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How to Compare Data from Social Media Metrics History

One of the best weapons in your social media metrics arsenal is the ability to compare data across time with most analytics tools. Baseline data comes in handy over time as you compare where you are to where you were.

As you're tracking your business metrics over time, you'll begin to get some interesting meta data (such as being able to see your performance over the Christmas holidays for the last four years, right down to the times of day and hours that folks came to your site).

You can also compare subsets of micro data, such as measuring the clicks on your call-to-action newsletter subscription button that came from Facebook fans that entered from your page this month versus two months ago when you introduced it.

The default comparison view of many metrics tools is month to month (so they may have a default that allows you to compare the 30 days that are current with the 30 days prior, for example). That comparison is useful, especially if you're trying to

  • Fine-tune your blog posts to quickly become more sticky and need to see short bursts of recent data to do so.

  • Grow a site out quickly so that you can rapidly move to engage and keep new segments of your market as they find you.

If you're building a business, however, you need to take the longer view. Instead of going for the quick data and quick fix, take a look at your real long tail data over time. Look at your dashboards over time and see what the data you've saved tells you about how your business and customers have changed, and use that knowledge to adjust so that you can attract more long-term customers that will help your business succeed.

Turn on comparison data by default. If you're seeing the comparison consistently, you'll be more likely to see data that will help you increase conversions.

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