Posts Tagged ‘Analytics’

Facebook Page Insights now go Way Back to the Inception of a Page

January 2, 2014 Leave a comment

When Facebook revamped its Insights feature for Facebook Pages last year, social media managers around the world rejoiced at the luxurious array of analytics and visualizations.  The only nagging shortcoming was that they could only be viewed in windows of three months at a time.

No longer.

Now you can scroll back to the very beginning of your Facebook fan page (or as my esteemed colleague Chris Tromp put it; “to inception”) and see graphs and charts of every possible metric, from likes to reach to engagement:

Facebook Likes From Inception to Present

Facebook Reach From Inception to Present

Facebook Visits From Inception to Present

The Presidential Race may be Close but Google is Winning Election Reporting

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

There has been some pretty impressive tech on display during the 2012 election, but one of my favorites has been Google’s Election results:

Google's Amazing Election Results Reporting

Their live, interactive display that allows the same sort of smooth and intuitive navigation as Google Maps is truly stunning.

In addition to mapping county by county data, they’ve also tied in a variety of analytics and news sources from their various other platforms from Youtube to Insights to Trends.

Not only are they doing real-time mapping of the reported results, but they’re tracking where the AP has called the race for one candidate or another (I’d love to see them wrap in more news outlets and who they’re calling the races for – unfortunately they have an exclusive arrangement with the Associated Press).

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More of this, please.


Thanks but no Thanks – Five Rebuttals for “Backseat Marketers”

July 29, 2012 2 comments
Avoid the Herd Mentality in Marketing

Avoid the Herd Mentality in Marketing (w/ love to Seth Godin)

For some reason, people seem very comfortable assuming they know as much as anyone trained in marketing, advertising or public relations.  Whereas few people would feel comfortable second-guessing  a  physician’s assistant physician assistant,  or telling an engineer how to do their job – they are more than willing to micro-manage communications professionals.

To them, I say “thanks but no thanks.”  If you’ve not in the field, and you’ve ever offered up any of the following advice to a colleague in the field, please check yourself.

1. You think we should advertise somewhere because you consume that media.

In all liklihood *you* are not the demographic being targeted.  *I* am not the demographic being targeted either.

This happens all the time – I guess it has to do with some desire we have to feel as though we understand the average person’s mindset and that we represent the common opinion on the street.  The problem is – it’s increasingly hard to identify “the average person” anymore.

Not only that, but whomever he/she is, none of us is likely representative of them (particularly where I work where most of the employees have advanced degrees – relegating them to a tiny ten percent of the US population, not at all representative of the median).

Instead of going with your gut – trust the data instead.  Save your gut for the creative portions of the campaign where it will be needed.

2. You think we should advertise somewhere because it’s a “special” promotion targeted right at our industry.

I hate to break it to you, but every two-bit media entity worth its salt has created bogus “special interest” offerings as a marketing ploy to appeal to advertisers.  There are “special editions” for everything now – and they even come out more than once a year.

To make matters worse, there are even entire organizations created solely for the purpose of selling worthless advertising to rubes who think they’re reaching someone.

A great example of this is the “Who’s Who” listings or “Internet Directories” for special topics.  When was the last time you looked anyone up in a “Who’s Who” book?  Carter was probably president.  The same goes for special “directories” online; as the power and accuracy of search has improved, it has rendered the need for curated directories obsolete.  You’re far better off taking all of that time and money and putting it into writing a blog to push up your rank in Google.

On Payola: By the way – if the “special promotion” includes freebies to the people buying the advertising (say, event tickets) – if you take those, it’s unethical and potentially grounds for firing at many institutions.  It constitutes a conflict of interest for you to spend money that isn’t yours in order to get something free.  You may even want to check with your Purchasing department because you may be legally-obligated to notify them or turn over that item.

3. You think we should advertise somewhere because they have special pricing available only for a limited time.

The amount of exclamation points that usually accompany the emails for these sorts of requests could fuel a mid-sized city.  Understand that these offers are invariably overvalued.  The reason they’re discounting the air time/ad space is because NO ONE ELSE WANTS IT (and there’s a reason no one else wants it).

