Metrics and Measurement

Why are metrics important?

Use metrics to measure the impact of your communications efforts. Choose metrics that match the goals and objectives of your strategy.

Step 1. Start with a plan

Consider how much time you can devote to measuring the impact of your content. It’s okay to start small. Determine:

What questions to answer

Example:

Are videos worth the extra production cost?
How should we promote our next campaign?
What’s the best time of day to post?

Measurable performance indicators

Google analytics and most social networks provide some analytics for free. If you don’t have a budget, you can limit your indicators to these free analytics.

Example:

Engagement, engagement rate

Roles and responsibilities

Who will manage analysis and evaluation, collect data, analyze data, prepare and disseminate reports. Use a RACI for complex teams.

Example:

Communicator will collect and analyze data and assign members of content team to prepare a report

Timeline

Determine the period over which you’ll collect results.

Example:

At the end of our current campaign, we’ll look to see what has been most effective over the past month

Next steps

How will you use the results of your analysis?

Example:

If our video engagement rate is 30% higher than posts with photos, we’ll make a video for our next campaign.

Step 2. Measure

Collect and document metrics as planned.

Step 3. Analyze

Look for trends in your metrics, both within a short time span and over weeks. Then, start to answer questions you laid out in your measurement plan.

Quantitative analysis might include:

  • Number of people involved
  • Number of posts overall, average number of posts, highest and lowest number of posts
  • Amount of time participants spend with the engagement

Qualitative interaction analysis might consider:

  • Demographic profile of your participants compared to your target audience
  • Discussion coherence on convening topic vs. focus on extraneous topics
  • Amount of exchange among participants rather than ‘monologue’ posts
  • Participant satisfaction and desire to stay involved
  • Extent to which project goals and outcomes were achieved 

Step 4. Adjust

Measuring isn’t useful if it doesn’t affect your communication strategy. Use your findings to adjust your strategy and measure again.

Analytics glossary

Google analytics

Bounce rate - percentage of visitors who leave your site after only viewing one page
Sessions -  total number of visits
Pages/Session -  average number of pages viewed per session
Average session duration -  How long visitors stayed on your site on average
Conversion - A completed activity that’s important to the success of your department
Event - type of hit used to track user interactions with content. Eg: download, ad click
Pageviews - total number of pages viewed
Segment - Subset of sessions or users that share common attributes
Learn more from the Google Analytics Help Centre

Facebook

Reach - number of people who saw your post
Likes (reactions) - number of people who hit the like button
Comments - number of people who commented
Shares - number of people who shared your post with their own friends or followers
Video views - number of people who have watched at least X seconds of your video
Engagement - number of likes, comments, and shares combined
Engagement rate - number interactions divided by the reach

Twitter

Followers - number of people who follow your account
Impressions - number of people who saw your tweet
Retweets - number of people who shared your tweet
Engagement - number of interactions combined
Engagement rate - number of interactions divided by impressions

Instagram

Likes - number of people who liked your post
Video views - number of people who viewed your video
Followers - number of people who follow your account