How do you measure your digital activities?

How do you measure your digital activities?

After previously publishing The most effective types of contentThird party web tools you can’t live without, The social media platforms that get the most engagement and What drives the most traffic to your website this is the fifth blog in a series of questions we put to a team of marketers and social media users. Check out their full profiles at the end of the article. 

Measuring your digital activities can often be the forgotten piece of the puzzle.

Taking the time to measure what worked and what didn’t work can be left behind when you are extremely busy just completing your day to day marketing activities and moving onto the next task.

But when your job title includes the words Content Analyst you get pretty excited about this stuff.

So this week we asked our blog series contributors to talk about how they measure their digital activities and the tools that they use to help reveal insights and trends.

Nation Builder 

Elias Hallaj (Australian Labor Party): We use Google Analytics and nation-builder to monitor the website. The “Facebook Insights” feature is also useful.

Adobe Marketing Cloud

Simon McGuinness (Canberra Raiders): All NRL club websites are run through Telstra Bigpond and as such we measure our digital activities by using Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Adobe Marketing Cloud is a brilliant tool which breaks down your most viewed content for any time frame, where in the world users are viewing the content from and for how long they are viewing your content.

For social media we use Facebook and Twitter Analytics which have been effective in enhancing our future social media campaigns.

The NRL also sends out a weekly report of how you rank compared to other clubs in a range of digital measures. This can get highly competitive and drives us to improve our digital numbers.

Social Report

James Tew (Tweet Canberra): For a long time I was using a Google sheet and tracking it manually. It was painful! So I pay $39 a month to, which allows me to track everything on all my networks. It sends me daily updates and I can set goals and schedule posts from the software itself.

Social Interaction

Paul Jurak (Kayak Cameraman): As I’m a social blogger, I gauge growth by the amount of new followers to my sites, the amount of shares, re-tweets and social interaction that takes place.

Through social media I am now making links to professional organisations such as Canon Australia, Visit Canberra, ABC and the Canberra Times.  My aim is to engage people locally and abroad and hopefully they like, share, comment and enjoy my photography.

It’s all about communication and with the digital world we live in, this allows us to do just that.

Google Analytics and Facebook Insights

Julian Harrison (Events ACT):  We monitor our websites and marketing campaigns using Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

Social Report

Laura Haddock (University of Canberra): We try to measure our activities using the SMART criteria; ensuring that our goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related. In terms of metrics we have a strong focus on engagement and reach. We measure overall engagement, relative engagement rate (measuring the ratio of engagement per number of followers on each platform gives the ability to compare success across platforms), reach, increase in engagement and reach, increase in followers and referrals to the website, just to name a few.

We use a mix of tools to measure our activities including Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook Insights and tailored reports from iSentia.

You can’t beat Google Analytics

Adrian Hall (Engineers Australia): Google Analytics is great and free; add Demographic tracking to that and a whole new world of data is there to be explored. The ‘Campaign’ tracking options for email, social and referrals provide excellent detail and the level of data mining is fantastic.

I have heard a lot about other Analytical tools for example Radian6, as well as BuzzNumbers. But for what you get from Google Analytics, this is the best by far. If you can’t use the data you have available to you to make informed decisions, it isn’t very useful.


Jamie Bradnam (contentgroup): there are a number of free tools out there which you can use to measure your digital activities, but obviously there is merit and resource savings in using a product to do the work for you too.

When we measure campaigns it all tracks back to Google Analytics eventually. For a free tool it’s so powerful and the filtering options allow you to customise to suit your needs. If you want to learn more about Google Analytics I would highly suggest visiting the Web Analytics Wednesday group who meet once a month.

Measuring social data can also be done without spending any money on a paid product.  Facebook Insights give you so much information it’s scary. Every interaction online is tracked; comments, likes, shares and even clicks. Take a dive into your Facebook Insights and you can find out when your audiences are online – this helps to decide whether you choose to post your content in peak times and compete with other pages, or target other times which may not potentially reach all of your audience but will have a better chance at being seen by those online at the time.

Lastly, until Twitter rolls out their internal analytics for all accounts (fortunately our contentgroup account has them already – and they are beautiful and extremely useful by the way) then you are stuck with trying to measure your Twitter activities through third parties. The best of those in my opinion is Twitonomy.  It’s a free product to use and you can identify things like average tweets per day, the hashtags you have used the most, reports on the tweets that have received the most engagement and even the most influential followers you have to help you spread your message. There is a paid version for those like me who want to export the data into spreadsheets and have access to custom date ranges, but the free product is still very useful.

Of the premium paid products I recommend taking a look at Sprout Social or Simply Measured.

So what products do you use? Let me know in the comments below.

Image: James Royal-Lawson

Meet the contributors:

 Elias Hallaj

Elias Hallaj is the ACT Labor Secretary and a regular Twitter/Facebook user. A member of the Australian Labor Party since 1992, his work includes campaign management, media liaison, research and writing. He has two blogs, a food blog called CBR Foodie that focuses on affordable meals in Canberra, and Campaigns Down Under which is a continuation of his past research on campaigning techniques in Australia.

Julian Harrison

Julian Harrison is a Multimedia Designer for Events ACT. He runs the websites for FloriadeEvents ACTEnlighten and Balloon Spectacular and on a daily basis engages with creative’s, marketers, photographers and web hosts to help deliver marketing campaigns. He has over 10 years’ experience in the industry.

Simon McGuinness

Simon McGuinness is a Media Assistant at the Canberra Raiders. He is heavily involved in the creation of online content including writing web articles, creating online video and managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

James Tew

James Tew is a student at the Royal Australian Navy but his real passion lies in community building. As the founder of Tweet Canberra, creator of the Social Media Revolution, blogger and podcaster, James can be found on almost every social media platform.

Paul Jurak

Paul Jurak is a plumber during work hours but before most of Canberra gets out of bed he is one of the most prolific photographers in town. He began paddling on Lake Burley Griffin as a way to rebuild his body and mind after enduring an intensive three-month bout of chemotherapy due to testicular cancer. His Kayak Cameraman hosts all of his photos and he has over 3,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and regularly features on the Canberra Times morning blog.

Laura Haddock

Laura Haddock is the Digital Communications Officer at the University of Canberra.  She looks after no less than 11 different social media profiles for UC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Among her portfolio are the official University of Canberra pages, University Alumni and the Canberra Capitals.

Adrian Hall

Adrian Hall is a Digital Producer at Engineers Australia. He moved to Canberra from Adelaide over two years ago and is still an active member of Social Media Club Adelaide. He considers himself early adopter of social media apps. He tweets from @adriankhall, and is a regular user of Instagram, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook. He loves technology, social media and being online. He has recent ventured into the unknown by starting his own Digital/Social consulting company.

Other articles in this series

Each week a staff member puts pen to paper to write about an aspect of content communication that speaks to them, and hopefully, informs you. This is a space where our passion for writing, learning and sharing information comes to shine.

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