Much of the time, we use analytics or social media metrics to solve problems. We want to increase conversions, stop cart abandonment, improve our rankings, or figure out why the Burbank office isn’t doing as well as the rest.
These metrics can also help us figure out what’s going right so we can do more of it.
One example was when we began tweeting about Spanish language courses in Retail Link, Walmart’s proprietary software. One of our team members spoke Spanish, so he tweeted about the Spanish language classes in Spanish. Made sense to us.
Then we noticed that the Spanish tweets were being clicked on about three times as often as the other tweets. Our first thought was that we were reaching an enthusiastic audience of Spanish speakers. That was our gut feeling — and we know that most marketing decisions are made on the basis of gut feelings.
Don’t stop with gut feelings
Gut feelings may be a good way to develop a hypothesis about what’s moving the needle for your marketing. But you shouldn’t stop there. It makes sense that tweets about classes in Spanish should appeal to Spanish speakers. A good way to do that could be tweeting in Spanish.
Unfortunately, there were other variables in play. The Spanish language tweets were all going out at 4:00 p.m., so it could easily be the time of day rather than the language that increased engagement. It could have been that the classes themselves were the draw and they’d have done just as well in English. Those tweets might just have been especially scintillating.
At this point, we were just noticing and guessing. However, we use Sprout Social, so we were able to run a quick check. With data on the performance of many different tweets on different subjects posted at different times of day, we were able to see what was happening and make strategic decisions.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions
There was the day we had a giant spike of traffic here and might have thought that day’s blog post was just the stuff to give the troops — until we discovered that it was dozen of repeat visits from someone in Gilroy. We still don’t know what was going on in Gilroy that day, but it’s a good thing we didn’t focus on that topic for the following weeks.
When you see something that looks like it’s working well for you, check your data and find out just what’s working so well.
This requires that you keep track. You never know what might turn out to be important information in the long run, so thorough data gathering is a must. Google Analytics and Sprout Social are both tools that collect good quantities of data — enough to allow us to isolate variables and figure out what’s really going on.