NASA gets to send robots to Mars and monitor a lot of cool things in the universe. But what if someone gets to monitor NASA?
That’s what I did… for a few weeks. No, I didn’t wiretap their phones or pay double agents to steal their technology. I monitored their social media activity – and let me tell you this:
It. Is. Tedious.
You have to keep tabs on every post, tweet, video, picture, link and stat. It is unimaginably time-consuming and it can be mindbogglingly boring if you’re not the kind of person that gets excited about statistics.
Thank God, I love statistics. Gathering all the data can take a lot of time and seem pointless and anti-creative while you’re doing it, but when you finally get to analysing said data, some pretty cool things tend to happen.
Oh I forgot to mention, you also got to love Excel.
And if even that doesn’t make you close this page in despair, then let me proceed to the cool stuff.
Gathering all that data on users and their interaction with the organisation’s activity on social media can lead to a very clear picture about the organisation’s performance on the web in terms of content reach, engagement and resonation, along with userbase growth rates and content type appeal. You can even find out what particular subjects are of more interest to your audience, how those topics resonate with them and ultimately how much of an influence your organisation has on its e-followers. Needless to say, that information can be pure gold for communication professionals. You can tailor your messages better, provide the type of content that keeps your audience begging for more and improve upon all of that by keeping track of your performance. It’s brilliant. All a comms person needs is there – and it’s only a graph away:
For instance, the graph above indicates which periods were stronger and which were weaker in terms of engagement, but also that the Shares count is consistently higher than the Comments numbers, which means that the content enjoys strong resonation with your audience.
And if you are struggling to get a grip on your growth rates and whether your content draws in more users, you can do something like this:
Finally, for a truly advanced exercise you can take the kind of stats from the first set of graphs and juxtapose it with the second set to find out the really precise connections between, say Shares of your existing userbase on Facebook, and the resulting gain in users. That way you can find out whether your content is engaging enough so that friends of your subscribers reading your content in their feed leads to said friends becoming your own subscribers. Or you could compare whether growth rates on your YouTube channel are related to Retweets of your posts advertising a new video about Zero-G Ping-Pong so that you can create more Zero-G Ping-Pong content and gain even more followers.
The possibilities are endless – as NASA would say – much like the universe.