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Social Media Metrics: Mobile Analytics to Focus On

How people use mobile websites and apps on their phones and tablets is quite different than how they use a website — and your social media metrics should take that into account. You want your mobile analytics to focus on several metrics that are different than the typical platform type, platform version, screen size, use frequency, or other typical metrics.

Focus your mobile analytics on:

  • Your funnel: Your primary metric to track is your funnel. By performing a funnel analysis, you can ferret out the points in your app that act as a roadblock to your users. For example, if you want to convert users from mobile to web by getting them to sign up for a weekly e-mail from you, analyzing your funnel can find how many users you lose at each stage of the in-app subscribe process. This data allows you to improve future versions of your mobile app to convert better.

  • Demographic data: More specifically, you want to capture demographic data points that may seem different and find the correlation between them. How does in-app user behavior correlate with different demographic data sets?

  • Location, location, location (and time and date!): Where people use your mobile app is important. More important than simple geography, however, is the inclusion of time and date to the location metric. In addition to where your app gets the most use, time and date metrics will tell you if you get the most use for your football app when you expect it — during Monday night football — or if people are using your app a few days before the game during their commute to prep for the game ahead of time, for example. This data will help you design your next app version to fit your user habits.

  • App promotion: If you want to have more people use your app, you need to promote it. This seems like a no-brainer, but in order to promote your app well, you need a social metric to help you discover who is sharing your app and when, where, and how. Not only that, by giving the user the sharing tool in-app and putting metrics behind the share mechanism, you'll get richer data that helps you identify the influencers who love your app.

  • How people navigate your app: By nature, mobile apps work by doling out smaller amounts of information screen by screen. Unlike a website, you can't put everything on one page and call it good. How you path your app design is essential to happy users who enjoy interacting with it. Don't make it hard for your users to find what you want them to do. Metrics can help you identify the frustration points in your screen hierarchy before they turn users away.

  • How users use your app differently than intended. No matter how carefully you design any app or program, for web or mobile, your users are going to use it how they want to use it — not how you intended. Users brought the RT feature to Twitter by developing their own convention for sharing. Google+ added searchable hashtags recently because users had been using them on other services as a user-created feature and simply ported their preferred use over to the next social site. Measure the cool things your users do with your app and figure out which behaviors to incorporate into the next version — don't stifle user innovation.

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Don't forget to choose a solution that all parts of your organization can access. The engineers may need different data than the business development department, but they both need to see the whole picture of how the app is being used and where any problem points are. That broader knowledge will help them do their part much more efficiently than if everyone was operating solo.

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