13 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Mobile App

This is a guest post by Michelle Joe:

Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524

13 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Mobile App

Sleepless night, stressful days, crazy coding moments and many cups of coffee later, you have finally created the v1.0 of your app. It’s time to put it up on the app store and relax.

But wait!

There is no time for a breather because it’s now time to track all kinds of metrics about your app. It is important to figure out how the market is responding to your app, who is downloading it, and how they are interacting with it. The app store’s metrics, comments, and bug reports usually paint an incomplete picture.

So, you will have to do some detective work on your own.

The trouble is that, an app has many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked. And that’s why deciding where to begin, can be a major pain. However, we are here to help! Listed below are the very basic KPIs that must be measured to learn more about the users and their interactions with your app.

Let’s begin with the most essential mobile metrics that you must measure:

1.    Downloads

‘Number of downloads’ build a rock-solid foundation for the measurement of your app’s success. But it is the not the most definitive KPI. For example, millions of people might download your app after a successful marketing campaign, only to uninstall it a few days later. So, take the results with a pinch of salt. However, download numbers are still important, so keep tracking them.

2.    Installations

Downloads are not the same as installations, and the faster you figure out the reason for discrepancies between the two numbers for your app, the quicker you’ll be able to help your app. If the numbers aren’t the same, or at least pretty close, the reason could be unexpected errors in the installation process, or your apps inability to cope with different OS and devices.

3.    Uninstallations

See a sudden increase in uninstallations? It could be because of a recent app update, or a patch you just added. Tracking this KPI is important.

4.    Conversions

For starters, figure out how you define conversions for your app. It could be creating a user account for using your app, or making a purchase within. This is an essential KPI because it means that the user has volunteered information (email address, name, age, etc.) to use your app, and they might just be willing to become long-term customers.

5.    Churn Rate

Churn rate measures the runners, i.e., people who unsubscribed from your services and/or uninstalled the app. Lower churn rate is better, obviously. A higher one can indicate UX and UI troubles for your app. This churn rate could be affected by actual issues with your app, or even by word of mouth. For example, there was a rumor that the popular instant messaging app AirG spams, and that damaged its reputation, making users uninstall it.

6.    Crashes

If an app crashes once, chances are that it will never be used again. People have very little tolerance for messy apps. So, track them, and figure out what went wrong, where. Crashing apps are often abandoned and uninstalled, so this critical metric also ties into other KPIs.

7.    Unresponsive Gestures

Try to find out if your users tend to perform some gestures more than others when using your app! This could be double tapping, swiping, or scrolling down the app. Is your app responding well to these gestures? Learn more about this too. Unresponsive Gestures can hurt your apps reputation and your image as an app developer. Use qualitative analytics tools such as touch heat maps to track the issue and fix it before it gets out of hand.

8.    App Load Time

Flagships phones are bigger, faster and have plenty of RAM, and that’s why they are sold at a premium price, and mobile users love them. Your app should be able to take advantage of these options and provide a smooth and fast mobile experience. Otherwise, the app will be replaced. So, keep a close eye on your app’s load time, ensuring that it is as fast as possible.

9.    Retention Rate

You have fantastic installation numbers, but the app doesn’t seem to get recurring users as it should. This means that your users are not getting value from it. And that’s why measuring and fixing the retention rate is of utmost importance.

10.           Session Length

Mobile app professionals must also measure the number of sessions per user, as well as their lengths and intervals. For example, for apps like AirG or Evernote, more sessions mean more business, but for something like Facebook, more extended sessions are just as important as higher frequency. Identify what the ideal session is for your app, then strive to create it for your users; keep measuring in the meanwhile.

11.           Devices Used

This one’s quite easy to track, and it offers valuable insights into your users and their habits. By monitoring this metric, you could learn more about the kind of devices being used, what OS these devices are running and how your app can be optimized for the most used devices for optimum user experience.

12.           Social Shares

Word of mouth works! It can make your app the superstar of the app store, or kill its success in a matter of hours. This is why app professionals keep an eye on social shares, and not just the numbers but also the content within. Are your users using the in-app social share buttons? Are they making fun of your app, or sharing because they think it is something that others would find useful? This information can help you decide the future course for app marketing.

