Analytic tools

hello again, I cant believe this week marks week eleven in the course. Time flies when one is having fun!  This week in class we covered analytic tools both free and paid for, we also discussed how each could be used to benefit businesses.  For this weeks assignment we have been given the task of researching three different analytic tools either free or paid for and provide as much details as humanly possible for each of the three tools we have chosen. As usual you may find the criteria here at http://smetloyalist.wordpress.com/.

Here we go for starters I would like to say just how awesome the tools really are, when doing my research I stumbled upon a website http://webdesignledger.com/tools/10-useful-website-analytics-tools which had ten useful analytic tools, however I will only only be talking about one tool within this website feel free to check it out. Looking at the three choice topics I think WordPress stats is a great place to start. With WordPress stats one is able to view webpage activity. you can view daily, weekly, and monthly data on what has been posted.  More specifically you can see things like number of views, trending posts, country of the visitors, top clicks(outbound links on your site), most popular tags used, who is referring your site on their own site,  comments can be viewed , and finally you can see  basic stats such as number of posts, tags, followers, comments,  and categories.  I could see this being very useful for a business to capture the demographic they are attempting to broadcast to and also view which demographics are actually viewing the page. WordPress may not be the best tool out there but is most certainly one of the best free ones in my opinion.

Google Analytics was interesting to learn about in class.  Much like WordPress you can view trending topics, people viewing your page, outbound links, etc. However Google Analytics takes things one step further.  You can view more detailed information such as total visits, unique visits, page views,  number of page visits, average time on site, bounce rate (people landing on your site vs how many stay, keep in mind if you have anything below forty percent you should be happy) percentage of new visits, etc. What I like about this service is Google Analytics offers the ability for the user to see every post every displayed on site and all the information that goes with the day it was posted, with Google Analytics you can pick and choose a range of days you wish to view.  You can view each component to a demographic starting with location, language viewed, user behaviors (who is coming back and who is new), you can also view browser information, or user frequency, how many people have accessed your site via a phone and what type of phone was used (that’s so cool!).

A new feature they have recently added to  Google Analytics allows the user to see where the user was what page they landed on , and what they did afterwords (lists the drop off rate which is the number of users who landed and just left). You can also view the website traffic behavior in three categories search eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing referral (which is when others link your site or talk about it elsewhere , and direct traffic which are the people directly typing the url within the browser to find your site.  This is really cool and is very beneficial to all businesses that would use it. These stats would simply inform companies that use it which areas of their web presence need work and who is actually viewing their site (so basically this tool would provide you the necessary information to success on the internet.)  Google Analytics only has one downfall they close off at midnight so the stats given aren’t always accurate.  With that being said  Google Analytics would stand to be the logical choice.  Here is a YouTube video someone has made as a walk through for Google Analytics hope you enjoy. youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZDUWd_ezcI

I have saved the best for last , remember the website I referred to earlier well this was one of the tools on that website it is called Clicky.  Realistically speaking Clicky does everything Google Analytics does a little better.  Clicky has the same format as Google Analytics only more user friendly.  Clicky takes advantage of the ability to provide real time data, and is the most useful tool of the three I have chosen to talk about. Why would real time data be relevant? the answer is simple businesses would become able to access any data desired at a preferred time. Like Google Analytics Clicky also allows for data transfer if the need arises, this is handy when dealing with clients on a social media bases for example because the clients would want to constantly know which demographics are viewing their content posted and how long they are there, also if they are coming back.

Looking back on this assignment I have learned a great deal about analytic tools and how practical they are in a business use.  Each tool I have talked about here can be  used in similar ways to gather the much needed demographic data applying to businesses.  As I mentioned earlier Clicky is the best of the three simply because it offers real time data as opposed to static data collected at certain times during the day.  Analytic tools are important when researching a particular field of interest or deciding which demographic to focus on when posting content businesses could benefit from using analytic tools in the sense of discovering the different types of customers viewing their content and what these individual users were viewing by monitoring the bounce rates and average time on site a business could then learn which areas work and which don’t then implement a strategy working on changing the weaker areas for the better .

I hope this was as interesting to you as it was for me and I look forward to keeping you posted hope your weekend was a good one.

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Digital Footprints Start Small But Grow Larger Over Time

Digital foot prints are a great asset for anyone  to have they start out small and through hard work and commitment  they grow into something great, something powerful, and something very influential, and  above all it is  something  that is 100% yours.  Anything you say or do online is there forever and can impact your future if you like it to or not make sure anything you do online you can own later. This week’s task for our weekly blog assignment in SMET class was to identify three strategies we would use when improving our digital footprint and how we would go about cleaning them up for the better.  You can find our assignment criteria at this link http://smetloyalist.wordpress.com/.

