The concept of audience measurement includes who is listening, watching, or actively engaging in any form of media communications. Television and radio have been monitoring ratings and the movement of audience for years, allowing them to understand what is grabbing the audience attention. What happens when we become the ones wanting to measure our audience within ‘our social world’? We then look at audience measurement in regards to online media or specifically social media, this allows us as ‘producers’ to measure who is following, retweeting, liking or ‘reblogging’ us.
The various techniques that allow for the measurement of audience and online activities falls into six categories;
- Gathering data: activity that goes on within your social media site
- Non-specific tools: such as google alerts and google analytics
- Aggregating tools: social mention and Nutshell mail
- Monitoring dashboards: igoogle and NetVibes
- Channel-specific tools: Booshaka, AllFacebookStats.com and Klout
- Higher end tools: Spredfast and Radian 6
The idea of ‘Gathering data’ is what you as a creator, gather from what you produce and this is measured in various ways depending on the type of social media you use. “In Facebook, you focus on three main areas: likes, comments and links on posts, and shares. If someone “likes” your page, you know they’re listening to you. When followers add comments to your posts, you’ve made the conversation two-way by engaging them. And when they share your posts with their Facebook friends, you’ve expanded your audience” (idealware, 2011).
Non-specific tools for monitoring audience measurement, which includes ‘google analytics’, is a useful way for those who have blogs to gain an understanding of their audience and to “monitor traffic to your website from all your social media channels” (idealware, 2011). From further research I found that Google analytics demonstrate how to set their program up in the blog account WordPress.
(Google analytics talks about setting them up in a WordPress account, https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/)
The Channel specific tools provide a means of measurement for those who want more refined and complicated metrics yet in an inexpensive way. The tool AllFacebookStats.com focuses on all the complicated statistics within measurement on Facebook including comparing Facebook pages with fancount and user interaction (Linkedin, 2014). Another channel specific tool is Klout which is focused on Twitter and your interaction.
This idea of being able to measure audiences in various ways is not only appealing, but can also become obsessive; through being able to track the movement of individuals on your blog, who is liking and sharing information you have produced on Facebook and the influence you have on people through twitter. I guess it is not only producers who need to see how many people are watching their shows but we as a society need to know who is listening to us.
Berry, A & Bernard, C 2011, A few good tools for measuring and monitoring social media, idealware, viewed 14 August 2014 http://www.idealware.org/articles/few-good-tools-measuring-and-monitoring-social-media
Linkedin, 2014, Allfacebookstats, viewed 14 August 2014, https://www.linkedin.com/company/allfacebook-stats