13.           Conversion Funnel Drop-offs

Simply put, conversion funnels create a chain of events that lead to a specific action taken by the user. This action can be anything, from making a purchase to merely signing up for a newsletter. The events through the funnel can and should be tracked. If users are dropping off in the middle of an event, then they can’t complete the action desired at the end, and you need to know why!

Final Thoughts

An app is only as successful as it’s developer’s ability to monitor, scale and optimize it. Identifying the proper KPIs to do that is half the job done. Those mentioned above and many others will affect the growth of an app significantly.

Note from rise.global

Use our multi-metric scorecard template to create a scorecard on rise.global that can help you track these metrics – and if you create the correct score algorithm, you will be able to see how well your app is doing from day to day by just looking at the single score that your scorecard will produce.

Setting up a success tracking practice

rawpixel-com-252127.jpgMany organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

The Success Tracking Difference (3) : Self-Management

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

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Success Tracking enables introspection and self optimisation. Photo by Ben Warren

In Wayne Eckerson’s book, Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business he describes 3 types of performance dashboards:

  1. operational dashboards that enable front-line workers and supervisors to track core operational processes
  2. tactical dashboards that help managers and analysts track and analyse departmental activities, processes and projects
  3. strategic dashboards that let executives and staff chart their progress toward achieving strategic objectives

Each type of dashboard offers three sets of related functionality – monitoring, analysis and management but in different degrees. For example operational dashboards focus more on monitoring, tactical dashboards help users analyse the root causes and strategic dashboards focus on achievement of overall management goals.

Instead of being focused on a traditional command and control management structure, the Success Tracking approach recognises staff to active participants in their own management. We want to see staff discover autonomy, mastery and purpose.

To enable, this a Success Tracking dashboard blends Eckerson’s three types of dashboards from the point of view of the user not the manager.

In success tracking we are now doing requiring all three performance dashboard types – monitoring ourselves, analysing our patterns of behaviour and managing our own progress journey.

This is different from the traditional approach where only an operational dashboard is given to staff. Each staff member is expected to monitor specific activities but is not being asked to take a wider view. Someone monitoring activity isn’t expected to ask “is what I’m doing as effective as I could be? Does it help me reach my overall goal?”

Real time isn’t that important

One side effect of this is that real time information, as is usually associated with monitoring use cases, can get in the way of analysis best practice. Instead freezing the data into periodic “releases” is more helpful. This means we can faithfully compare this week’s performance with last week’s for example.

Introspection and analysis requires time set aside to look at the data from a wider perspective. By notifying staff on a regular timetable – say the same time each week – you encourage the formation of analysis habits, setting aside time to consider progress.

Key takeaway

The key though to understanding and planning your success tracking program is think of it from the “player point of view” – how does this help someone achieve their epic win? how does the dashboard show them how they are progressing on the journey? how does it allow them to self-optimise?

 

Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:

clickmechanicphoto

Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the success tracking philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.

The top 10 barriers to social media tracking success.

In this post I outline the ten barriers that stop many businesses from measuring our social media return on investment effectively. I then propose a simple four step solution.  This is a summary of a talk on how to measure social media success given at Spring Fair and at Jewellery & Watch (slides).

 

Social media is a potential bottomless time pit – we can spend countless hours tweeting, posting and snapping with no return. In an ideal world we’d know what worked and do more of that: that’s the promise of effective social media measurement and tracking.

 

Before most businesses achieve a self-tracking culture that lets them see their social media ROI there are 10 barriers they must overcome.

 

None of the barriers are insurmountable but each presents difficulties.

 

The barriers are:

 

  1. No link from digital to physical events

For many bricks and mortar businesses, the transaction is completed in the physical world – someone comes into your shop for example. In this environment it’s really hard to attribute transactions back to their digital roots on social media or elsewhere.

 

  1. Not tracking as a team

Evaluating the analytics and planning optimization strategies as a result requires the mindshare of more than one person in a team. Trying to do analytics on your own, while possible, is hard to maintain momentum. Without the key team bought in, to looking at the metrics, it’s very hard to justify the necessary iterations you will need to make.

 

  1. Trying to track success in multiple channels simultaneously

 

In my experience I’m only really able to concentrate on one metric at a time. Trying to evaluate the results from multiple channels reduces the focus you need to be successful at optimization. It’s all too easy to flick flack between channels and getting nowhere as a result.

