Going Viral Using Social Media Analytics

Course introduction

by Stijn Debrouwere

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Discuss: Course introduction

Hi, my name is Stijn Debrouwere. I was previously the data analyst at The Guardian and then NetFusion. I will be your instructor for the course Going Viral. Why talk about social media analytics? Well, the first reason is because it's so very important for most news organizations. Almost 50% or way more than that of your traffic will come from places like Facebook and Twitter. That's the very first place that you want to look if you want to increase your traffic, if you want to increase your audience, it's going to be social.

The second reason is that actually, social media analytics, it works. With a couple of quick fixes and couple of quick techniques and tips, you'll be able to get many more visitors for content that is pretty much exactly the same. That brings us to the third reason, as well, there's so much analytics out there that looks really impressive. A lot of people talk about big data this and big data that. But a lot of it just doesn't really work and so people end up discussing about the stuff like the best metrics and the best this and the best that.

Generally, it doesn't work that well but social media analytics does work and a lot of the techniques that we'll learn things like A/B testing are applicable for any analytics you want to do. Learning about social media analytics is a great basis for just any analytics you want to do in general. One question you might have though is, "Doesn't all of this lead to more and more clickbait?"

One of my favorite articles by ClickHole, a satire site run by The Union and it's up on the slide here is six pictures of Scarlett Johansson that will make you say this is a picture of a boat. Stuff like that and you get wondering why are we even doing this social media analytics because this is what ultimately we end up with. That's not necessarily true. What I've seen at most news organizations that I've worked with is that people can use this information very responsibly. They know that they have a certain obligation to their readers to bring high-quality content. But, you still have to get people to read it and that's what social media analytics is about.

I think you'll enjoy this course if you're a writer, an editor, an analyst, anyone who works in a newsroom. Thanks. Let's get started.