Social media analysis is about real people

In a metric focused digital environment it is easy to forget that social media is about real people’s behaviour. Confounded by a general reduction in activity over the last twelve months around a twitter campaign aimed at UK Mountain Bikers, I was eventually drawn to analyse the UK weather.

The audience simply was not as active as it had been in the past, despite being able to demonstrate post level performance had continued to increase during the year. The top line numbers suggested that the campaign was suffering, with exposure, general activity and traffic having dropped significantly compared to same time 12 months ago.

Taking a step back from the digital world, I was reminded that this week last year we are basking in unseasonably high temperatures, compared to unseasonably low temperatures this year. That drew me to plot the activity of the account against hours of UK sunshine and the resulting graphs had almost identical shapes. In short, the audience hadn’t deserted the account, but their bikes and their conversation were still in winter hibernation.

It seems obvious in hindsight that weather would have an effect, but It is easy to forget macro conditions when looking at the huge amount of data available to social community managers. The deeper social media analysis and insight has immediately resulted in changes to the content plan, inserting more content aimed at motivation, rather than activity. With April looking no better in terms of sunshine, this type of proactive variation to the content plan will help to draw the community from their winter slumber.