Using the Internet to expand your charity is a necessity in the modern world. Social media, email and search engines are all powerful tools for getting your organisation known. A lot of charities are now aware of this and are starting to build an online presence, but there is one aspect that many overlook, analytics.
It’s important to use analytics tools because otherwise how do you know if people are actually listening to what you’re saying across the web? Well, here are a few tools that can help you find out.
Facebook and Twitter are great at building support at a cost-effective rate. All you need is a message and an audience who care. A single tweet can be replicated hundreds of times just by people sharing, therefore amplifying your message across these networks. However, because of this it’s not always easy to place just how effective your social media campaigns are.
Some people just look at the number of followers/fans they have and claim that to be enough. While that may give a quick overview it doesn’t factor in if these followers are actually engaging with you. An active audience of 100, who retweets your messages and communicates with you, can easily be more effective than a larger audience who takes no notice of you. When you also consider that a retweet from someone with 1,000 followers may be worth more than one from one with 100 – working out your impact can get messy quite easily.
Fortunately, there are a couple of free websites that do all the calculations for you. Kloutand PeerIndex are the two most well known social media analytic tools. Both look into how you perform across Facebook and Twitter by analysing the size of your audience, whether they are listening to you and how engaged they are. PeerIndex is the more in-depth of the two, however, Klout is the more user friendly.
Another website that offers in-depth social media analytics is Sprout Social, unlike Klout and PeerIndex it isn’t free, but you do get a lot more for what you pay. Sprout Social seamlessly integrates all the major social network sites into one easy to manage hub and offers a range of customisable and detailed reports that allow you to gain an insight into exactly the type of people that are following you.
There are also some platform specific tools available for both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has it’s own in-website analytics called Facebook Insights, which provides the admins of Facebook Pages and apps with metrics on the performance of their Page or app. Including data on users’ interactions with the Page, the demographics of users and how active the users are.
At the moment Twitter doesn’t have an equivalent analytics tool. However, they have announced that they working on one and it is currently in beta testing. It is rumoured that it will be released in the near future so keep your eyes out. In the meantime though there are a few great third-party tools, such as Socialbro and Tweetstats.
When it comes to getting your message across email is still one of the most effective tools. Almost all charities use it to some degree but few actually know how efficiently they are doing so. One of the best tools for finding out is MailChimp.
Although MailChimp is primarily used for creating newsletters it also has the best analytics of any email service, and, even better, if you have less than 2,000 subscribers, then it’s free. If you have more than 2,000 subscribers then don’t worry as the rates are reasonable and they offer a 15% discount for nonprofits and charities.
The analytics tool offers in-depth metrics on bounce rates, open rates and even on what part of your emails people are clicking. It’s a comprehensive tool that lets you build up a detailed view of your users which then allows you to tailor your newsletters to be more focused and effective.
You can also integrate MailChimp into Google Analytics to provide an even more in-depth coverage your email performance.
Most of the traffic to your site will most likely be from search engines, and more specifically from Google. There are a couple of ways which you can track how well you are doing on Google. The simplest way is just by googling keywords related to your company and seeing what position you place, this simple technique can give you a quick overview of how well you are ranking in terms of search engines.
For more in-depth analysis there is Google Webmaster Tools, a web analytics tool from Google itself. Webmaster Tools provides you with data about how well your website is doing on Google’s search engine, showing you how often your organisation is appearing in searches, which search terms are leading to your website and the number people that click through.
Another great tool is Google Analytics, we’ve talked about Analytics before and with good reason. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for analysing every aspect of your website and this includes how well it performs on Google. Under the Traffic Sources tab in Analytics there is another called Search. This shows you the search results that have been most effective in bringing people to your site and how they have then interacted with it. When combined with Webmaster Tools it gives you a detailed picture of how your company is faring on Google. The best part is that all this can be done in real-time, so you can see up to date stats about who is on your site and what they are looking at.
These are just a few of the tools that can help you get a grasp on the influence of your digital outreach but there are many more. If you want more information then just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to our newsletter.