The reason these “opportunities” are “special” is because no one else will advertise on them because they don’t reach enough people (or they’re not effective at converting eyeballs into sales).  They’re the advertising equivalent of the bargain DVD bin at Wal-mart – no one wants to own Battlefield Earth which is why it languishes even with a $2.99 price tag.  You’re literally throwing your money away – money that could be better spent with 30 seconds and a credit card on Facebook.

4. You think we should advertise somewhere because our competitors are doing it.

To be sure, there is absolutely value in benchmarking what one’s competitors are doing.  However, following the herd can be problematic for a variety of reasons.

  • First, if the herd is already there – it’s a diluted marketplace for ideas.  You’ll be trying to make noise while everyone else is trying to make noise – no one is going to hear it.  The Law of Diminishing Returns absolutely applies to advertising.
  • Second, the herd doesn’t know anything you don’t already know.  They’re not privy to some mystical insight – particularly the more members of the herd are engaging in this communal behavior the more likely it is to be outmoded because the soft middle has arrived.
  • Third,

5.  You think we should advertise somewhere whether or not we can track the response.

Media Consumption Trends 2001-2010Measurement is just as critical as Communication in a marketing/pr plan.  If you’re not worried about how we’re going to gauge the response to our efforts – I’M worried about your fitness for your job.

If you can’t find a way to verify whether or not something worked – why would you do it?  Would you have a surgery if you had no way of telling whether or not it was successful?  Would you enter a competition that didn’t track how you placed?

It’s not fun and it’s not sexy, but it is an imperative that we develop some way of measuring how many people are converted by our efforts.  Given how wildly media consumption habits are shifting right now – it’s even MORE important than any time in the past half-decade.

Moreover, ENTIRELY NEW forms of advertising are emerging all the time.  What worked this year may not work at all next year – and it’s important to track that progress.

In Summary

So “Backseat Marketers,” please – we need your input but keep it constructive and focused on the content that you are experts on.  Recycle the faxes you get with radio discounts on them instead of forwarding them to us.  Defer questions from ad sales reps to us and let us handle them (instead of allowing them to create confusion, conflict and division within our organization just because they work on commission).

Case Study: Kids’ Food Basket “Toyota 100 Cars for Good” Social Media Campaign Results

August 24, 2011 1 comment

Andrew Zimmern Retweets Adrienne Wallace's Appeal for KFB

As promised, here is the analysis of the social media campaign used to help win Grand Rapids-based nonprofit Kids’ Food Basket a much-needed delivery truck from Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good” campaign.

To show all the public relations majors out there that “Management by Objective” isn’t just an esoteric concept you memorize in a PR 200 class and subsequently forget, I’ve framed the analysis of the campaign in terms of the “RACE” acronym (Research, Action, Communication, Evaluation). Read more…

Flexing Your Social Network to Tag-Team Hunger With a Flying Elbow From the Third Turnbuckle

June 22, 2011 1 comment

Giving Hunger a Flying Elbow From the Third Turnbuckle (Ooh yeah)

Here’s an inspiring social media story for you:

For her birthday, my S.O. Adrienne Wallace decided to raise money for Kids Food Basket (a fantastic charity here in Grand Rapids).  She happened on the fundraising platform “Causes” that offers a robust set of features that plug directly into social networking tools like Facebook and set a modest goal of $500 in contributions in lieu of gifts for herself.

Causes accepts a variety of social media-friendly donation methods, offers fun and valuable analytics to engage one’s audience (tracking who was first to give, who gave most recently, who gave the most, and offers a chance for people to become “Sidekicks” by spreading the message beyond Facebook by emailing five other friends).  It also offers anonymity if donors desire that, and it allows the organizer to personally thank each donor. Read more…

38 Twitter Tools and Resources

February 16, 2011 3 comments

Over a year ago, I created a list of tools for using Twitter more effectively, and it’s high time it was updated and broadened.    Below is an updated and organized list of tools to enhance your microblogging experience.