 

  1. Trying to track metrics for multiple stages of maturity simultaneously

 

Social media channels evolve through 4 stages of maturity. It is only worth tracking the metrics of one stage at a time – the stage your channel is currently at. To do otherwise again will blur the focus of your optimization efforts. The four stages of maturity are covered in the GERM model – metrics for really busy folk. They are Getting Going, Engagement, Reliable Reach and Monetisation.

 

  1. Metric Overload

 

Most social media channels have a plethora of analytics and metrics they output for you – far too many to be useful all at once. Looking at too many metrics will dull your focus and reduce your ability to optimize effectively. Don’t forget, our objective is to know what works – by focusing on one metric at a time we know whether changes we make to our channel are effecting that metric positively or negatively.

 

  1. Being seduced by vanity metrics

 

Vanity metrics are the easy metrics that make us feel good – total followers, total fans for example. But vanity metrics don’t tell enough of the story – we have a 1000 followers but do they care about our content? There’s no point in having 100s of fans if we never post anything.

 

  1. Undisciplined analytics processes

 

Looking at the stats every few months or so doesn’t create an internal culture that can use metrics to improve your social media channel. Without a consistent analytics discipline in place (weekly metrics meeting for example) you’re unlikely to make those kaizen optimisations that are needed for real success.

 

  1. Fuzzy marketing strategy

 

If your marketing strategy lacks clarity – your audience, your message, your channels, your pipeline is fuzzy then your social media channel will be fuzzy. Metrics need specificity to be useful – what exactly are you trying to achieve with your social media channel?

 

  1. Hazy audience development plan

 

This is all too often the case, where the target audience definition is hazy and the way in which we’ll reach them is not thought out. While you don’t necessarily need to worry about this until you’re worrying about growing a reliable reach – your audience development plan needs to state how and why your audience will grow.

 

  1. Not valuing our own time

 

The number one barrier I see when trying to achieve social media success is not valuing our own time – if you don’t know how much you’ve invested, it’s hard to make a call as to whether what comes out is worth it. It may be that after all those hours creating your own media channel you’d have been better off paying to advertise on someone else’s!

 

So how do you set about overcoming these barriers in your own social media measurement efforts?

4 Step Approach

There are 4 steps, and the great news is that they are refreshingly easy to do and will actual reduce the amount of work you do today rather than increase it!

 

  1. Start with a single channel

Your metrics journey starts with just one channel – focus on getting that right first before worrying about your other channels. Metrics is a discipline. Habit forming and focus is more important than covering all the bases.

 

  1. Focus on the metrics appropriate to your channel’s stage of maturity

 

Take an honest look at your channel (or better still ask one of your audience members) and ask yourself what stage you are at – getting going, engagement, reliable reach or monetization. Then choose one metric to focus on, appropriate to that stage.

 

  1. Only analyse what you plan to optimize

 

There’s no point looking at metrics if you don’t do anything about them. There’s no point doing anything unless you look at the metrics to see if it worked. Optimisation is not about making multiple sweeping changes – one change at a time (weekly for example) is enough for you to learn what works best with your audience.

 

  1. Form a metrics tracking habit

 

Evaluate your metrics regularly and consistently as this will allow you to make the multiple small improvements which will eventually bring you social media success.

 

Am I eating my own dog food?

 

In the software industry the phrase “are you eating your own dog food?” or more positively “are you sipping your own champagne?” asks tech executives to use their own tools and prove their efficacy themselves.

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve applied this approach to my own personal twitter account @tobyberesford. I identified that the channel was stuck at the “getting going” stage – I simply wasn’t posting consistently every day.

 

To form a metrics habit I joined up with the free “Twitter Activity Club” (aka the TAC) provided by Rise.global. Each week the board emails me with my average tweets per day, and the week to week change.

 

Taking a look at my stats on the TAC I soon saw my own, rather choppy, performance. Some weeks I tweeted plenty, others not so much. I am yo-yoing up and down in terms of activity and consequently rank on the leaderboard.

 

I’m now working on some more consistent habits. I’m using Buffer to make sure I’ve scheduled at least 4 tweets going out every day. Now its up to me to make sure I stick to that discipline and once confident that I’ve achieved that I’ll move (finally) past the getting going stage and then I’ll start working on improving my audience’s level of engagement with my tweets.

