Social Media Dashboards

Are you still using a spreadsheet to collect your social media data? Me too. Here is how I’m trying to automate marketing analytics.

Every morning I manually calculate metrics like the number of Shopify orders, the number of Facebook likes, and the number of Twitter followers (to name a few). I started to wonder, “How can I view all of my social media stats in one place automatically?” I wondered if there was a program or web site that would provide me the information I was looking for automatically, something like a “social media dashboard”?

Sprout Social

Sprout Social

After hearing a lot of business marketing podcast guests talk about Sprout Social, I decided to check it out. It boasts, “Unlimited reporting & exporting across all of your accounts. Profile, group and roll-up reports for high or low level performance data,” in short, “Integrated analytics across all of your social properties.” While Sprout Social has the social media dashboard functionality I was looking for, at plans that start at $39 a month, I wondered if I could get that functionality elsewhere? Enter Ducksboard and Geckoboard.

Ducksboard Dashboard

Ducksboard

Ducksboards are “Real time Dashboards” to “Visually monitor all your metrics at a glance.” I tested it out by loading in Google Analytics for one site, a Facebook Page, my Trello account, and my Twitter account data. The process was relatively easy and while the displayed data was slightly different than the data I was manually collecting, it did a good job of showing me a real-time “snapshot” view of what was going on. One neat feature of Duckboard dashboards is their “TV mode” feature where the data is meant to be displayed on a flat panel in your office or waiting room. Starting at $16 a month, if all you want is social dashboarding, it’s a nice alternative to Sprout Social.

geckoboard

Geckoboard

Geckoboard is “Your Key Data, In One Place. Stop spending time checking services and start monitoring your business in real-time.” After using Ducksboard, Geckoboard seemed much more granular. It asked many more questions when setting up a “widget” than Ducksboard did. If you want to be more specific, use Geckoboard. Similarly, Geckoboard lets you control how big each widget is displayed, whereas Ducksboard did not. So if you’re anal retentive, use Geckoboard. As far as the dashboard view, I found Geckoboard less appealing and one of the widgets just didn’t work. Pricing is very similar to Ducksboard: it starts at $17 a month, making it a another dashboard alternative to Sprout Social.

Summary

One thing both Ducksboard and Geckoboard have in common is a public link to your dashboard so that you can share the information with someone without an account. This makes it easy to share with say, a client. I manage a lot of different client’s marketing campaigns as well as my own sites, so a single dashboard view wouldn’t necessarily work for me, but setting one up for each client might work. It could be a nice upsell that could potentially benefit the client, but like all information, the data is only as good as what you do with it. If you’re looking for a more detailed review, GetApp has a nice Geckoboard vs. Ducksboard review page.

Update

I just got an email from Matt at Geckoboard that shows how they can be used on a TV just like Duckboard:

Hey Erich,

It’s great to see that you’ve been adding some widgets to your Geckoboard. Now if you haven’t done so already, you should really think about getting your dashboard displayed on a big screen TV for all to see.

2 in 3 of our customers do this and they tell us that having Geckoboard up on their wall has meant that everyone has access to this important data. It also starts conversations about data – what they’re seeing and why that might be!

The screen is best placed where people regularly come together (we have one of our own above the water machine) and just focus on the metrics that really matter – you don’t need to display everything.

Since you’re just starting out, you might want to get creative and add in a few fun widgets – this encourages more people to stop and look at it and as they say, nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. If you’re stuck for how get your dashboard on to a screen, then consider the following options that we blogged about recently.

As ever, if you have any problems or questions then let me know.

Thanks,

Matt at Geckoboard

Top Posts and Keywords for December 2012

In this 714th post, I discuss my top content, keywords, and income for this website.

Ecclesiastes 3:5 says that there is, “A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away (NLT).” Since 2007 I have been purchasing domains for speculation or use, but lately I have been condensing the total number of domains I own. Most of the time I roll them into this blog, but this led to a big pile of disjointed posts that had no real, central meaning. I recently spent a day consolidating the post categories down to 9 main categories + 1 called “Tweets” and then redesigned the homepage to showcase the last 3 posts with a thumbnail + the most popular posts + the last 5 posts from the 9 main categories. This is how I overcame the problem. Looking back, the solution seems simple, but there was a lot of work in eliminating and combining categories for hundreds of posts + the custom programming of the home page to do what it’s doing “automatically”.

