In the coming weeks someone is going to ask you what you’re planning to do with Jelly. The question will come from a colleague if you’re lucky, from someone in senior management if you’re not.
For the record, Jelly is a much-hyped social network from one of the founders of Twitter that launched last week. It appears to be a hybrid of Instagram and Quora, and has received a lot of attention and mixed reviews so far.
If you are reading this a few months after I write this, people likely won’t ask you about Jelly. But they will ask you about some other new network or mobile app or advertising type or trend. They have heard about it from some excitable tech blog or business site and they want to know that you’re on top of it.
Your answer, with help from Google Analytics
Assuming you actually are using the technology in question, your answer should be something like:
“Well, Pat. Based on our use of Instagram and Quora (insert similar technologies), we expect to get at least 5% of visitors from Jelly to sign up to our email list/donate/buy something. We’re hoping we can beat those metrics with Jelly. So we’re experimenting right now, carefully tracking our posts, to find out what kind of questions engage our audience the best, and convince them to convert.”
If you’re tracking conversions on your site, you’ll quickly be able to explain how visitors from this source are converting at a higher (or lower) rate than your existing outreach methods. Because you’re doing campaign tracking wherever possible, you can tell in great detail which types and styles of content perform best on the new platform. And since you’re thinking in terms of segments of your audience (and not just ‘visitors to our website’) you will have insights into the characteristics of this particular audience and how they compare to other sources of visits.
You can do all this once you’re using web analytics properly.
Experiments to sort out what’s working, what’s not
Technology is amazing because it’s constantly changing. It’s really exciting and you need to keep abreast of what’s going on if you want to be doing your best work. But you can’t pour your energies and budget into every new development that gets hyped in the tech press.
So adopt these new technologies as experiments. Use Google Analytics to measure conversion rates, the effectiveness of your outreach and what segments of your visitors respond most passionately to the new technology. And that will help you and everyone in your organization decide whether Jelly (or the next tech thing) becomes a staple of your diet or gets cut adrift.