“There are so many tools and they have grown in a way that there’s a certain level of overlap — you don’t need more data, you need more relevant data.” Kelsey Ardent, Parse.ly (ONA 2019, "Tool Fatigue Is Real" Panel, September 2019)
CrowdTangle provides a lot of data, and so do other internal analytics tools. Here's how to use those tools together so you get the right data in front of you.
1. Coordinate Your Alerts Across All Your Tools
Traffic analytics tools can send digests for certain website sections and authors. Coordinate those digests with CrowdTangle Digests of your own social posts. This will make it easier to monitor social traffic success of and your internal content strategy.
Alerts that track spikes in traffic can also be matched to CrowdTangle Viral Alerts for your social properties. In most cases, both of these alerts can be sent as an email or Slack channel. Your alerts should be customized (both in CrowdTangle or your other analytics tools) to inform exactly how well you're doing across the social and digital space. See which alert comes first — the interactions or the traffic!
Ever wonder where that spike in social traffic is coming from? Referral Alerts will let you know when someone is sharing your content on social media immediately, potentially before the traffic starts to climb. Then you'll know which article you should be paying attention to, and you can adjust homepage placement or social posts to maximum traffic.
CrowdTangle's Referral Alerts work with any URL — so create an alert that just includes a subdomain, and every article under that URL will come in. This will help to:
- Better understand how certain topics and sections perform.
- Find your site's influencers. Do the same pages keep sharing your links?
- Analyze the efficiency of your posts. Which author performs best on site and on social? Also identify who needs extra help.
"We’ve started aligning tools with our goals. This is real product thinking, basic stuff you need to think about. What are my newsroom goals - does this product align to that?" Penny Riordan, GateHouse Media (ONA 2019, "Tool Fatigue Is Real" Panel, September 2019)
2. Exports Data Into .CSV Files So It's Easier To Visualize Multiple Tools' Information
Here's a list of the CrowdTangle features that can export .CSV result files:
- Chrome Extension Results Post Streams From Lists
- Individual Posts
- Saved Search Results
- Historical Data (go back to when a page was first created, or when a trending hashtag first appeared!)
- Intelligence Reports
Use exports to identify long term social trends of your property. Data in your traffic analytics tools as well as social post clicks/reach can also be exported as .csv files. Find correlations between top performing stories on social and social referral traffic. It's an easy way to mix in your internal data (traffic, retention etc.) with public data (interactions, growth).
3. Set Up Real Time Visualizations On Office Monitors
Don't assume everyone is going to track your metrics all day. It's okay for teammates to just know only what they need. So make it easy for them to get a snapshot with a real-time metrics via CrowdTangle Live Displays and other tools' real time metrics.
Set up a monitor in your office that has all real-time tabs set up, and then download one of these Chrome Extensions that lets you set how often you want to rotate through your open tabs. We found a few options here and here. That way, everyone can get the whole snapshot of your properties quickly by just walking by.
4. Analyze Video Data That's Published On And Off Platform
Video continues to be a powerful medium to bring people together and is an important tool to directly connect with your audience.
Use internal analytics to understand the audience for each video, and how well it does across multiple places on the site.
Here are the key CrowdTangle Video Metrics: Visits, Plays, Minutes Watched (Total Only).
And here are ways to measure social video performance:
Video Length (Slider): In stream to see individual post performance.
Intelligence: See video views and video count by length and total video time.
Leaderboard: Page level total view time and total number of videos a certain length
Historical Data: Exports of video posts over long term.
Incorporate CrowdTangle's video filters to understand social performance and ask yourself:
- What video topics resonate best with my audience?
- Does text on video perform better on social or on my website?
5. Familiarize Yourself With Monetization Integrations
It's difficult to know every feature in a tool, but features that help you make money should be towards the top of the list.
Many social publishing tools have some sort of monetization integration that makes it easy for you to publish and start a campaign spend on Facebook or Instagram. Make sure to search other tools to see if they can also help with making money.
CrowdTangle's Branded Content capabilities will help analyze what branded content your page and competitor pages are publishing. Our link out to the Facebook Ad Archive also helps demystify what posts have money behind them.
6. Remember Which Tools Track What Data For A Full Picture:
Always remember what tools are tracking what data so you're not searching for something that's not there. Here's a quick breakdown:
CrowdTangle: Metrics We Track (Public Data):
Public Pages & Groups
Social Performance and Traffic Analytic Tools Track (Private Data):
Traffic & Clicks
Paid or Boosted Posts
Bonus: Make Sure Your Tools Are Working For You.
"We need to have the same demands from our vendors that we have from our sources." Penny Riordan, GateHouse Media (ONA 2019, "Tool Fatigue Is Real" Panel, September 2019)
A relationship with a publisher and a tool is a two-way street. A tool is only as useful if it actually meets your needs and makes your job easier. Vendors who create and manage these relationships want to hear your feedback. They want to make the tool better for you, but they can't if they don't hear what you're looking for.
It's also important to always check in to make sure the tool still works for your needs. If your needs have changed, it's okay to reassess.
"There’s a culture of client vendor relations that’s really key. You can’t just take in feedback and call it a day. You have to follow through with finds you have to do." Kim Wilson, Social News Desk (ONA 2019, "Tool Fatigue Is Real" Panel, September 2019)
Tool Fatigue Is Real: Additional Resources
Interested in learning more about tool integration?
Check out these recordings and real life tool collaborations:
Panel: Online News Association Conference (scroll towards bottom of the page)