Before attending class this week I will be the first to admit there wasn’t a lot of thought going into my online presence to this extent.  In the past my idea of a digital footprint was basically non-existent.  I knew what was done on the internet stayed on the internet forever in some way or another, but beyond that nothing.  Of course now I know just how important having a good digital footprint really is and I will be more conscious of content being posted as a result of this week’s classes and what we have learned.  A common misconception some people have is the internet is all doom and gloom, these same people frown on the idea of a digital footprint.  However that is not ideal times are changing, the internet is becoming more a part of our lives on a daily basis then some would like.  A digital footprint can work to your advantage if presented and maintained properly.

Moving along there are a number of things that could be done in order to maintain or rebuild a digital footprint.  When looking at mine I would hope it is all good however little things like playing slotomania or poker on your Facebook account can even effect how a potential employer may perceive you and I play a lot of poker on Facebook.  I guess the first stage in my plan to clean up was to clear all instances of poker and slotomania from my main Facebook profile then create an alternate profile without a picture for myself and my poker buddies specifically, this will still allow me to get my poker fix on Facebook without having it come through on my main Facebook page.  Going through my time line and taking out miscellaneous pictures I’ve been tagged in or drunken party pictures are a must.  In doing this I would be taking back control of the content being viewed on my profile and making it more professional.  Maintaining this would prove to be a challenge initially because my friends like to tag me in random pictures which may not be relevant and can affect my professional image.  Locking down my Facebook profile and staying on top of it is definitely a key to success.

Google searching myself could become just as valuable or vice versa depending on how you look at it. Preferably I want myself to come up in the top two or three pages in a Google search  because  they are the most viewed when employers screen this way.  I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for someone else who could have a worse reputation then I do, or worse have the employer think I’m hiding something because of a mishap eg. The employer assuming I was someone else and showing up to an interview based on online screening only.  To make sure my name comes up on the top of the list or close to the top on a Google searches I will tag myself in everything I do online from this point on.  Also every post I have online will link my online digital footprints together to make one large fully operational footprint that I can be proud of.

Lastly Twitter is an amazing tool  I have started using it this semester in college.  Twitter has just as much potential as any other social media tool used for a digital foot print.  However, it is also probably the most dangerous of all if not used properly.  On most social media platforms you have the ability to lock your profile down but with twitter everything is completely open and can be seen by anyone whom is following an individual or a brand, thus you are forced to become more aware of what is being posted.  This is a scary thought if you think about it.  Twitter can be used to put yourself out there I have mine linked to almost everything I do online.  To avoid bad reputation  I will continue to keep an eye on what I’m posting and what my followers are posting it’s all relevant.   I believe using a combination of blogging and tweeting my name will be at the top of the Google search which ultimately is my main goal.

Putting these strategies into effect will essentially clean up my digital footprint and make it bigger and better than ever.  This week’s classes were a huge eye opener.  The way I think about the internet and the concept of digital footprint will never be the same.  If nothing else I have learned just how easy it is for others to access the information on myself via the internet and just how important it is to stay on top of your name out there, to make sure potential employers and anyone else searching you for that matter can only see what you want them to see.

I look forward to keeping you posted until next time bye for now, hope you had a good weekend!

A little More On Social Media Within Business

This  week our professor has given us the task of doing a little research within websites designed on the concept of  keeping its viewers in the loop for whats new with social media. She supplied us with three social media links Mashable, Social Media Explorer, and TechCrunch.  First on the list was Mashable where I came across a very interesting story on Facebook Addiction and how it is affecting our minds.  You will hear my take on how this affects the business world and social media a bit later on. Secondly follows a story found on Social Media Explorer that isn’t nearly as exciting as the first however it also applies to Facebook, Twitter, and yes even Instagram.  The last media link is TechCrunch and it was slightly more difficult to find an interesting story that supported my message. However, after looking into the website I was able to find something of interest – a story on the concept of Social Businesses.

Before beginning this assignment I  would like to say in the past my idea of social media was different.  Within the last couple years even most recently entering this SMET course social media has taken a turn for the better.  The possibilities and opportunities social media offers to businesses are endless. There are so many different aspects of social media in which  businesses can use social media for  growth and expansions.  For instance a couple of the tools I prefer to use are Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram  for branding, content sharing and customer engagement within a social business network.

