graphical representation of social media clicks

Understanding the Free Analytics Report in Hootsuite

Hootsuite click summaryIf you’ve been using Hootsuite (aff.) to streamline your time on social media, it’s time to look into the analytics that Hootsuite provides. After all, if you’re not measuring your efforts, how do you know what to keep doing and what to stop doing? Hootsuite provides a fair bit of information to users under a free report and you can buy other modules that go into more detail if you need it. If you haven’t checked out the analytics yet, start by clicking on the button in the left sidebar.

The free report is called the Ow.ly Click Summary. Click on that template and select the Twitter handle for which you want to create the report. Click “create report” and you’ll be taken to a live draft of your report. It automatically looks at the last two weeks of activity, but in the top left corner you can change the date range. I prefer to look at these reports on a monthly basis, but in some cases weekly works better.

While you can rearrange these modules in a different order, the first one that comes up is your ow.ly click report. This shows how many times your links, shortened through Hootsuite, were clicked.
ow.ly click report

What can you tell by looking at this module? There are spikes of activity on certain days. When I look at those days I usually can see what has interested people. July 8th, for example, is a Monday and I normally post a blog review on Mondays. If you can’t immediately figure out what may have caused the spike, check out another module further down (I’m skipping one and will come back to it.)

most popular links

Now I can see exactly what content resonated with my audience. Sure enough, two of those days were due to me posting out links to my blog. The big one was an article that people found interesting. By watching these statistics you can learn what types of articles your audience likes to read. You can also use this to split-test headlines for your own content. Just create two different posts for your weekly blog, shorten the link twice and then wait for the report to show you which one more people clicked on. Easy peasy.

Going back up one module, you’ll see where your audience is coming from. Depending on your business, this information may or may not be useful. Unfortunately you can’t drill down any closer than country, so if you’re a small, local Halifax business, knowing that most of your clicks are coming from Canada is nice, but not so useful. On the right, you’ll see “Top Referrers” which can be useful in showing you where your traffic is finding your link. If you find that most of your clicks are coming from Facebook, not Twitter then you might decide to focus your efforts more on Facebook. Or you might decide to double-down on Twitter to improve your engagement there.

referring traffic in Hootsuite

You might find that most of your clicks are falling under the “direct click” category, like mine. This means you have an app-savvy audience. If a user clicks on your ow.ly shortened link in Facebook or Twitter, it will count there, but if it is clicked in something like Tweet Deck, an app, Hootsuite can’t necessarily tell where that click is coming from and counts all such clicks together.

You can also pull up the stats on any single link shortened through Hootsuite, by choosing the URL Click Stats template. So, if you want to know how your campaign to sell widgets is going, make sure you shorten the links through Hootsuite and use a report to track it.

This is just one of the free report templates you can set up for your account. The other very useful one for many businesses is the Twitter Profile Overview, however, there is currently an ongoing problem with the TwitterCounter statistics and you will not get an updated view of your Twitter following on any of the Twitter reports.

I have my reports set to come to my e-mail on the first day of each month so I don’t forget to run them. They arrive as a PDF ready for viewing, download and sending out to my clients. Now, there’s a bit of automation I DON’T mind!

HootSuite Social Media Management for Business. Manage and measure your social media.

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