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Teach Social Media Analytics with Keyhole Hashtag Analytics Software: Activity Included

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Teaching Social Media Analytics Skills with Keyhole Hashtag Analytics Software

This is the second post in a two-part series about using Keyhole hashtag analytics software to teach social media analytics to university students. In this post, we will explore social media metrics on Twitter and Instagram, social media account optimization, and social listening. I include a metrics tracking spreadsheet that my students use and instructions for completing the tasks assigned in the spreadsheet.

If you have not read the first post in this series about the social media analytics class activity and the social media audit assignment, I suggest doing so before proceeding.

Teaching Social Media Analytics Skills: Monitoring Metrics, Posting Schedule Optimization, and Social media Listening

In the second half of the semester, students in my COMM 322 Social Media class [all posts related to my social media class] learn to track metrics relevant to their class client, our department’s social media.  This is part of a semester-long project where my class takes on a class client; a topic discussed in greater detail in my book Teach Social Media and, to a lesser extent, in this blog post.

This year, we are focusing on Twitter, Instagram and IGTV (through the Instagram app).

There are 3 areas of focus that students are learning:

  • Social media account metrics
  • Social media account optimization
  • Social media listening

Let’s discuss each in turn.  Note that this blog post is an update and expansion to previous posts which have discussed the use of Meltwater social intelligence software and Microsoft Social Engagement software for similar knowledge and skills.

In this post, we will be using an updated spreadsheet designed for tracking social media account metrics, social media optimization, and social listening. It is designed to work with Keyhole.co software. You will also see links to a video and a lab guide in the spreadsheet, which will be discussed below. I encourage you to load the spreadsheet for reference. Note: The spreadsheet is a modified version of a metrics tracking spreadsheet originally developed by Jeremy Floyd.

Teach Social Media Analytics Part 1: Social Media Account Metrics

To start, students set up their benchmarks and KPIs in the metrics goals tab for the account they are assigned to track.  Each team in class is assigned a different social media account that they are in charge of.  Each group devises their own KPIs. Benchmarks can be taken from the current data by looking at the previous week’s content, or by averaging the weekly metrics from a previous set of time, such as the previous 4 weeks.

Once set up, they begin tracking in the reporting tab of the metrics spreadsheet. There, you will see several preset metrics – the same metrics that were in the metrics goals tab. For Twitter and Instagram, these are based on the data available at the top the main dashboard page for social media account analytics in the Keyhole software (see the side-by-side images below for Twitter and Instagram). As you can see, we are having way more success with Instagram engagement than Twitter for our audience.

These metrics are tracked weekly starting with week 9 of the semester. You can add additional metrics to the spreadsheet, of course, diving further into the rich data that Keyhole provides about your account (see this PDF I generated of some of the additional data Keyhole provides).

keyhole-social-media-account-analytics-dashboard
Click to enlarge
keyhole-instagram-dashboard-social-media-analytics
Click to enlarge

Teach Social Media Analytics Part 2: Social Media Account Optimization

Perhaps the coolest thing about Keyhole, in my opinion, is the data it provides that can be used to help optimize your social media posts to increase the likelihood of their success in terms of reach and engagement.

In Keyhole, under social media account analytics, users can click on the optimization tab. There, a user will see the best time to post, the optimal post length, the top hashtags by engagement, the optimal number of hashtags and the average engagements by day.

Because everything is online this semester due to COVID-19: To prepare students for this task, I created a Loom video overview teaching students how to conduct optimization tracking using the metrics spreadsheet.

Having students sort through this data can help them make choices on when they want to publish future content and how they can optimize it for length and hashtags.  See the example of our department Instagram page below.

keyhole-social-media-optimization
Click to enlarge

Students track this data every week in the appropriate optimization tracking tab in the metrics spreadsheet.

Teach Social Media Analytics Part 3: Social Media Listening

Lastly, students use Keyhole to conduct social media listening. I have my students monitor the conversation around our communication department. We set up a social listening & campaign tracking search to do this, entering keywords (e.g., search terms or hashtags) relevant to our brand. Of course, I could also expand the listening to the wider Shepherd University community in a separate social listening & campaign tracking search.  I could also have them track competitors, which they do in the social media audit assignment discussed in the first post in this series.