Twitter Analytics Tools
(for better understanding the use of Twitter – bear in mind that their analysis can be dodgy depending on how much of a user’s history of tweets they’re able to access at the time)

  • Klout ( a tool that provides comprehensive analysis about a user using a variety of metrics.
  • Trendistic ( a tool that organizes and graphs tweets over time (though the time frame is limited).
  • Trendrr ( a service (fee-based after 16 profiles) that tracks and analyzes and graphs a variety of search tools (news sites like Google News, blog sites like IceRocket and Google BlogSearch, and other sites like Flickr, YouTube and Ebay).
  • TweetPsych ( builds a profile of a particular Twitterer based on the content in their Twitter feed.  (Also has a companion tool for websites:
  • TweetStats ( graphs stats about a given Twitter account such as tweets over time, what interface was used to post the tweets, and who a user most commonly replied to.
  • TweetStream ( this service provides very limited analytics (basically a series of counts) – however it also allows you to automatically archive all of your tweets from a variety of Twitter profiles (and it gives you combined stats for your multiple profiles).  It’s also a low-cost annual service.
  • Twends (  A tool that not only tracks mentions of a particular keyword over time, but graphs and analyzes that data a variety of ways (including by using an algorithm to guess at whether or not mentions are positive or negative).
  • Twitaholic ( a tool that counts a user’s tweets and ranks them in comparison to other users.
  • Twitalyzer ( an interesting analytical tool that uses a different set of categories to analyze a Twitterer’s presence.  They include influence (a composite that includes # of followers), signal (how much of your tweets are info vs. anecdote), generosity (how much you retweet), velocity (how frequently you post) and clout (how often people cite your posts).
  • Twitority ( Ranks Twitter users by authority on terms/keywords.
  • Twitter Charts ( an aggregator that uses Yahoo Pipes to create an interesting visual display of a specified Twitterer’s posts over time.
  • Twitter Counter ( a tool that provides comprehensive analytics as well as a few other features that grease the skids for you to promote yourself and find others to follow.
  • Twitter Grader ( applies an algorithm to rate how influential a particular Twitterer is based on factors like their number of tweets, how recently they’ve posted, and how many followers they have (and how powerful those followers are).
  • Xefer ( Maps the days of the week and times of the day that a user tweets, in addition to listing/ranking the other users that person has contact with.

Twitter Follower Management
(for visualizing/managing relationships)

  • FollowCost ( a great tool that shows you a comparison how how much it “costs” you to follow a particular person (ie what their proportion of tweets is to yours).  Warning – doesn’t always work.
  • Friend or Follow ( a way to find out who you follow that doesn’t follow you back (I hesitate to post this – the whole idea that one should follow a follower as a courtesy gesture is idiotic).
  • Qwitter ( primarily used for monitoring who unfollows you on Twitter, but also provides analytics data and alerts you to spambots/users.
  • UnTweeps ( allows you to organize all of the people you follow by their last tweet so you can unfollow the dead accounts or people who don’t regularly use Twitter (which, ostensibly, would improve your ‘influence’ ranking).

Twitter Clients
(software/apps for More Effectively Using Twitter – you don’t have to take my word for it though; Mashable did a great comparison of 19 of these tools here)

  • CoTweet ( CoTweet actually offers a variety of services, but for Twitter they provide the ability to have multiple users manage a single Twitter account (including a workflow process for people to respond to messages that have been assigned to them).
  • Destroy Twitter ( A simple, stripped-down Twitter client for your desktop.  It gets the job done in a clean interface, but it has some limitations (the navigation is a bit clunky, and you can’t be logged into multiple accounts simultaneously and toggle between them).
  • Digby ( Like TweetDeck and Hootsuite, Digby lets you manage not only Twitter, but many other social media presences as well.  There have been security concerns raised about it in the past, but it doesn’t appear to be impeding its use/adoption. This service also allows you to syndicate a single message to a variety of social media platforms with one click.
  • Echofon ( formerly Twitterfon and Twitterfox, this is a superb client that is available as an app for smartphones, or as an add-on for Firefox.  I use it every day.  Literally.
  • GroupTweet (  clever utility that allows a group of people to communicate in private by syndicating Direct Messages that are only visible to specified users.
  • Hootsuite ( A web-based application that allows you to manage multiple social media presences (including Twitter).  It allows for things like scheduling, tracking, etc.  I have had trouble with Hootsuite screwing up scheduled posts before – so fair warning.  This service also allows you to syndicate a single message to a variety of social media platforms with one click.
  • TweetDeck ( the grand-daddy of all Twitter clients, Tweetdeck has a rich feature set and allows you to manage multiple social media platforms in one interface.  It can also be a bit overwhelming – especially if you’re doing something simple.  It allows for scheduling, tracking, etc.  This service also allows you to syndicate a single message to a variety of social media platforms with one click.
  • TweetGrid ( a browser-based client that allows you to display a variety of Twitter streams on a single page (in grid form).
  • TwitToaster ( a service that aggregates tweets that are all part of a single conversation (nesting them visually like a discussion board) as well as providing statistical analysis.
  • UberTwitter ( by far the best Twitter client for Blackberry phones.  Rich feature set, easy navigation, lots of customization, and it’s very inexpensive – only $5/year.

