Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service to monitor and measure websites traffic. It can help you to monitor things like the number of visitors, the most popular pages/posts, the time lengths people spend on your websites, traffic sources and so forth.

I've been using Google Analytics since I started this blog. It is quite interesting to look at the analysis report of my blog.  As you can see from the picture to the left, most people, about 52.24%, came from referring sites and 29.39% visited my blog through searching engines. As I have put my blog link on some social websites such as FacebookTwitterabout me, and Travbuddy. I'd like to know which websites "contribute" most to my blog traffic. Well, not to my surprise, in terms of referring sites sources, Facebook has become my biggest traffic source, followed by about me, and Travbuddy. When Google Analytics being used by the organization, it can be very effective for organizations to monitor the traffic source of their websites so that your organization are able to make better and more specific plans depending on the different traffic sources. 

Another useful function is that it can help you to find out what key words brought visitors to your websites via searching engines. Among 154 people who visited my blog via searching engines, about 51 of them searched the key words "the bitch hits back" - my previous blog post about Danish anti - violence campaign. The rest of key words including coca cola, social sites, augmented reality, and so on. It can be learnt from the keyword what is current trend, what are people interested in and etc. It can help you decide what keywords you may want to target at about your website/campaign. 

Also, by using Google Analytics you could also be able to know where your visitors are from. I'm quite surprised that there were so many visitors visiting from outside of the UK.  Besides the UK, people were visiting from the US and then followed by India, Australia,Serbia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Spain and so on. Visitors came from 6 continents out of 7, no people visiting from Antarctica though! This function is a very helpful function as well - it helps you improve your website and possibly expands your business.  For example, if your company is based on the UK, and your website is in English. It has been a large number of people visiting from Japan. If you are considering expanding your business and want to communicate with your audience better, you might want to add Japanese version to your site and write more things related to Japan.

At last, Google Analytics is a great tool to monitor your websites. But one thing I am still very confused is by comparing the results from Googe Analytics, Statcounter (same function as Google Analytics) and Stats (intergraded with Blogger), I could get three different analysis results sometimes. So it made me wonder how accurate can Google Analytics be. I wouldn't know the answer. Anyone?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Twitter and PR

Twitter is so commonly used in public relations sector to help organizations raise awareness of their brands and  communicate with their target audiences in time.  In this blog post, I will talk about some uses of Twitter in public relations and suggest  what organizations should do in terms of ensuring a successful Twitter PR.

1 - One -way Communication or two - way Communication?
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton set up Twitter pages. Obama has more than 6 million followers whereas Hillary has only less than 20 thousand. The reason why Obama is more popular than Hillary on Twitter, despite the fact that one is the president and one is the secretary of the state, Obama interacts with his followers from time to time and gives feedback - my friend was followed by Obama on Twitter and he was so excited! On the other hand, Hillary Clinton follows zero people and never interact with her audiences. From this case, we can learn that it is a bad idea that organization set up a twitter page just giving out information without receiving any. This kind of one way communication is doomed to fail.

2 - Customers Service
When a man called Jonathan Fields tweeted some doubts about American airline JetBlue, a few minutes later, he soon got the feedback from JetBlue, and solved the problem. JetBlue uses twitter as a monitor and tracking tool to answer customer' s queries in real time and also keep customer updated about the flight information and all relevant news. Using Twitter to solve customers' problem, to a great extent, shortens the response time for organizations and  it is much cheaper than using traditional customer service.

                                                            3 - Evaluation and monitor tool
Twitter helps a lot of organizations monitor comments made by customers about the brand, product or services. These voices of customers could help organization to get to know what they think, what they like, what needs improving and etc. Moreover, by monitoring organizations could sense whether crisis is going to happen and make early preparation for crisis.

4- Carry out PR campaign on Twitter
Taste live! once hold a PR campaign on Twitter. The company provided 5 different kinds of wine to people for free and chose a fixed date to discuss with people on Twitter how they feel about the wine. Don't even need a venue for wine tasting, people could share opinions without considering any constraints, such as location, and transportation etc. The company had a chance to have in-depth conversation with its customers and at the same time more potential customers were discovered through the influence of Twitter.

So the most important rule of using twitter in PR is to let your audiences know your existence and at the same time interact with them. Also, one last hint - don't tweet TOO much otherwise people would unfollow you!