Posts in the Metrics Category at Socialbrite Social media for nonprofits Mon, 03 Dec 2018 04:29:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3 ways to sharpen your PR measurement skills Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:06:24 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Focus on what you should be measuring so you can streamline your PR measurement tracking

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises

Shonali BurkeWhen it comes to the latest in PR measurement, the mere thought of it may make you feel like it’s impossible to “keep up.” Before you overwhelm yourself, take a deep breath and focus on growing your skills by incorporating these three principles into your regular routine. By focusing on these simple – not to mention, free! – tips to refine your skills, you’ll become a measurement star before you know it!

1. Simplify and Streamline Tracking

As I mentioned in a previous Socialbrite post on creating a measurement program, most of the time we don’t have access to fancy dashboards; because we are often limited by client budgets in the tools we can and cannot use. That’s ok, because I’ve found that the more uncomplicated you keep tracking, the better.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Use an Excel or Google spreadsheet to track outputs and outcomes
  • Making sure the time frame within which you’re tracking different things – e.g. traffic, downloads, purchases, whatever – is the same
  • Watch your Analytics (at the very least, Google Analytics) at the same time, and regularly look to see if there is a correlation between outputs and outcomes.

2. Two Tools to Know and Love

Let me preface this by first reiterating one of my big “don’ts” – don’t get caught up in shiny new measurement tools. Focus on what you should be measuring, as opposed to getting bogged down, overwhelmed, or limited by a tool. That said, there are some tools and techniques that are just crying out to be used.

I’ve already referred to it once, and I’m doing so again: it’s time to become BFFs with Google Analytics and the Google URL Builder. The tracking of URLs has been around in the marketing world for a while now; and it’s something PR pros should know how (and why) to do. Especially for campaigns where you’re driving calls-to-action online, it’s one of the best ways to understand what is driving actions, clicks, downloads, purchases, sign-ups, etc.

After all, it’s only when you know what is and isn’t working that you can adjust your strategy to make it more efficient, effective, and ultimately more successful.

3. Spread Your Measurement Wings

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Just as it’s important to continue to track and measure the growth of a campaign or initiative, it’s equally important to facilitate our own growth as industry professionals… and that means seizing every opportunity for learning when we can.

Here are a few free ways to spread your measurement wings:

  • Read. It’s that simple. By regularly reading smart bloggers who regularly talk about metrics (Lee Odden and Jim Dougherty spring to mind) you’ll be one step ahead on the PR measurement front.

Want to go the extra mile? Make a point to add a couple of smart books to your library. Social Media Metrics by Jim Sterne is one of my faves.

  • Events. Attending or taking advantage of free events seems like a no-brainer, no? Here are just a few:

○      AMEC Measurement Week: presented by Cision (disclosure: client) and Vocus, this free five-day event takes place September 15–19, 2014 in New York City. It will bring together more than 16 speakers who are experts in measurement and analytics across the communication spectrum, and includes keynotes from Mark W. Schaefer and Peter Shankman… and me! Seriously – if you’re going to be in/around NYC next week, you really should attend. Register here, and the hashtag to follow on Twitter will be #AMECatWork.

○      #measurePR Twitter Chat: As the founder of #measurePR, I’m clearly biased, but I’m proud that in its fourth year, #measurePR still connects measurement geeks across the world. From newbies to old hands, they (we) all congregate here… and I hope you will too! #measurePR takes place the first Tuesday of every month, 12-1pm ET (the September chat, however, is on the second Tuesday, Sept. 9, to accommodate returning from the Labor Day holiday).

○      Webinars: Find and participate in free webinars focused on measurement every chance you get. Now, I know it can be tough to find really good webinars (though Cision – and yes, I’m mentioning them again – offers them frequently), so head to PRSA and IABC’s online events calendars to see what they have coming up. That’s a very good place to start.

I hope this helps you get started on spreading your measurement wings. And remember if you’re going to be at AMEC Measurement Week, or drop in at #measurePR, please give me a holler – I’d love to say “hello”!

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4 Facebook metrics your nonprofit shouldn’t overlook Mon, 23 Sep 2013 12:01:31 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Facebook users.