 

What’s your next step in your journey?

If you’re still getting going then I recommend joining theTwitter Activity Club and taking advantage of the free weekly metrics service.

If you’re thinking about engagement then join the Twitter Engagement Club or, if you’re now working on growing your reach then join the Twitter Followers Club. Each club provides the right metric for your Twitter channel depending on its level of maturity.

 

 

 

Twitter Followers Club – a fun way to grow your reach

So, you’d like to become more influential on Twitter?

On all social media channels, to become influential, you need to do 3 things:

1. Make your “reach” big – in Twitter’s case, you need to grow your Follower base, so that everytime you tweet, there’s a better chance that it get’s read.

2. Be active on the channel – this means tweeting and engaging with other people’s posts (favoriting, retweeting, commenting)

3. But, its no use being active if other people don’t appreciate your inputs – so, you need to engage your followers (and their followers) by creating top content, so that they like and share your posts by retweeting.

Rise’s Twitter Followers Club will help you with (1) above – your reach. It will automatically track your follower numbers and also the week-to-week change in this. Your personalised weekly score card (like below) will tell you how well you are doing in attracting and keeping your followers.  And, you will be kept on your toes by all the other Twitterati who are trying to do the same!

LeaderboardSnapShot

Don’t wait – join here and get going.  It’s simple – it will take a couple of minutes.

Happy tweeting.

London Hackathon leads to innovative digital solution for UN

Press Release on: 19 March 2015

Hackathon picture

A transformative company is rethinking United Nations social media strategies with an intelligent software platform that employs gamification techniques. Smart, social and performance oriented, Rise powers the recently launched UN Social 500 leaderboard which is used to recognise, amplify and encourage UN staff to harness the power of social media.

Toby Beresford, Rise CEO said, “We are beyond honoured to contribute to what is undoubtedly the world’s most recognised organisation. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and through UN Social 500, we’re helping the United Nations make the most of online opportunities to engage with the world.”

In conjunction with social analytics ranking engine Klout, Rise has developed the UN Social 500 website to honour the top social media influencers within the United Nations. Drawing on data from multiple channels, Klout issues individual social media account scores. Rise then provides personal tracking over time, comparative benchmarking with peers and an overview of which UN social media butterflies have been most successful in spreading their wings.

unsocial500 screenshot

The initial idea came to light in the wake of the UN Influx hackathon, which challenged personnel to come up with ways to “use digital innovation to connect the UN and the public more effectively.” For Rise, the solution was the launch of social media leaderboard, UN Social 500. At its core, it encourages staff to augment their social media impact and promote UN efforts via personal online accounts. The board even boasts its very own #UNSocial500 hashtag to ensure followers stay up-to-the-minute on all the latest developments.

In today’s digital society social media has become an integral part of both personal and corporate communications. For an organisation focussing on peacekeeping, security, human rights AND economic development, social media is a hugely effective way to engage with global citizens. As such, UN personnel making the most of social media channels deserve to be commended for their efforts. The UN Social 500 leaderboard does just this, while simultaneously allowing members of the public to discover the most influential men and women who promote, discuss and describe the work of the UN on a daily basis.

From globally recognised organisations such as the United Nations to local SMEs and expanding corporations, the latest UN Social 500 drive is a lucid example of how a gamified performance management platform can be used to motivate employees to supercharge social media presence. For businesses and organisations of any size, it’s an innovative way to boost public profile, engage with a larger target audience and ensure that social media channels are worked at their hardest.

To find out more about Rise and sign up for a FREE membership to the online GPM community, go to: www.rise.global

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/risedotglobal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/risedotglobal

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/2734321

About

Rise is a Gamified Performance Management (GPM) platform designed to help businesses get better at what’s important to them. The platform does this by providing regular, relevant feedback in a way that’s clear, proactive and results driven.

Members of the Rise community can choose to follow public or private boards in order to stay up to date with all the latest industry movements and trends. Once signed up, users can track progress against multiple metrics. These draw on a myriad of different systems and are an invaluable resource for businesses wanting to uncover how they shape up against the competition.

Contact

Contact: Toby Beresford

Email: toby@rise.global

Tel UK: 0203 286 1568

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