Building A Case Study (Out Loud!)
My favorite way to gather material for a case study is to follow the form of a science experiment. It goes something like this:
- Identify the research question
- Develop a hypothesis
- Design the experiment
- Conduct the experiment
- Analyze the data
- Draw conclusions
- Communicate your results
This post covers steps 1–3.
1. Identify the Research Question
→ Why did our social media engagement drop so significantly in 2021?
1a. App Tracking (err… Dependency on FB + IG)
The first big hit on engagement that we noticed was when Apple launched its “opt out of tracking” feature with the release of iOS 14.5 on April 26, 2021. This feature requires app developers to obtain users’ consent before tracking their activities across other apps and websites. Folks can choose to allow or block tracking on an app-by-app basis and change their preferences at any time in the Settings app. This feature is part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to improve user privacy and give users more control over their data. Ultimately, I’m for it.
If you choose to allow tracking on an app, you are giving that app permission to collect your data and track your activities across other apps and websites that use the same advertising network. This data can include information such as your device ID, location, browsing history, app usage, and more.
Sadly, this good opt-out feature highlighted our deep dependency on Facebook and Instagram for our customer base. With sources showing that at least 98% of people opt out of tracking (2021), the number of people exposed to our little company through these platforms tanked.
Turns out, “Allow tracking” helps small companies like us be able to get the most out of our tiny marketing/ad budgets by ensuring the ads we put out there meet the best possible target audience based on all that collected data.
There may have been other algorithm shifts that happened around the same time, but dang. When your hard work of…