‘Let’s Get Real’ details the online analytics methodology, research and key findings of a major study into how arts and cultural organisations can evaluate online success. It suggests new ways to plan, invest and collaborate on the development of digital cultural activities. The guide explains how to define what you are trying to do online, and who you are doing it for; how to focus your online investment; how to recognise the value – and limits – of social media; how to question whether the web is enabling you to reach new audiences, and how to standardise methods of reporting online metrics to external stakeholders.
The report focuses on tools such as Google Analytics, Hitwise, Klout and Twitterific. These tools were chosen for their ease of use, and do not represent a black and white definitive picture of how things should be measured. The report looks mainly at the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These platforms were chosen because they currently dominate the social space, but it does not mean that other channels are not relevant or should be ignored.
The real insights lie not in which tools or platforms this report evaluates, but in the shift in thinking that needs to happen at a deep level within every cultural organisation. The lessons can be found through careful analysis of the data against each organisation’s primary objectives.
This report provides an insight into the way cultural organisations go about trying to measure the success of their business online and challenges any assumption that simply counting total visitor numbers or ‘likes’ really tells us anything meaningful at all.