John HaydonYou may have heard of the term “social media ROI calculator.” It refers to a method of figuring out whether you’re getting an adequate return on investment for your organization’s investment in Facebook, blogging, Twitter or other social media.

The trouble is, most of these ROI calculations include factors for investments and gains, but not many include factors for loss. This means that any “collateral damage” of your campaign might often be overlooked.

Let’s consider an example. Imagine you have a fundraising campaign that includes a Facebook component. A partner gives you $2,000 toward Facebook ads. After the campaign is over, you walk away with $20,000 in donations from these ads.

But you also ticked off hundreds of people.

Financial success in this example is one thing, but without considering negative comments received during the campaign, a true ROI calculation can’t be made.

What are the loss metrics in Facebook?


Facebook has four data points that show you how people negatively reacted to your post:

  • Hiding your post
  • Hiding all posts from your page
  • Reporting your post as spam
  • Unliking your page

You can find these in Facebook Insights under the Engagement column.

Why does this matter?

You might be asking why this matters within the scope of growing your community and raising money. Negative feedback shows you how you are hurting the growth of your community (if at all). It also helps you fine-tune your content strategy with a more holistic understanding of your fan base.

What do you think?

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Understanding the big changes to Facebook Insights Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:01:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Facebook administrators.

John HaydonAfew days ago Facebook rolled out a new look to Facebook Insights, including some important changes to its metrics reports. Note that it sometimes takes days, even weeks, for such updates to take effect on all 1 billion Facebook accounts.

In the 10-minute video above, I’ll step you through the changes and what they mean for your organization or nonprofit. Specifically, you’ll learn about all the changes to five main reports:

  1. Overview: Get a 7-day snapshot of the most important activity on your page.
  2. Page Likes: See net likes over time and where your likes come from.
  3. Page Reach: See how many people are seeing your posts over time.
  4. Page Posts: See how people are engaging with your posts.
  5. People: See how your fans are similar and different from people who see and/or engage with your posts.

What do you think of the changes to Insights?

Infographics: Not your grandmother’s pie chart Wed, 15 May 2013 12:11:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

infographics1 M+R

Infographics & data visualization turn data into stories

Guest post by Julia Reich
Principal & Creative Director, Julia Reich Design

JuliaReichMost organizations have important data to present to their clients, members, boards of directors and other constituencies. Yet who has time to read or understand the reports, charts and diagrams created by your overworked staff?

Infographics are a communication trend that’s all about displaying data in an attractive, easily digestible format. With their unique combination of images and words, infographics are a powerful storytelling tool. It’s a way to take all that data you’ve collected about the great things your organization does and use it for social good purposes – to illustrate timelines, histories, relationships, the impact of a program and much more.

Removing a barrier to understanding

Ceci Dadisman, the director of marketing and public relations at Palm Beach Opera in West Palm Beach, Fla., used an infographic to promote her group’s 50th Anniversary Season. She says, “Opera, ballet and symphony are such complicated art forms. We are always trying to explain it simply in a nonthreatening way. Infographics  are a good way to explain what opera is with some facts anyone could understand.”


Jeff Ferzoco should know. As the creative and technology director at Regional Plan Association in New York – an 85-year-old advocacy group focused on urban research and planning in the tri-state area – it’s his team’s job to sift through mountains of data and figure out the best way to arm policy-makers and citizens with the knowledge they need to move the conversation forward about a particular project.

“Busy people don’t want to spend too much time to unravel complicated information, so if it’s explained at a level that’s instantly understandable and emotionally satisfying, you’ll have a lot more success getting your message across. It removes a barrier to understanding,” he says.

Infographics for reports, newsletters, videos, blog posts

Nonprofits are using infographics in a multitude of ways, such as in reports, newsletters, with a blog post, or in a video.

The marketing team at Open Arms, based in Minneapolis – an organization that  cooks and delivers free meals for individuals too ill to provide for their own nutritional needs – created several infographics last year for their 2010 annual report.



infographic - open arms

Kelly McManus is creative director at Open Arms and Susan Pagani is the Communications Director. They say that scattering the report with several infographics was a strategic decision they made together. “We wanted it to be more accessible to everyone – not just those who read the entire report cover to cover. Before, it was onerous to read. This has brought a level of fun to it.”

