Every March, our church holds its annual business meeting. It’s usually a fairly straightforward (i.e. boring) affair. Last year, our new lead pastor kept the meeting the same as it has always been, but this year, he wants to jazz it up a bit.
Knowing that he wanted to do more than present some dull balance sheets, I shared a fairly cool idea I’d seen online: what if we presented a picture of our “digital presence”? My pastor liked the idea and offered a tool to make it happened.
One Analytics Tool to Sum Them All
SumAll is a one-stop (beta) analytics tool that takes in a myriad of social media feeds and breaks it down in easy to understand chunks. While tonas of tools can do the same for you, SumAll really does aim to “sum them all,” by allowing you to analyze the following platforms: Bitly, Google (AdSense/AdWords/Analytics/Blogger/Plus), Facebook Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress.com, MailChimp, Amazon, Tumblr, and the list goes on and on and on. It’s really quite amazing.
But again, it’s just the quantity of data streams you can analyze, but it’s also the quality.
My Experience with SumAll
Now, I’m new to analytics; I don’t quite understand it all. With that caveat, let me say that SumAll is easy enough that even I can understand it. See for yourself.
I can look at various data streams, comparing and contrasting. Over time, I hope to be able to pinpoint what posts, status updates, etc. are successful, i.e. get shared a lot, drive more traffic to our website. SumAll will help me see any convergence between our social media streams and will allow me to make notes at various points along the graphs so that in five months time I’ll still know what drove this spike here or why our page visits nosedived there.
SumAll also allows you to export your data so that you can do your own analysis (.csv) and can present it (.png) easier. Here’s a sample report of our website’s daily views and Facebook engagement, starting from just before our website/social media overhaul and ending today. I’m not sure, but it looks like a bump in FB interaction correlates into a bump in website visits later in the week.
Conclusion & Friendly Advice
SumAll looks like it could be a really handy tool, something to help you prove the worth of a strong digital presence. However, don’t get bogged down in the numbers. The point isn’t about traffic, fans, or retweets—it’s about spreading the Gospel. If you’re church is equipped to do that online, SumAll can help you do that strategically, but don’t let the numbers affect your heart. Remember, Jesus chose twelve, who later impacted thousands, who impacted millions, and so on. It’s never been about the numbers; it’s about the power of God at work in our lives and the lives of those whom we share Him. If you’re sharing Him well online, you might find your Facebook page getting shared as well, but if not, it doesn’t matter. He must increase, even if your social media reach doesn’t.