Twitter Search Tools
(for mining information):

  • Monitter ( a Twitter search tool that provides an interface for managing multiple searches.
  • TweetAlarm ( search tool that alerts you when keywords are tweeted – allows real-time updates (however I’ve had problems with it missing a lot of tweets and not consistently notifying me).
  • TweetBeep ( a search tool that will alert you when keywords are tweeted (limited in that it doesn’t allow real-time notifications – only once per day).
  • TweetMeme( tracks, sorts and organizes mentions of a particular keyword (limited to the past week).
  • ViralHeat ( a fee-based service that searches for, tracks and graphs keyword mentions about a particular keyword or username.

Twitter Directories / Indexes:
(for finding like-minded people and promoting yourself)

  • Just Tweet It ( a directory of Tweeters sorted by category.
  • Twellow ( a yellow pages directory of Twitterers.
  • TwitterCounter (  provides a count of your followers, and also serves as a directory for listing oneself by keywords/categories.
  • Twitter Chat Schedule: a fantastic use of the cloud; it’s a Google Docs spreadsheet with detailed information about over 300 different Twitter chats going on (for the uninitiated, you participate in a Twitter chat by following a particular moderator  and responding/watching a hashtag which allows you to see and be seen by everyone else following the chat).  There’s also a profile on Twitter that tracks and tweets about upcoming chats @ChatSchedule – but their list isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the Twitter Chat Schedule.
  • WeFollow ( a directory of Twitterers; probably one of the most popular.  It also provides some level of analytics in that it compares you to people in other categories by two metrics – sheer number of followers and influence.

If you’re interested, it’s a bit outdated, but here’s a great mapping of the Twitter infrastructure is provided here by Brian Solis.

“Wikileaks is …”: Public Opinion in the US on the Wikileaks Release

December 9, 2010 2 comments
Google "Wikileaks is..." Sentiment

Google "Wikileaks is..." Sentiment

Related to my previous post, one of the other fascinating things to observe about the Wikileaks release of cables from the US to other foreign governments is how the event seems to serve as a blank canvas upon which people can paint their own perspective.

I don’t watch much of the traditional newsmedia, but it seems as though the US public isn’t really of a single, cohesive mind on the case.  This would make sense given that audiences continue to fragment, and the news sources selected by most in the US cater to their particular flavor of opinion.

Check out what Google’s analytical tools show people searching for when referencing Wikileaks:

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It would be interesting to see what context/terms the people of OTHER nations are using to search for Wikileaks information – I’d enjoy seeing screen caps or other analytics data if anyone has it.

A Matter of Taste: Millennials and MP3s

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Jonathan Berger (professors at Stanford) tests his students aural sensibilities by polling them about which forms of audio they like the best.  The surprising result is that, to the disdain of audiophiles everywhere, they increasingly prefer the tinny, crispy sound produced by compressed music formats like MP3.

Why?  – It’s what they’ve been raised on.

A Matter of Taste: Millennials and MP3s

Appreciators of virtually anything (cinema, music, food) hearken back to the familiar.  It’s a very primal component of the human condition.

Consider: if Millennials prefer their audio crispy, in spite of the fact that every audio tech could rant for four hours straight about all of the deficiencies in the MP3 format, what else might they prefer because of what they’ve been raised on?

  • Might that explain their lack of concern about protecting their personal privacy and leaping into social networking sites with a reckless abandon that sometimes compromises their job prospects?
  • Might that explain their disdain for copyright laws?
  • Might that explain their relative disinterest in the traditional media?

To really engage people, you need to embrace the philosophy that the ways they communicate aren’t right or wrong – they’re a matter of taste.  The sooner you can reframe your thinking, the healthier your relations with those who don’t fit into your generational category will be (or any other demographic feature).  That’s especially important at a time where we have the most diversity in the age of the working population in the history of our species.