Kelly and Susan state they made the annual report more engaging by mixing up the serious statistics that are required to be reported, with more quirky facts – such as how many cookies were baked. This warm, welcoming approach reinforces their brand as well.

How to get started when creating an infographic

To begin an infographic project, it’s important to determine at the outset what your overall goals are, who your audiences are and what message you want to convey. Find the story you want to tell with graphics, and mine your data to locate the facts that support that idea. You will also need to provide text that accompanies the graphics, such as headlines and conclusions.

McManus supports this idea. “Infographics are a team effort. We got started by creating an outline on what messages we wanted to convey and those certain things you have to report on as an NPO, and then there are things we bring in to warm it up in a way our audience would find inspiring. We worked together with different departments to obtain the statistics we needed. Finally, we sketched it out and started creating designs.”

Infographics as a way to boost your site’s SEO

The more compelling the information in your infographic, the more people are likely to share it, like it, mention it – so more traffic gets driven to that page, thereby boosting your page rankings.

Infographics make it possible to tell a complex story in a few words that people can grasp right away

By promoting your piece thoughtfully, you can increase the likelihood of this happening:

  • Optimize with keywords: “Bots” can’t read the text in your graphic (typically a jpeg or png file), but any image inserted on a site can be optimized by adding a title, 3-5 sentence introduction, and “alt text” (that’s text you see in lieu of an image on a site if the image loads slowly) into the HTML code. Use the word “Infographic” in the title. The actual file name should be keyword-rich too (rather than some file naming convention you may use internally). Tip: Google *can* read content in a PDF, so consider posting an alternative file your audience can download.
  • Incoming traffic: Since they are easily shared via email and social networks, infographics drive people back to your site to see the graphic in context to possibly learn more, or get a better, larger view of it. Make it easy for users to share the piece by adding the following buttons: Twitter, Facebook Like, Google +1 and StumbleUpon.
  • Time spent: An informative piece on a topic with wide appeal makes a Web page more interesting, so visitors are more apt to spend time on that page – and that’s a good thing, according to Google’s ever-shifting page-ranking algorithm.

Measuring efficacy is tricky business

The nonprofit marketeers and designers I talked with agree that measuring an infographic’s success is difficult. Instead, Dadisman has a different set of expectations: “We knew we weren’t going to get direct ticket sales from it; it’s more of a mission to further our presence in the community and about opera  in general.” She admits, “It’s hard to measure ROI. The evidence is anecedotal. It’s more of a long-term effort to build brand awareness. We can watch the infographic make its way around the internet with very little effort after the initial posting, so we know people are sharing it and spreading the word.”

At Open Arms, McManus and Pagani agree. “Donations went up last year but we can’t pin it directly to our infographic efforts. We hear a lot of comments – people from other organizations are using the infographics we created to show their own nonprofit how to convey information for donors and volunteers in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

The value of data visualization

The ubiquity of mobile devices means more and more data streams are flowing all around us, with a need for that information to be processed, delivered and understood. And with people becoming more design-savvy over time, there’s a demand for visual clarity and accessibility. Infographics are a tool that can use data in an attractive and engaging way to provide value to your organization.

Dadisman appreciates the impact infographics have had on her marketing efforts and plans to create more in the future. “It is the vernacular right now. Most people are visual learners. The arts are perfect for this form of communication.”

Especially for nonprofits, McManus and Pagani concur that “Infographics make it possible to tell a complex story in a few words that people can grasp right away. They’re great for nonprofits to tell a  story that will resonate with your audience. Telling people their dimes are being put to good worth – that is the ultimate value.”

Julia Reich is the principal and creative director of Julia Reich Design, a design and branding firm for nonprofit organizations, progressive businesses and educational institutions based in central New York state. This article originally appeared on the NTEN blog and we thought it rocked!

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25 SMART social media objectives Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:11:28 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


How nonprofits can use SMART goals to chart impact

Guest post by Beth Kanter
Beth’s Blog

beth-kanterUsing SMART objectives for nonprofit communications strategies is not a new idea. Spitfire’s useful SMART chart planning tool has been used by many nonprofits over the years.

