The Importance of Objectives in Analytics

“Imagine a tiled mosaic, in which each tiny tile represents a unit of data. At close range, we’re limited in the information we can gather, focused on the attributes of individual tiles. But only when you absorb and compute on the entirety of the data, can you see the deeply insightful patterns.”

Unfortunately, this quote was anonymous, but I loved the concept because there’s a difference between knowing what the data you’re gathering means and then knowing how to make that data meaningful to you and your social media strategy. As I pointed out in an earlier post, there are so many types of data you can glean from your live broadcasts, and what you’ve no doubt seen with your social media channels.

The number one question to consider before you begin tracking your data, is what are you hoping to get from your live streaming broadcasts? What are your objectives, what are your business goals? What do you hope to accomplish with your live broadcasts?

I know this seems like an overly simple question, but until you’ve answered it, how will you know what to measure? Or what data to gather? And before you answer with “I want to get more followers,” or “I want to make more sales,” because I hear those all the time–I want to ask you to BE MORE SPECIFIC.

Come up with something like this; “I want to build an audience of online entrepreneurs who use live streaming along with social media channels including blogging to increase their audiences and build loyal customers.” Now, I know this goes back to targeting, but it’s exactly what you need to establish before gathering data. Otherwise, you’re collecting data that’s providing you with numbers that don’t take you anywhere, that don’t help you steer your strategy.

I liken it to a captain on a crab boat–think of a captain who’s steering his ship trying to find the crab. He could drop his crab pots all over the Bering Sea just trying to find a couple that produced crab, then set all his pots in that area. If he set 100 pots in 50 different areas, that’s a lot of time he’ll be driving around and not pulling many pots. But he doesn’t do it that way. He relies on the knowledge from years’ past data–where are the crab if the weather is warm, where are they if the weather’s cold. What direction should they be traveling at this time of year…the list goes on and on. He uses the data he’s gathered in the past to make a pretty good guess of where he should start. And then he makes changes to his strategy, based on the findings (the data). This is exactly what you should be doing with your live streaming and social media strategy.

For instance, if you optimize for clicks or email signups, you’ll track differently than if you optimize for sharing. Depending on what your goal is, the data you track will be different. The data should be actionable and give you the clues you need to make changes that will help you reach your goals.

Metrics just for the sake of metrics isn’t what you need. You should be telling a story with your data.

After you’ve chosen on your objective, decide on the timeline that is most valuable to you. How often will you report your ROI–weekly, monthly, quarterly or from campaign start to end? In my experience with employers and clients, I’ve found that most managers want to see the data in established time periods such as a week to week or month to month. Weekly, monthly or quarterly is a good way to keep track of your overall growth.

However, I suggest that you use campaign numbers, because objectives can change from campaign to campaign. Making the periodic numbers less insightful because you may not always be measuring for the same insights. Campaign numbers can offer you the social proof based solely on your objective to help you decipher what’s working and what’s not.

Stay tuned for my next installment where I’ll show the difference between vanity, actionable, and comparable metrics and get into how to use them to work towards your objective.



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