Here is a List of Former Domains Included in ErichStauffer.com:

  • mapstrings.com
  • managingactions.com
  • lostpost.net
  • professionaltechnologyconsulting.com
  • geekhand.com
  • watershawl.com
  • telablue.com
  • yourscor.com
  • white-roof.com

Audience Overview

The spike in traffic you see at the left edge of the image above is from combining all posts from the old Watershawl site into this blog. As you can see, the traffic didn’t continue and tapered off, despite leaving the posts in place. Total visits were 2,268 with 2,077 being unique. There were 3,504 pageviews with 1.54 pages per visit. The bounce rate was 75.13%, which is slightly higher than last month. Most people used Chrome (25.5%) followed by Internet Explorer (22.5%), Firefox (20.9%), and Safari (18.5%). Most visits were from New York City (166) followed by Fishers, Indiana (35), San Francisco (33), Chicago (26) and Indianapolis (25). Internet Explorer being topped by Chrome means that the addition of new technical content on mobile devices and query strings has attracted a more technical crowd compared to last month.

Top 10 Content

The three posts to fall out of the top ten were Arnart’s Erich Stauffer Fake Hummels (45), Collegeclub.com Email (49), and My CEO Heroes (6).

Top 10 Keywords

VINTAGE ARNART CERAMIC FIGURINE- BOY PLAYING BANJO BY ERICH STAUFFER

  • erich stauffer – 55 visits
  • collegeclub.com – 39 visits
  • forward text messages to email – 22 visits
  • college club website – 13 visits
  • erich stauffer figurines – 13 visits
  • arnart imports – 12 visits
  • erich stauffer collectibles – 11 visits
  • collegeclub email – 10 visits
  • erich stauffer figurine prices – 10 visits
  • erich stauffer 8515 – 9 visits

Despite the new, technical content from Watershawl.com, the only change in the top keywords was the addition of “forward text messages to email.”

Top 10 Sources

Erich Stauffer on Twitter

  • google.com – 102 visits
  • t.co – 38 visits
  • m.facebook.com – 10 visits
  • google.co.uk – 7 visits
  • facebook.com – 6 visits
  • watershawl.com – 6 visits
  • google.com.br – 5 visits
  • iphoneunity.com – 5 visits
  • google.de – 4 visits
  • google.pl – 4 visits

I was pleased to see Twitter (t.co) in the mix this time and I am sure this has mostly to do with my testing of the Tweetily plugin to automatically and randomly send links to old WordPress posts.

Income Stats

Amazon Associates Affiliate Program: 82 Items Ordered – 78 Items Shipped – $150 Advertising Fees
Google Adsense: $127 Estimate

2012 Year in Blogging Annual Report

If you use Jetpack for WordPress, every January you’ll get a “2012 Year in Blogging Annual Report”. Here is mine from this past year:

Crunchy numbers

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals. In 2012, there were 63 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 260 posts. The busiest day of the year was April 30th with 592 views. The most popular post that day was Email is Dead, Long Live Email.

Attractions in 2012

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2012. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2012 were:

  • hobbyplow.com
  • Google Reader
  • facebook.com
  • news.ycombinator.com
  • twitter.com

Some visitors came searching, mostly for “erich stauffer”, “erich stauffer figurines”, “collegeclub.com”, “mexican cat”, and “designed by erich stauffer”.

Where did they come from?

135 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States, but the United Kingdom & Canada were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2012 was Noise.

These were your 5 most active commenters:

  • 1. Robby Slaughter 6 COMMENTS
  • 2. J Brock 2 COMMENTS
  • 3. Jessica Poux 1 COMMENT
  • 4. Blake 1 COMMENT

Perhaps I should follow their blog or send them a thank you note? View the full report here.