SMART Objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely objectives. The Aspen Institute’s Continuous Progress blog points out they come in three flavors:

Tactical: Tools and techniques
Results: Money, time, or other tangible result that can be converted
Capacity: People, content, workflow, learning

The process includes beginning with identifying intent. Next, make it specific by adding a number, percentage, increase/decrease and a date. Some nonprofits find it hard to do because it takes hitting the pause button. Also, there may be a feeling that one is getting “graded” if they don’t make the deadline or hit the target number. But remember: SMART objectives can be revised along the way.

Some struggle to find an attainable number. Benchmarking, comparing your organization’s past performance to itself, or doing a formal or informal analysis of peer organizations, can help. It also helps to break down your goal into monthly or quarterly benchmarks.

It’s also important to think about what specific metrics are needed to measure along the way. Often, there is too much data collected and not enough sense-making of it. Many organizations think more data is better. It’s best to concentrate on the one or two data points that will help guide improvements and demonstrate results. With social media as with communications strategies, the data points are those that will help measure:  awareness, attitudes, actions, or behavioral change.

Finally, allocating time for a reflection about what worked or what didn’t work based on an analysis of the data is critical. Many nonprofits have not institutionalized this approach. Unfortunately, there is a goldmine of learning lost about lead to success or how to improve results next time around.

Outlining objectives

Here’s a summary of 25 SMART social media objectives (actually, more than 25) from the Leveraging Social Media project with arts organizations:


  • Increase website traffic by 25% by adding social media content starting posting by Nov. 1, 2013.
  • Acquire 100 new donors through Facebook Causes by June 30, 2013
  • Increase email list sign ups through social media channels by 500 names by June 30, 2013
  • Increase the number of gallery visitors who purchase (in person or online) by 20% by June 30, 2013
  • Increase online and print mentions by 25% by June 30, 2013
  • Increase enrollment in classes and workshops by 50% by June 30, 2013
  • Increase exhibition visitors by 15%  by June 30, 2013


  • Increase audience connections through Facebook to 1,000 by June 1, 2013
  • Increase our month to month Post Feedback on Facebook by 25% on average
  • Increase mentions by 20% on Twitter before, during, and after performances for 2013
  • Increase likes and comments with fans on Facebook to three comments per post by June 30, 2013
  • Increase views on YouTube by 50% by January 2013
  • Increase the number of retweets and @replies on Twitter by 20% by Sept., 30, 2013
  • Recruit 40 organizations to join our LinkedIn organization page by June 30, 2013
  • Increase website traffic from Facebook by 20% by Sept. 30, 2013
  • Use Facebook to increase Festival attendance and online program views by 5% by September 2013
  • Identify top 25  influencers on Twitter to  build relationships to help blog, repost, and spread the word about online  program by Sept. 30, 2013
  • Increase the age/ethnicity/gender/income/geographic of Facebook fans by 20%  by June 30, 2013


  • Create video trailers for all productions garnering an average of 100 views per trailer for the 2013-2014 programs
  • Integrate social media across organization staff and ask departments to use it reach goals by 2013
  • Conduct an audience survey to determine where to expand, grow, and diversify social media presence for 2013
  • Create one video per month to tell stories about the impact of our organization by January 2014
  • Recruit 40 organizations
  • Staff members in membership, fundraising, communications, and marketing departments will use social media tools to engage audiences on Facebook page three times per week
  • Conduct surveys at the end of every class and workshop to gather important audience social media usage data and experience with program by June 2013
  • Enhance visual storytelling capacity and diversify type of content shared with a goal of increasing videos by 10%, photos by 20% and text that stimulates comments by 20% by Aug. 1, 2013
  • Create a presence and support active fans on social fundraising sites Crowdrise and by Sept. 30, 2013
  • Create a system to collect, aggregate, and share user-generated content on social media by audiences by Sept. 30, 2013

What if we stepped away from the process of checking off items on our to do list, and spent a little bit of time charting impact of our nonprofit’s social media use? What if we made sure the process for identifying SMART objectives included capacity building, measurement, and reflection?

