How to Turn ‘Nice to Know Data’ Into Actionable Insights


As a communicator on social media, you have access to virtually any amount of data you can stand to collect. Naturally, you have to measure your PR efforts, and you need data to do that, but more data doesn't necessarily mean better measurement. Too many numbers can sometimes lead to confusion, not enlightenment, and leave you with no clear picture of your communications performance.

Andrew Bates
Andrew Bates, analytics advisor, social media, AARP

Knowing what data to pull and measure does not have to be a mystery. Andrew Bates, analytics advisor, social media at AARP and speaker at PR News' Measurement Conference in Chicago on November 18, shares some points to consider when pulling data for analysis.

Actionable insights are different from facts and data. Numbers are only “nice to know” until they are applied to the marketing needs of your organization. Leadership cannot make business decisions based on total numbers of impressions or high-level engagement metrics. Understanding the audiences’ responses and opinions are what provide the context needed to evolve strategies.

Likes and favorites are valuable, but shares and retweets are better. Likes indicate that your audience is interested in your content. Shares show that your audience supports your content. When they share it with their contacts, they are advocates for your organization.

Content marketing is not direct response advertising, but it can be tied back to ROI.  Content topics that resonate can become keywords for SEO or paid search. Visits to the website can drive conversion and can create leads. Content marketing is a top funnel activity that drives awareness and builds trust.

To learn more about this and other measurement topics, join PR News for its Measurement Conference, taking place in Chicago on November 18. 

Follow Andrew Bates on Twitter: @AndrewBates

Follow Richard Brownell on Twitter: @RickBrownell