Back to School
(Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017)

School started locally last week. Like every year, my teacher-wife reports that a few students are excited about it – with many others taking the opposing view. I never really excelled in classes until I began work on my Master’s. (Once in college, I bought my books a week before finals so I could return them within seven days for a full refund!) There are two kinds of classes: the necessary ones and the ones I look forward to.

In business or nonprofit work, we are often confronted with necessary jobs – tasks performed because we “must.” Tracking social media or marketing results is like that for most people. It’s true for me. My excitement comes in creating the ad... birthing the big idea... funding a campaign... or solving a long-standing problem.

Since I want to spend as little time with stats as possible, I want only a handful of numbers to track. What metrics matter? Here are my faves:
  • Open Rate:     I like to compare to industry averages. For instance, marketing/advertising emails generate a (pitiful) 13% rate. Some people think Open Rate is only marginally important, but I like to know if my subject line is connecting with my audience.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR):        At what percentage is my audience taking action because of the message sent? Again using industry averages, I only have to beat a 1.4% CTR.
  • Social Media Engagement:        Number of likes are of lesser value than what people are doing with the information – and the ultimate connection is if they share it with their friends and peers.
  • Homepage Bounce Rate:        We want to take our viewers deeper in to the site (our story), but we can’t if they leave immediately from the home page!   
  • Cost Per Click:      ‘Nuff said.
Knowing how each of these changes over time allows me to quickly gauge the health of my marketing efforts.

Blake Conover, President

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