What are your organization’s SMART social media objectives? How did you determine it? How will you measure them along the way?

Beth Kanter is the co-author of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. She’s presenting at this week’s Nonprofit Technology Conference. This post originally appeared at

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3 analytics tools to gauge your social audience Thu, 01 Nov 2012 12:31:07 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Image by kgtoh on

Listen, implement & measure to keep up with your users’ needs

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, metrics specialists, educators.

Guest post by Ritu Sharma
Social Media for Nonprofits

Like many of the nonprofits Social Media for Nonprofits works with, we were excited by the recent release of Beth’s new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World.

In line with the book’s focus on turning data into knowledge through powerful, insightful measurement and analytics of social media efforts, we wanted to share three simple tips and resources that nonprofits can put to work.

All of these platforms have been profiled at our recent Social Media for Nonprofits conferences, which is about to produce its final U..S program of the year in Seattle on Monday, before we head to New Delhi in December, and then back to New York City, Silicon Valley, Vancouver, plus most other major U.S. markets in 2013.

And now, for those tips and tools:

Get to know your audience

1Want to know what makes your online audience tick? Then check out Simply Measured. In particular, their free reports give you your social audience’s pulse on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and other platforms. There’s a gold mine of intelligence presented in their 8-10 insightful, colorful analysis tools. Learn who your followers are, what issues they care about, which posts are firing up your base, and what types of content are gaining steam and going viral.

Make your website shine

2How can you make your web footprint work for you and complement your social strategy? Nonprofits get free access to Google Analytics, a robust tool that tracks what turns your audience on or off when they land on your site. This tool highlights the behaviors that are most important to understand, including where your audience came from, what content they looked at, how long they stuck around, where you lost them, and to what extent your readers engaged with your content.

Monitor social conversations

3Discover a social treasure of other cause-driven folks like you connecting with like-minded professionals, sharing content, and tracking followers by analyzing your nonprofit’s social media presence. Keep an eye on all your social conversations, wherever they take place, with Sprout Social (think HootSuite on steroids).

Nonprofits can save 50 percent on this low-cost tool, which gives you the ability to engage with your base, strategically search for better followers, identify posts that get superb traction, and of courser, schedule your posts in advance. Note: Pre-scheduling posts should only be used for Twitter and LinkedIn posts, but Facebook de-prioritizes posts scheduled via third party platforms, so that’s a no-no. Thankfully, you can now pre-schedule posts on Facebook directly.

We hope you decide to take advantage of these powerful tools, and that you join us at any of the upcoming Social Media for Nonprofits conferences around the world for more insights, tips, and tools. Come see great speakers like everyone’s favorite, Beth Kanter, plus Guy Kawasaki and senior leaders from leading social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, plus nonprofit executives from National Geographic, American Red Cross, Greenpeace,, Story of Stuff, DonorsChoose, and charity:water. To ensure broad accessibility, we keep conference registration fees down to about $100, including breakfast, lunch, and access to the full-day program. Scholarships are available for smaller nonprofits.

Ritu Sharma is the co-founder and executive director of Social Media for Nonprofits. She is a public speaker, consultant, and event planner and heads up programming, marketing, and event logistics for the series. Previously, she produced Our Social Times and Influence People’s North American Social Media Marketing and Monitoring conference series and started a Web development and social media business, which leveraged an international team of programmers and designers across India, Romania, and the U.S.

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How DoSomething uses data to change the world Mon, 15 Oct 2012 13:02:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Sometimes impact can be achieved without money, an adult or a car

This post was written by Beth Kanter, co-author of the new book Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World. She and co-author KD Paine appear at TechSoup headquarters, 525 Brannan St., Suite 300 in San Francisco on Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Register to attend the free talk.

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Web publishers, general public.

Guest post by Beth Kanter
beth’s blog

The New York-based nonprofit has a big social change goal: To harness the energy of young people 25 and under and unleash it through national campaigns on causes teens care about. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and does not require money, an adult, or a car. Their measurable goal is to get 5 million active teen members engaged in social change campaigns by 2015. They use social media, mobile, and data to reach that goal.