I know you are curious about the Facebook story, so as promised here it is.  Many people feel that Facebook is addictive but just what makes it so addictive? The answer is simple… most people that have Facebook check constantly for updates and notifications.  According to the article found most people are addicted to Facebook for the feeling of connection with other people and their opinions shared  via commenting on content shared.  When on Facebook users are constantly commenting on status updates and sharing links , videos, and photos. Each comment recharges this addiction and stimulates conversation with others.  However, this is not necessarily a good thing as the article goes on to mention since 2o00 our attention spans have decreased by at least 40%.  This article indicates that  Facebook also directly influences social behavior and has  stated internet addicts have 10- 2o% smaller brain area responsible for speech, motor control, and memory, etc.

Businesses may benefit from this in the sense of advertisements being viewed  as well as face time out in the world via cyberspace.  This addiction to Facebook and other social media tools can serve as a portal for businesses to communicate with potential customers without directly involving them via poll questions, videos, and pictures shared.  Word of mouth is very powerful and is seen on a daily basis throughout cyberspace.  The article is an interesting read and here is the  authors name and a link  so that you can take a look for yourself.   Best Masters in Psychology  were responsible for the info graphic used here is a direct link  http://mashable.com/2012/11/03/facebook-addiction/.

Moving onward the second story involves three major tools Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  This article was titled Adding Photo Filters Doesn’t Mean That Twitter Will Cancel Out Instagram.  It suggests Twitter is making a move to try and steal some of Instagram’s thunder by adding a photo filter much like Facebook and Instagram already have been using.  Twitter is good for what it already does as suggested in some of the comments made by the readers.  Photos will likely become lost in the constant content feed within Twitter unless Twitter develops an app that works well with Photos.  What Twitter does will not impact Instagram directly.  Instagram’s domain is with graphics and photos and the well established community within cyber space will likely not budge.

In business Twitter can be used as a means of putting information out there quickly and gathering feed back from both potential and returning clients.  Instagram has a similar affect in business however it takes on a different approach.  Instagram is image based so companies are able to send out various images of their products and services just as quickly and usually effectively as well.  I’m not sure if I read this article the way it was meant to be read however it is my understanding that Twitter is making a move to become even bigger and more like Instagram.  This impacts social media vastly if these two platforms were to come together and develop something newer and more exciting that would be huge.   Just as I have provided before here is the author and a link to this article so you may check it out yourself and see if you agree or disagree.  Drew Olanoff was the author and here is a direct link as promised http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/02/adding-photo-filters-doesnt-mean-that-twitter-will-cancel-out-instagram/

The concept of social business has been around for a long time.  My definition of social business and my parent’s definition may vary because of a generation gap.  There are still people out there struggling to keep up who have not been raised in a computer world.    My idea of social businesses is to completely and fully utilize any and all social media tools to  reach out to customers and influence the way they will do business.  Where  my parents definition of social business may be something along the lines of becoming involved in the community and giving back to their  fellow man.   They  believe in social media and what it can do but are still comfortable in doing face to face business the old fashioned way.  There are many challenges faced when using a social business model and employees may be using it inappropriately.  Know your role! Communication may become jumbled and company procedures may be non existent or very limited, etc.  Staying  up on the latest changes in technology is vital.  Being aware of policies and procedures and implementing them properly is critical.  Paying attention to global changes and being able to effect change if necessary is so important.  Andrea Cook was the author of the article and here is a direct link to the article itself http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/todays-social-business-infographic/ hope you enjoy reading this as much as i did.

Businesses would benefit in training sessions for their employees that would ensure proper usage of the tools within these media platforms.  I can see a tremendous growth potential within any organization.  Policies and procedures are very important when implementing tools like these moving forward.  Posts would have to be current and inviting and offerings would have to be precise in marketing.  The last thing anyone wants is the customer confused and going somewhere else.

In conclusion I personally am more open minded about using all of the platforms available.  I can see that if Twitter and Instagram were to come together I would feel more confident in reaching out to my client base.  If I were in business today  I  would need to get everything out as soon as possible to stay ahead of my competition.  Facebook can already provide any business most of the tools they would need for exposure.  The only problem I see is that I might get lost within a category searched  there because so many people use it.  I want to use everything available to me within all of the platforms because  I want to stand out where I can to succeed.

As usual I look forward to keeping you posted and can’t wait to get started on the next new and exciting topic