COM0015, Blog 1: Measurement is what you make of it

By: Bryan Thiel

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past year at Algonquin, it’s how to measure my social feeds.

Admittedly, before I began this course, I thought Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest were easy: Post, get a like a comment or a retweet, and maybe interact a time or two. After all of that, if it looks like people enjoy it, wait for the followers to roll in.

I learned very quickly that a monitoring ‘strategy’ that basic won’t work if you want to be really successful in the constantly evolving online world. You have to know where you’re looking and what you’re looking for.

And if you aren’t specific at first, you’ll quickly learn to be.

The two measurement tools I gained experience using were Twitter analytics and WordPress’ statistics. As I gained an understanding of what to do and how to measure it, I learned how to find out where my posts were going, who was finding them the most interesting, and what my optimal times to post were.

newfrymoneySince that introduction, I’ve gotten more familiar with Feedly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite, eventually finding Hootsuite to be my favourite (To the point that I’ve nearly caved and turned over my credit card).

In terms of news updates, I can’t imagine a world where I’ll never favour Twitter. Despite the 140 character limit (Which sometimes, although frustrating, I have fun embracing the challenge), I find it’s the fastest way to the news that I want. While you can let the list of who you’re following get out of hand, apps like Tweetdeck help to streamline the experience.

Additionally, I’ve found BuzzFeed to be a surprisingly convenient news source.

The reason why it’s surprising? Because I didn’t think it would ever get beyond random quizzes and lists that don’t really do…or tell you…anything.

But as it’s grown, I’ve found that BuzzFeed has started to incorporate actual news and events into it’s coverage, while also providing extensive recipes and DIY projects.

As someone who enjoys both of those things, you can see the appeal.

The other thing that has drawn me back to them, has been their use of social media. Granted the content or prospective titles makes some links more clickable than others, but their use of video on Facebook with links tracking back to the original articles and website has lead to plenty of exposure and circulation.

Overall, the attraction of a measurement tool is the same as a social media platform or news source: Is the layout clean and easy to understand? Does it present the information in an easily-digestible format?

If it meets those criteria, you may have a winner on your hands.

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