As I discussed in my previous blog post, in many cases onsite analytics are already deeply embedded into an organisation’s decision making processes, but offsite analytics tend to be on the sidelines. Overall it would seem that onsite analytics have a head start on being aligned with and providing insight, to and for, an organisation.

Offsite analytics, on the other hand, very often seem to be set up to provide operational level information to the respective function owners. In very few cases, offsite analytics seem to be geared up for enabling strategic level business oriented insights. This means that setups and metrics only provide insight to the subject matter expert, with no API (so to speak) to the business decision maker.

Following this reasoning, below are some tips for starting to set up offsite analytics – to make them better (or suck less).

  1. Define your business targets. What are the (business) goals your organisation wants to reach? Are you after more memberships? Alumni donations? Revenue growth, profitability, cash flow? Or something else?
  2. Define your communications and marketing targets. How does your organisation and marketing drive your overall targets? What are the things you need to achieve with your communications and marketing to drive them? More followers, more discussion, more engagement?
  3. Convert your communications and marketing targets to KPI’s – but keep it simple. Monitor only a few, but relevant, metrics. Visualise the KPIs to make them intuitively understandable.
  4. Keep is flexible. You need a system which allows for new plug-ins from both a KPI and tool/API point of view. This way, you are also future proof.
  5. Link onsite and offsite by aligning the metrics of your earned and shared media analytics with your website analytics. For example, how does your reach through social drive your website visits? Aim to map the entire path from investment to revenue.
  6. Tag content whenever possible. This allows for prospect path mapping and causal relationships mapping, minimising the reliance on correlations.
  7. Avoid vanity metrics. Facebook follower growth or newsletter subscriptions alone do not tell you much about how you are helping drive your business. Nor does the growth of Twitter followers by .05% month over month. Go for linkages, causality (customer paths, sales funnel paths) and correlations.