Egan, who is the author of the critically acclaimed A Visit from the Goon Squad has suggested that she had been interested in publishing in serial format for some time and noted in a recent interview that adapting “Black Box” into a suitable serial format took ‘a year, on and off’. While Egan isn’t the first author to publish via Twitter, the link between free online publishing and the paid format is certainly interesting.
With all forays into social media, there’s always the question of how to track and measure success. Whether you’re a self-published author or working for a publishing powerhouse, you need to get beyond basic social media reporting in order to evaluate the value of campaigns like The New Yorker’s. We’ll take you through how to set up the best possible environment for your social media campaign, so you have the tools to track your success.
Step 1: Goals (or Micro and Macro Conversions)
Why did you come into publishing? Whatever your reasons, there are specific goals you, or your authors are trying to reach. While the bottom line is of course sales, expert analyst Avinash Kaushik has pointed out there’s a range of other goals that contribute to your revenue. Simply put, these are micro and macro conversions which all have an economic value. While your core focus may always be a sale, there are other actions users can take, such as following an author on Twitter, subscribing to a newsletter, clicking a link leading to Amazon, that will generate revenue for you. Assign a calculated revenue amount to each action and you’ll understand how much each completed goal brings to your bottom-line. Wondering how to assign the revenue amount? Well, now it would be helpful to hand over to Kaushik, who expertly handles this in his blog.
Step 2: Assess the Current State of Play
Before you begin your campaign; whether that’s publishing by Twitter, or a gaggle of new posts on Facebook, you need to take a current assessment of where you are: How many users are reaching your current micro/macro conversion points. What’s your current engagement rate on your chosen platform – and most importantly how does this contribute to your goals? What’s the purpose of the campaign and are there any other metrics it will influence? What will be your quick indicators of success? Before investing time into a platform, you need to understand how to judge success/failure.
Step 3: Platform Research
On platforms like Twitter, it’s much easier to collect information in real time and analyse later, as opposed to accessing historical data. Before beginning a new campaign on a platform, make sure to do some specific research on where you/the authors you’re representing stand. Monitor follower/fan movement (retention is way more important than the raw count), current engagement levels (a basic one is how many times a post is engaged with / user count and/or reach) and how this platform currently performs with your goals in mind. Use a listening tool to record this data and analyse at your leisure. Alternatively, if you want to keep it lean and cheap, make the most of free tools like Facebook Insights, Tweetdeck and the Graph API.
Step 4: Track Everything
In order to make the most of your micro/macro conversion tracking, you need a solid reporting system in place. Nowadays, most publishing websites have Google Analytics, but are you making the most of it? Are you segmenting by social? Events tracking is an awesome feature of Google Analytics: Keep some of your micro/macro conversions in mind and consider pairing these with events tracking.
Step 5: Don’t Slack on Reporting
While it’s unlikely Jennifer Egan is concerned with the finer points of tracking “Black Box” on Twitter, the New Yorker and Egan’s representatives should be all over it. If you’re a publisher, you need to ensure your authors’ work is reaching the right people and you’re getting the biggest payoff from your chosen platform. Each time you enter a new online market or platform, always keep steps 1-4 in mind; that way, you’ll have normalised reports based on what you and your team think is important, not just like and follower counts.
AdaptWrite offers specialised social media and digital analysis for book publishers and authors.
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