraid to try stuff out and,
if it’s not working for you, it’s ok to
stop using a tool/space etc.
Be realistic and reflect, and re-
Over to you!
Further comments and
Further Reading: COBWEB Project
• What is it like to work with comic book writers and artists to turn
research into comics?
• Crowd Power: the COBWEB Guide to Citizen Science. Available from:
• COBWEB: Citizen Observatory Web documentary (d. Erin Maguire,
Resources on Social Media Data
Resources can be found on the Managing your Digital Footprints
Resources for Educators wiki page on Analytics and Reporting:
Please do provide feedback, comments, requests for additional
• Osborne, 2016. D9.6 COBWEB Communications Plan (version 3.0). Available from:
• Managing Your Digital Footprint Social Media for Educators Wiki: Analytics & Reporting:
• Key Performance Indicators (Worksheet):
• Creating Calls to Action: https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/download/attachments/311151998/DDI16-
• Developing a Blogging (or Social Media) schedule:
• Project launch preparation checklist:
• Altimeter Group. 2012. The Social Media ROI Cookbook: http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-
Some additional interesting resources…
• Gov.UK Guide to Blogging about a service’s
• GDS Digital Engagement blog: You know why we
blog, here’s how we blog (10th December 2015):
• Guardian: The Dark Side of Guardian Comments
(12th April 2016):
• CodeinWP, 2015. WordPress 4.1 gets Roughly 1 Million
Downloads Every Two Days + Other Mesmerizing
WordPress Stats. In codeinwp.blog: Designer’s Guide to
WordPress, 27th August 2015.
• Ofcom, 2016. Adults’ media use and attitudes: Report 2016.
April 2016. Available from:
• WordPress.com, 2016. A live look at activity across
WordPress.com, 26th April 2016.