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TAMU Webmaster's Blog

Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters


More on Facebook Analytics

For those of you who might have started to update their Facebook pages to include Google Analytics as I mentioned a few posts ago, let me point out a followup article from the same folks at Webdigi.  This one gives a method that will allow you to track interactions and classify them according to whether they were made by fans or non-fans.

This can be an important concept because it allows you to get a firm picture of who is actually interacting with your page.  I haven’t added this to our sites yet, but I would be interested to know what the results would be.  This would solve once and for all the question of just how important a site’s number of fans really is.

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010 Analytics, Social Media No Comments

Facebook Revisited

Last time I mentioned that I had given a presentation on Facebook to the Brand Council and that one of my points was to install Google Analytics and combine it with the information Facebook already provides to get a better idea of your site usage.  One of my other points was that you must actually look at and use this data rather than just passively collecting it and never looking to see what it shows. So here is a brief rundown of President Loftin’s Facebook site and the analytics behind it.

I didn’t get analytics installed for the launch of the site, which might actually be a good thing since the initial traffic spike of the first few days won’t skew the numbers.  While our total number of visits is in the acceptable range, the graph of  number of visits vs. time shows a clear pattern. Most of our traffic is generated on Tuesdays, the day that Dr. Loftin’s weekly report goes out.  The fact that each successive Tuesday has so far seen more and more hits is an encouraging sign.

Google Analytiscs chart of Dr. Loftin's Facebook page - # of vists vs. time in days

I’d like to go more in depth, but the fact that we’re still collecting the first round of data is hindering a  proper analysis.  As we collect more data I’ll get any trends that we find posted for your information.

To follow up on the gifts application that we added to Dr. Loftin’s Facebook page, I’m happy to say that it has been moderately successful.  In the week that it has been online 830 different Aggie gifts have been sent.  At least a few people have been heavy users of the application because 5 of the 11 hidden gifts have been unlocked.  By far the favorites have been the bow ties, so we will continue to add special bonuses to keep the interaction going.  This does, I believe, serve as clear evidence that adding ways of interacting with our social media sites increases their value.

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 Analytics, Social Media No Comments

Google Analytics in Facebook Pages

Yesterday I gave a presentation (PPT) to Brand Council about how to develop a successful Facebook fan page.  One of my points was that once the site is built you should monitor its usage, just like you would any other website.  And just like for any other website I suggested that the best way of doing that was through using Google Analytics.

There were a few people well versed in Facebook in the room, so I got the question I had been expecting…”but I thought you couldn’t use Google Analytics on  Facebook, it doesn’t allow you to trigger javascript on page loads.”  True, but using an embedded image in the Facebook page and some clever cookie management, there is a way of getting everything we need.

Many thanks to the folks at webdigi for developing and open sourcing this method.

As a postscript I’d like to use this find to illustrate an important point.  Just because you don’t know how to do something, or even if you’ve been told that it can’t be done, don’t be satisfied by the easy answer.  Do research.   When I was asked to build the Facebook page I didn’t know whether it supported analytics or not, but I knew that I wanted to use them and I went looking for how to implement them.  The internet is a big place, and more than likely somebody somewhere has already asked the same question you are trying to answer and has posted it online.  Use Google.  I can’t emphasize that enough. Use Google again and again until either you have what you’re looking for or are convinced that it can’t be done.  Then look again just to be sure.

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Friday, April 9th, 2010 Analytics, Social Media No Comments

President’s Pages

The cat is now out of the bag and we can add our announcement here.  After a few hurried weeks we are launching a pair of presidential websites.  Dr. Loftin’s institutional site has been completely overhauled and moved to  The site is designed to be much lighter than the old version, and will give Dr. Loftin the ability to interact more with the public.  It will feature such topics as Ask the President, as well as present his weekly reports online and even expand his presence into a “From the President” section that will allow him to expand on relevant topics throughout the year.

In keeping with his personality, Dr. Loftin expressed an interest in finding some way to communicate with the Aggie family on a more personal basis.  We have therefore created a Facebook page for him, and the reception has already been far beyond our expectations.  We hope to use both of these vehicles to continue getting Dr. Loftin’s messages out to campus and beyond.  We have found very few presidents of major universities using Facebook, so we hope that it’s ongoing growth will further cement our social media leadership in higher education.  We encourage you all to visit the site and become a fan.


R Bowen Loftin on Facebook

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Social Media No Comments

New Calendar Feature

For those who haven’t visited lately, we have added a new feature to the campus calendar — a weekly view.  This is something that several folks have been asking about for quite a while, and we’re pleased to now be able to offer it as a resource.

Other upcoming features include a facebook ap that Donald St. Martin in the College Engineering is working on, as well as a mobile version that we indend to roll out for phone/mobile device users.

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Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 Calendar, Mobile Web No Comments