For our current purposes, the students are just focused on the conversation around our department.

Because everything is online this semester due to COVID-19: I created this lab guide to show students how to gather and analyze the social listening data for the metrics spreadsheet. The data is entered into the social listening tab in the spreadsheet. The final question asks in the tab asks them to analyze the key takeaways from the social listening for each week.

When you look at the lab guide, you will note instructions towards the top of the lab guide under “getting started” about how to set up a new social listening & campaign tracker. My original intention was to have each team set up their own tracker, but I decided instead to create one tracker in class with input from students to save time. Thus, as I noted above, I already created the tracker we use in this assignment and thus this my students skip this step.

To help you see some of the data that can be tracked with a social listening & campaign tracking search in Keyhole, I am providing a public social listening tracker that I created of some of the data that Keyhole provides for a search our class set up.  (Note: This link may not work in the future if the tracker is deleted. But I am sharing it for temporary use).

Conclusion

Taken together, this social media metrics spreadsheet assignment gives students hands-on experience learning to read and interpret social media analytics data using industry software.

In this post and the previous post in this series, I have shared how I have incorporated the Keyhole hashtag tracking software in my social media class across 3 different tasks: 1) The social media analytics class activity – which introduces students to social media metrics, 2) the social media audit – where students incorporate what they are learning to evaluate our client and a competitor using the Keyhole software, and 3) the social media metrics spreadsheet assignment – where students track social media metrics, learn about post optimization by analyzing account metrics, and engage in social media listening.

I have taught these skills using different software over the last few years. Every social media analytics software package comes with different features. Although this blog post discusses topics that have covered on this blog in the past, I hope that this update provides a fresh look at how these skills can be taught with a different social media analytics product. One major update to the the social media metrics spreadsheet assignment is the improved opportunity to teach optimization versus what I was able to do with other software in the past. I am hopeful that it will translate to better learning outcomes for students.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post.

If you have used Keyhole before and have tips, activities, or assignments, please share them in the comments below.

Be well!

  • Matt

Want to learn more?

Social media listening and tracking are discussed in chapter 7 of my book, Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love.

Notes and Disclosure: This blog post discusses how I am using this software in my classroom to provide descriptive information for educators about my experience. This post is not an endorsement nor a criticism of Keyhole or any other software. I have not received any encouragement, incentives, compensation or discounts whatsoever for my discussion of Keyhole.co in this blog post. The university I work for did not receive any encouragement, incentives, compensation or discount whatsoever for my discussion of Keyhole.co.

Social Media Analytics Class Activity with Keyhole Hashtag Analytics Software

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details.

The Social Media Analytics Class Activity: Why?

Having a social media analytics class activity is vital to teaching our students social media analytics, including account analytics and social listening. But, as educators, getting our hands on social media analytics software in the classroom is an increasing challenge.

This post and the one that will follow it will discuss the new social media software I am using, Keyhole.co. It discusses how to use Keyhole.co hashtag analytics software to teach analytics and social listening skills (note: The name is a bit misleading. Keyhole does much more than hashtag analytics). In the first post in this series, I offer a beginner’s social media activity for using Keyhole along with step-by-step instructions for doing so.I also offer a social media audit assignment that is designed to be used with the Keyhole software.

In the second post, I offer a spreadsheet that students can use to track metrics from Keyhole.co related to social media account metrics on Twitter and Instagram, identify social media account optimization opportunities, and engage in social listening. I also provide instruction for how to complete these tasks.

Choosing Social Media Analytics Software: What to Consider

Over the last few years, several social media analytics companies generously offered university classrooms free access to their software. However, with the closure of the Meltwater university program and the discontinuation of Microsoft Social Engagement, those options have become limited. Professors have had to search for affordable solutions during a time of economic uncertainty in academia.