A recent example is their “Pregnancy Text” campaign featured on their quarterly dashboard. This clever sex education campaign is an updated version of the teen pregnancy education program where young people carried eggs around and pretended they were babies. It was a text campaign where teens opted-in to receive texts on their mobile phones from the “baby.” Once they joined (and they could share it with their friends), they received regular annoying text messages at all hours from the “baby”  that poops, cries, and needs their immediate attention.

The team at uses data to determine the program design, key performance indicators, and a hypothesis to be tested.

They looked at survey data from the National Campaign: 87 percent of young people surveyed said it would be much easier for teens to delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents and/or friends. So, success of this campaign would mean that participants talk with their family or friends about the issue and delay sexual activity.

Text messages as a powerful platform for social change

The basic design had those who signed up challenge their friends to take care of a text baby. They could either:

  1. Go to the DoSomething website and select five friends to challenge, or
  2. Challenge friends after reading a quick stat on US teen pregnancy sent via text from DoSomething to its 300,000 mobile subscribers.

Participants who accepted the challenge would then start receiving texts the following morning from the text baby. After completing the challenge, participants were prompted to send it to their own friends. DoSomething also followed up with 5,000 of the users with a text-based survey to measure impact.

DoSomething calculated that texting was 30 times more powerful than email for getting their users to take action

Once they defined their goals and identified the right data collect, here are some of the insights they gleaned, according to Nancy Lublin, CEO, and Jeffrey Bladt, chief data scientist:

  • SMS as a platform: In monitoring engagement per communication channel, they determined that SMS (text messaging) was be 30 times more powerful for getting their users to take action as compared to email.
  • Challenging five friends: They tested various group sizes for SMS experience and have found the a group of six (one “alpha” inviting friends) leads to the highest overall engagement.
  • Research-based messaging: The general messaging for the campaign was based on survey findings that found
    1. Big scare tactics — for example, getting pregnant equals not going to college — were not as effective as highlighting how being a teen parent changes daily life (for example, can’t go to the movies because the babysitter canceled)
    2. A report by the Centers for Disease Control found, “The impact of strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teenagers has been credited with the [recent] teen birth rates decline.”
  • A/B testing: DoSomething pre-tested different messages and frequency of sending the messages to smaller test groups of  teens to optimize the number of messages the baby would send during the day, as well as the content. They ended up doubling the frequency and rewording several interactions as well as building in a response system (so the baby would respond if the teen texted an unsolicited response). The insights from these tests pushed up engagement and likelihood of forwarding at the end.
  • Impact: They did a survey to measure this. One in two teens said participating in the Pregnancy Text campaign made it more likely they would talk about the issue of teen pregnancy with their family and friends.

As you can see from the above insights, DoSomething does more than gather and analyze topline data:

  • 101,444 people took part in the campaign with 100,000 text babies delivered.
  • There were 171,000 unsolicited incoming messages, or one every 20 seconds for the duration of the campaign. During the initial launch period (the first two weeks), a new text message was received every 10 seconds.
  • For every one direct sign-up, DoSomething gained 2.3 additional sign-ups from forward-to-a-friend functionality. The viral coefficient was between 0.60 and 0.70 for the campaign.
  • One in four (24%) of teens could not finish a day with their text baby (texted a stop word to the baby).

I heard Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer at the White House, say this about Big Data at the Mashable Social Good Summit: “Data by itself is useless. I can’t feed my baby daughter data, as much as I’d love to because I love data. It’s only useful if you apply it to create an actual public benefit.”

You can’t do that unless identify your results, collect the right data, and generate insights.

How is your nonprofit using data to change the world? Share in the comments below.

Beth Kanter is co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. She blogs at Beth’s Blog, where she writes how networked nonprofits leverage networks and data for social change. See when their book tour will be in your area.

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5 Google Analytics stats you should be tracking Mon, 01 Oct 2012 13:24:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Stats that you should measure before revamping your tactics

John HaydonIf you want your website to increase the number of email subscribers and new donors on your website, you first have to know what’s currently working (or not) on your website. The best tool for the job is Google Analytics

Here are five important stats to measure with Google Analytics:


1The audience report in Google Analytics will show you how many visits your website is receiving within a specific time period. This report will tell you how well your social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and other marketing strategies are working. But getting visits is just the beginning.


