By Mira Kuhar, certificate student coordinator
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “analytics,” “data,” and “reporting” countless times when talking about social media. We all have a slight idea of what these things mean, but it’s difficult to truly understand them unless you’ve experienced them first hand. Dealing with analytics can seem like a daunting task; making sense of numbers and quantitative data of this nature can be confusing.
This semester, the Scripps College of Communication and the Social Media Certificate are excited to welcome the course, “Social Media Analytics” to the college and certificate! This class is taught by Dr. Khan, an Assistant Professor in the School of Media Arts an Studies. His areas of expertise include digital engagement, social media analytics and user generated content. He is also in the works with the college to create a social media analytics interactive lab for students to use to understand social media analytics at an even deeper, hands-on level.
To begin understanding this facet of the social media world, it’s good to start small and simple. Here are three ways to begin dabbling in analytics that may put you ahead of the curve:
1. Check out your own personal Twitter analytics
A few years ago, Twitter rolled out their own organic analytics reporting function. This is great because it requires no additional sign ups, just a few clicks of a button from your Twitter profile on your computer browser. Some strengths of this include a 28-day summary of your activity, your total Twitter impressions, top tweets and top mentions. You can also delve a little deeper by seeing the exact engagement of specific Tweets and who your audience is comprised of. Getting comfortable with your own Twitter analytics is a great step because when you go to work with a brand or company, you’ll be familiar with how to track their Twitter analytics as well.
2. Hootsuite analytics are FREE
If you’ve never used Hootsuite before, I suggest signing up for it right now! It’s a great way to schedule content so you don’t have to click the “post” button every time you want something to be pushed out to your audience. Hootsuite allows you to see analytics for both Facebook and Twitter, but in a more robust manner than each platform’s organic analytics program. One perk of Hootsuite’s analytics reporting is that you can actually track your shortened links and see who is engaging with what. This is critical because when pushing out content to your followers, you can see what is working and what might need to be adjusted. Sign up today and play around with your own personal account; it’s free and extremely user friendly!
3. Take the FREE Google Analytics online course
In this day and age, when working in social media or marketing in general, it’s almost a necessity to know how to use and be very familiar with Google Analytics. Many companies use it because it’s one of the top analytics tracking tools and you can use it for just about anything. The great thing about this program is that Google offers a FREE online course that allows you to learn the ropes and functions of all it has to offer. You even get a certificate at the end to prove that you’ve gone through the training. Doing this can set you lightyears ahead of others because you’ll already have a base knowledge of the program without ever using it before.