So I posed a question to the always-awesome Social Media Professors Community Facebook Group this past summer seeking suggestions of paid social media analytics software.   A few tools were suggested (thank you so much for the input!) all with distinct advantages and limitations. I set up interviews and software demos with several companies to learn about their features and costs.

Taking into consideration many factors including the needs of my classes, the features of the software, and pricing, we decided to go with Keyhole.co. However, I encourage you to do your research, set up software demos or try free trials, and find what works best for you and your students.

While each company in the social media analytics space prices differently, some common variables that impact pricing are:

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Building Classroom Culture in the Zoom Classroom Era

Building Classroom Culture in the Zoom Classroom

It is a strange and challenging semester for us and our students. Many of us are teaching online synchronously through platforms like Zoom. While adjusting our content and delivery approaches are challenges in and of themselves, there are other important considerations for building a positive and effective learning environment. For me, classroom culture and establishing rapport with and between my students are important considerations. A welcoming classroom culture can make all the difference in our students’ learning and in our sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with the classes we teach.

Building rapport with our students and developing a classroom culture are skills that we learn throughout our years in the classroom. But how do you build rapport and culture in a Zoom classroom?

I know many people are coming up with fun, creative ways to brighten up their students’ day and make classes feel more human.  In this post, I will share a quick and easy activity I introduced this semester with my Zoom classes to help overcome this challenge: the Zoom Background Challenge.

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A Note to My Fellow Educators: You Are Awesome

Fall 2020 is like no other academic year we have experienced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges that impact our institutions, our lives, our teaching, and the lives of our students. Simply put, we are in a time of disruption – both personally and professionally.

I started this blog with the goal of sharing my work in the classroom with others. My hope is to make teaching a little less stressful and a little more fun, all while helping our students prepare to be ethical and excellent professional communicators.

Like many of you, I spent much of this summer reflecting on deep questions. I spent a good deal of that time preparing for the academic year ahead and coming to terms with what can be controlled and what cannot be. But I also spent a good deal of that time making sure to cherish and enjoy the present moment.

We are in a time of revaluation. We are in a time where our compassion and humanity are our greatest assets.

On this blog, I have generally started each semester by providing sample syllabi from my classes in a series I call “What’s Changing?” But this year, with things being so different, I want to start the semester with something so very different. I am going to go out on a limb and hope that this post offers a reminder that is of some help to you, my friends and fellow educators.

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The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Academic Blog Today

This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Please read my disclosure for details.

How to Start an Academic Blog Today

Are you a researcher, faculty member, or PhD student considering starting a blog? Good, because the best professor websites are blogs. And this is the post is for you!

There are many reasons why academics should blog. But getting started can be tough. You’ve got a lot on your plate and are probably wondering if blogging is worth the time investment. You may be wondering what to even blog about.

Have no fear! In the below post, I’ve put together my ultimate guide to starting an academic blog, whether you’re a PhD student, a university professor, a post-doc, or other scholar. This guide contains everything you need to start a blog today.

It includes:

  • Reasons why academics should blog.
  • Examples of successful academic blogs – both from PhDs and PhD students.
  • A step-by-step guide for planning a successful academic blog.
  • Resources for finding a web host and setting up your blog.
  • WordPress plugins that make blogging easier.

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Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg [Big Announcement]

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Please read my disclosure for details.

Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg: What is it?

The public relations educator’s community is abuzz with news that Dr. Karen Freberg has a new public relations textbook coming out, Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have had the honor of creating the ancillary materials for Karen’s new textbook. This new textbook is designed for the public relations class. It is currently on pre-order and will be available in August, in time for the fall 2020 academic year.  Below, I discuss Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices and the ancillary materials I have created for it.

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Brand Crisis Response Activity for Social Media and PR Online Classes

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Brand Crisis Response Compare and Contrast Activity: Brands Doing Good in a Time of Crisis

I’ve created a brief online discussion/presentation activity for students in my Public Relations Principles class. The assignment asks students to compare and contrast 2 brands in the same category in terms of how they are communicating with publics amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s my ask for students: Find 2 organizations that are doing good during these trying times and share them with us.

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A Social Media Education Blog by Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.