2Within the Audience report, you can learn more about who’s visiting your website, how recently they’ve visited, how often they return, and how many of them are new visitors.


3In Google Analytics, the Traffic Sources Overview will tell you how people are getting to your website. Are they finding you mainly through search? Through referral traffic? Or do they visit directly?

You can drill down into these sources for more details, and then develop strategies to get the most out of each referral source.


4The content reports will help you understand which topics people are most interested in on your website. These pages can (and should) be tweaked to increase new email subscribers, new donors or whatever other conversion goal you have for your website.

You also want to analyze what pages people enter on your site, and which pages they exit. Ultimately, you want some of your top exit pages to be the ones people hit after they join your email list or make a donation.

Social sources

5Google Analytics includes a set of new reports that show where people engage with your content. You’ll be able to see what people are saying in each social network, and learn what type of content works best for each network.

Learn more about Google Analytics

Obviously there’s a lot more to Google Analytics than what you’ve just read. As a next step, check out Google’s getting started webinar below, or sign up for a CharityHowTo webinar — including The Power of Metrics, coming up Oct. 10 by my partner JD Lasica.

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Metrics: Go beyond counting likes and followers Tue, 29 May 2012 13:02:07 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, anyone with a Facebook page.

John HaydonArchers don’t aim at the point halfway between the arrow tip and the target. If they did, they would never hit the bullseye.

In the same way, many nonprofits still focus too much on counting Facebook likes and Twitter followers as if these metrics are the end goal, and then feel frustrated when they’re not getting the results they expected.

Going beyond counting likes and followers means asking a number of quantitative and qualitative questions about:

Reach: 10,000 Facebook fans doesn’t mean you’re reaching 10,000 people. In fact, a Page with 10,000 fans reaches only about 1,700 of their fans with updates.

Surprise, surprise! Additionally, you want to be asking:

  • Who are you reaching?
  • How are you reaching them?
  • How frequently do you reach them per week or month?

Reaction: 10,000 Facebook fans means nothing if they aren’t talking about your nonprofit. And that’s the whole point of your using social media, right?

People who are talking about you are usually a subset of people you’re reaching. Some questions you want to ask about people talking about you are:

  • Who is reacting?
  • Where are they reacting?
  • What are they saying?
  • What are we saying that get’s them talking?

Action: No amount of followers and fans have any value unless you’re converting people. New members, subscribers, donors, etc.

Some questions you want to ask about people you’re converting:

  • Where did they come from?
  • What actions did they take previously?
  • Who is taking these actions?
  • What actions are most important?
  • Are they also talking about us?

Always put goals before metrics

Defining and measuring reach, reaction and actions becomes much easier if your goals are crystal clear. Interestingly, lack of clarity is a big reason why many organizations don’t go beyond measuring fans and followers.

Instead of focusing on metrics first, ask yourself what you ultimately want people to do. Then the metrics come into view.

What do you think?

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Measure social media traffic with Google Analytics Thu, 26 Apr 2012 12:44:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Set up segments to determine who’s sending visitors your way

John HaydonYou know that your nonprofit or social enterprise can use Google Analytics to measure traffic not just from referring websites but from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, right?

The video above will show you how to measure traffic from supporters using social media. It’s based on this recent article on the Social Media Examiner. Some takeaways:

• By clicking on Traffic sources > Referrals in Google Analytics, you can see the number of visits you’re getting via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.

• You can set up Advanced Segments to determine in-bound traffic from multiple sources and combine them into buckets that make sense, like, (Twitter’s url shortener), HootSuite and, or from Facebook and Facebook mobile. You can then see how traffic from Facebook and traffic from Twitter compare.

• You can use the same trick with any landing page on your site, giving you a better sense of who’s coming to that page via social media sources.


Getting the most out of Google Analytics (also at — Socialbrite)

How to measure the effectiveness of your Facebook custom tabs (Socialbrite)

How to set up a metrics program (Socialbrite)

Social media metrics articles on Socialbrite

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