I stumbled upon a new feature in my Google Analytics recently -- real-time beta. Have you guys seen this!? It's amazing. If you have Google Analytics set up on your site, you should be able to use it and see who is on your site at that moment in time, where they are from, which page they are currently on, which website referred them and which key-word they typed into Google to find you. SO much useful real-time data!
I'm still playing with this and trying to figure out how it can be useful -- other than just being fascinating and a fun time-waster (it's so fun to see the number go up and the little dots appear) -- but one thing I've found helpful so far is how it can be used to gauge the response of social media campaigns. When I post an update on Twitter or Facebook, I'll click over to my Google Analytics Real-time to see what the response is. The above screen shot was taken after I posted simultaneously to Twitter and my business Facebook page. Even though I have nearly an equal number of followers for both, I always see a much faster and larger-scale response from Facebook.

Another time, B&H Photo (one of my workshop sponsors) tweeted about the Annapolis workshop in June. They have 67,000+ followers so I was pretty stoked at the time. I looked at the real-time analytics for my workshop site, and only 1 person clicked over from Twitter around the time the tweet went out. That just goes to show that quantity of followers doesn't always translate to a real response. There is SO much information assaulting us through social media these days, that sometimes, it can just end up being a lot of noise that people tune out.

If you have Google Analytics set up for your site and want to access real-time, click on the "home" tab and you should see it in the left-hand navigation.

If you are a photographer, and found this tip helpful, click here to find out about other resources I offer photographers!
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