Video tutorial: Social media analytics for hyperlocal publishers part 2 – six great insights

By Hannah Scarbrough | 19th May 2016

This feature on social media analytics for hyperlocal publishers was written by Jemima Gibbons for Nesta.

In my video tutorial, I talk about six great insights social media analytics can give you. These insights will generate ideas, themes and pointers for your hyperlocal publishing business/service. They will provide you with tactics to help you achieve your business goals. And they can inform your overall business strategy, making it more robust, effective and relevant.

In this blog, I’ll give an overview of those insights as well as details of where to find them, including links to online tools. For more information on social media analytics, see my previous blog on setting up a KPI spreadsheet.

So, here are those six great insights:

Insight 1: who your audience is

To find data on your Facebook audience go to your Facebook Page, click on “Insights” (fourth tab along in the menu bar at the top of your page) and then “People” (last option down in the navigation column to the left).

For audience data for Twitter (and other platforms), my favourite tools are Klear and Followerwonk:

The free version of Klear tells you the top 50 followers (in terms of reach) for any Twitter account.  Klear shows you visual thumbnails (containing bio, photo, follower counts) for each follower, so you get a lot of information at a glance.

Klear’s “top” followers are based on follower count  – that’s a simple metric, and can be misleading (for example, when followers are bought), but use your common sense to identify dodgy looking accounts. You’re more likely to see organisations and individuals that you recognise.

If a name is unfamiliar, just a double-click through to the actual profile and have a root around to see whether or not it appears genuine (repetitive, monotone tweets and low reply/ interaction levels are good indicators you’re dealing with a dummy account).

Followerwonk’s “Analyse” tab will show you consolidated data for ALL followers of any Twitter account. It’s good for an overall demographic picture, including location, gender and bio key words (reflecting interests) of any audience.  Metrics such as social authority, number of tweets and regularity of tweets are also useful – they can give an idea of how active and/ or influential a particular audience is.

Insight 2: What your audience wants

The easiest way to find out what types of content your audience likes best is by diving into the relevant analytics for each social platform. Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights are great for this type of data. Pinterest Analytics and YouTube Analytics are also good.

If you’re using Instagram, Klout is a good source of free data. You can connect your Klout profile to a number of social media accounts including Google+, Flickr, Foursquare and Instagram. Klout integrates data across all your networks, showcasing your most popular content. Klear will also feature Instagram content in its “top content” tab, if the content ranks highly enough.

For analytics on individual tweets (and any other social media platforms you connect), Buffer is an excellent free tool: showing you shares, likes, mentions and reach for each update.

Insight 3: when your audience is online

Use the “Analyse” tab on Followerwonk to see the active hours for any Twitter account’s following versus the active hours for any account. So it’s easy to see whether or not your tweets are getting maximum exposure.

As hyperlocal publishers, you’re likely to be interested in consumers who may not want to access your site while they’re at work. You could ensure more round-the-clock coverage by scheduling tweets to go out in the evenings and early mornings, especially when people are likely to be commuting.

Insight 4: if your content strategy is on track

The best tool here is your KPI spreadsheet (see related blog post). Pay special attention to the KPIs for engagement, such as Twitter interactions or Facebook engagement rate.

Insight 5: where your most engaged fans and key influencers are

Again, Klear is a great little tool: click on the “Network” tab to see the top followers for your Twitter account. You will instantly your fifty most influential followers in terms of reach.

Klear’s “Overview” tab helps you identify your most influential channels by showing the social platforms where engagement is highest. Twitter or Instagram often rank more highly than Facebook – mainly because, without paid advertising, Facebook engagement can be low.

Klout and Buffer also offer similar overviews – as long as you have connected your relevant social media channels.

Insight 6: what your competitors are doing

For this set of insights, you can use most of the tools already mentioned – but enter competitors’ Twitter handles rather than your own.

Klear tracks what types of content are most successful for your competitors by showing you their top content and conversations. Simply type their Twitter handle in the search bar top left.

On Followerwonk, type in a competitor’s Twitter name under the “Analyse” tab then select “analyse the users they follow”. This data on your competitor’s audience should give you ideas of new people and demographic segments to target.

With Klout, type your competitor’s Twitter handle in the search bar. You’ll see how highly engaged they are with their audience, their top topics, and top content.

And finally…

These insights are useful, but they can’t capture everything. For a full picture of your readers’ behaviour, especially once they get onto your website, you’ll need Google Analytics.

The one tab I over-use on Google Analytics is Acquisition > Social. Purely to see which social networks are driving what traffic to my website.

But if you want to know which pages people are reading most, or track users’ journeys to identify what content leads them to sign up to your newsletter, it’s website analytics you need, rather than social.

I hope these tips have been useful – and I’d love to have your feedback. What metrics work best for you? Are there any great free tools I’ve missed?

You can find me on Twitter @JemimaG.

This content has been reproduced with the permission of Nesta, and you can still visit the original article. The Destination Local programme was managed by Kathryn Geels

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