An exchange I had on twitter yesterday got me thinking… Of course I often go to football for analogies because I have a background there, so as a former player and a football “purist” I may enjoy comparing statistics for fun, but I would never play “fantasy football”. I never have and never will. I actually like statistics – I do. I’ll even use them from time to time in debates about teams and players and who was better. However, analysis can cause paralysis and “fantasy football” takes analysis (and analytics) to the point where the appeal and the game of “fantasy football” itself actually has little to do with the team sport of football.
Meanwhile I participate in a live twitter chat and Livestream every Wednesday at 3PM EST called #LetsLivestream which you can tune into on Periscope at http://pscp.tv/letslivestream/. This week the topic was centered around favorite Livestream apps and one of the questions was as follows:
If you aren’t quite sure what a twitter chat is, it’s where a meeting, presentation, or just a conversation centers around questions on a topic that are put out to the group with a selected hashtag and the questions are tweeted out as “Q1” etc. as you see above. You then can jump in the conversation by using the hashtag and answering the question with an “A1” etc. My off-the-cuff answer to this question was “A6 Important yes – they don’t DICTATE a TON of what we do per se for LIVE, but we definitely use them
eggdrp1 @ @FullScopeHQ #LetsLivestream“ As a side note Eggdrp and FullScope are the two main websites we use to grab our analytics for our Periscope broadcasts. Facebook Live and YouTube provide plenty on their own.
At this point an exchange ensued where a Canadian Livestreaming company named Livescale chimed in and replied to my tweet stressing the importance of analytics – that’s one of the great things about a twitter chat – you meet people and have conversations around a shared interest – twitter should be SOCIAL! Don’t forget that. But the exchange got me thinking as you can see by my reply:
How Important Should Analytics Be?
My reply is a perfect lead in to the football analogy. See here is the thing… Analytics – statistics – data – numbers that tell you how many viewers you had watching on a broadcast, how many comments they made, how long they watched for, how many times they shared in the app or on other platforms, how many times they took screenshots or gave other feedback like hearts on Periscope – all these numbers can give you an idea of how successful the broadcast was depending on your goals. They can tell you what your growth looks like over time and give you endless ways to measure how you’re doing. Livescale isn’t wrong. These numbers are indeed important. For example, Tom Brady (another #10 at Michigan after me – ha) is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football, and as a quarterback he is responsible for commanding the offense down the field to score more points than the other team to win games. He handles the ball on every offensive play and if you look at his statistics they tell the story of a guy who yes, would be considered at the top based on the numbers:
Tons of statistics there – he’s thrown for over 61 thousand yards and over 450 touchdowns. The numbers dotting his career in bold indicate statistics where he was number one in the NFL in that statistic. These are just regular season statistics – he’s also been the winning Super Bowl QB more than anyone in history. The data goes on and on, and these statistics / analytics tell the story of success on a massive scale.
Now let’s look at Larry Allen….
In my opinion Larry Allen was the most dominant offensive lineman to ever play. As a Dallas Cowboys fan I probably watched Larry Allen in around 140-ish of the 176 games he played for Dallas (on TV) and he was a beast. Strong, massive, quick, nasty – a first ballot Hall of Famer. And just look at those stats…. Wait what? You see, while his coaches may have been breaking down his game films and grading him out on his performances, the only official statistics for Larry are the 4 fumbles that happened nearby him on the field that he was able to recover over the course of his career. As an offensive lineman Larry may have never touched the ball aside from those 4 times in 14 years. So how do we know Larry was successful? Because we were there watching Larry – watching him move, neutralize and flatten defenders one after the other. There are no official statistics for what Larry did and it doesn’t matter. Statistics DON’T tell the story in this case.
It’s not all that different in Livestreaming. Analytics don’t always tell the whole story. Sure they are important and shouldn’t be ignored. However if only 10 people watched your broadcast but it changed their outlook, started a relationship or converted a client then it may have been a more successful broadcast than if 500 people were there live and none of that happened. If one person watching your broadcast made a comment that opened your eyes to a new way of thinking that’s better than 578 comments of nonsense because you’re broadcasting drama that attracts people like a train wreck and you’re not even looking at the comments because you’re so wrapped up in your own…..drama…
The same goes for all social media – build your community organically and yes track your analytics. Watch for trends and try to track towards your goals. But make sure you focus on your relationships and the vibe and culture around your brand, your broadcasts and your content as a whole. Be true to that and then the analytics – while they are important – won’t be the only thing that tells your story, and they shouldn’t be.