A marketing dashboard or analytics dashboards can be one of the most useful tools that a marketer can use. With all the customizability, however, comes a series of challenges. What sort of metrics do you add to your marketing dashboard? How do you arrange them? What’s the easiest way to read them? Most importantly, how do you ensure that you can access the information that you need?
First of all, picking the right tool is paramount. There are many analytic and marketing dashboards, and the right one is always dependent on what sort of information you need. Here are a few of the most popular and recommended:
Infographic courtesy of: PostPlanner.
There are many more besides those listed here, and many of the good ones are free. However, some of the high end tools are paid. The best advice is that if a paid tool seems like it would be an improvement, then get the trial version. If you see real value in the paid tool, then consider going ahead and investing in it.
The best tools are ones that work and integrate well with other programs. A good example of this is Tweetdeck and Buffer. This also applies on a larger level, like Hootsuite, which has a staggering amount of integrations. Remember, you’re not making new data, your just using your existing data in a newer, smarter way.
Now that we’ve seen the sort of tools available, it’s time to take a look at how it can work for you. An analytic tool is useless if it the data makes no sense.
The first thing you ask yourself is what to measure? What you do online should be dictated by what your business goals are ultimately about. For instance, if your goal is to increase profit, you should utilize social media to increase your income. That does not mean you should do this to the exclusion of all else, but it does mean that while you are looking at things like engagement, growth and reach, you should also be thinking about how to utilize these things to maximize profit.
Next, you should take inventory of what social networks your business is on. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any of the myriad of others, it’s important you know how each of them works, otherwise you won’t know what you’re looking for.
List all of the measurements that you will need to accomplish your business and social goals. If engagement is your primary aim, for instance, you may wish to have a measurement of likes, clicks, or views available. Remember that a dashboard that’s laid out well will be able to give you, at a glance, a good estimate as to how well you’re doing in achieving your business and social goals.
If graphs are to be used, make sure they make sense for the data being displayed. Time-based measurements are best represented by a line graph, while simple quantities are best represented by bar or pie charts.
Finally, remember that you should arrange your important metrics from left to right, which is the same order that you read words, if you read in English. That way, it will only take split second to gauge the data in front of you.