Are Social Analytics boring?

My name is Adam Morton and I’m a trainee at Dig Media Limited. During my five-week placement I have done a number of tasks, but I’m here to talk to you about… analytics (I know, it doesn’t sound interesting, but stay with me).

The definition of analytics is the ‘the systematic computational analysis of data or statistics.’ Still with me? Good. I’m going to show you that analytics can be vital for an organisation and that it really isn’t as dull as it sounds. I promise.

At some point in our lives, all of us have been a victim to ‘scrolling’ down a social media platform, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. You think you’ve been scrolling for five minutes when it’s actually been an hour, watching videos of cute dogs and seeing what your Auntie Pat had for lunch.

But were you aware that every click on a post, every view of a video, every click on a profile etc. are all recorded and used to try and get more clicks, views and profile visits? This is where analytics comes in and blows you away. A very simple way for analytics to be explained is that it helps to show an organisation what is working and what isn’t with regards to gaining views, followers and clicks. For example, if everyone seems to be turning off your video after two seconds, it clearly isn’t gauging their interest and they would rather see Auntie Pat’s Caesar salad.

While I’ve been at Dig Media Limited, part of my job has been to record this data for all social media channels on a spreadsheet in order to see what is working and what should be changed/tailored in order to get more engagements on our posts. The more people who see our posts the better, and that is exactly what analytics helps us to achieve — eventually! As an example, data we have interpreted from Facebook has shown us that the audience tends to stop watching videos if they are longer. People literally do sometimes only have the attention span of a goldfish. This could mean that shorter videos in the future might mean more viewers and more people watching the whole video, which would certainly be nice.

There are also other examples, such as the time of the post. Our data tends to show that posting in the afternoon wields better viewing figures than posting in the morning, so waiting until after the clock strikes 12:00pm seems like a good idea in the future. Every little detail matters!

So next time you’re scrolling through the depths of Twitter or Facebook after a long and hard day, just think to yourself — everything you are doing is being recorded and put into a spreadsheet by a random intern in Salford. To try and make sure that you do more clicking and more viewing. It’s the circle of life…

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Dig Media Archive

Dig Media Archive

Cultural archive documenting the performing arts scene in London, Paris and Amsterdam in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Collection curated by Jack Henry Moore.