Measuring social media engagement can feel like a daunting task. What are you measuring? Which tools can be used? What do these numbers mean? The questions and the options quickly become overwhelming but try the steps below to make the task of measuring your social media engagement a manageable, useful exercise.
1. Focus on what you want to measure and set objectives
What are you interested in measuring? Are you interested in the leads generated by tweets? Are you interested in the amount of traffic you’re driving to your website from your social networks? If you’re interested in measuring engagement, consider keeping track of the number of @replies and re-tweets on Twitter. If you’d like to check on the amount of traffic your social media engagement gets, you might create trackable links using Google Analytics or bitl.y as noted below. Get very specific about what you want to measure and use the tools appropriate for measuring that metric.
2. Find the right tool
There are free and paid tools to measure social media and each tool measures something different. New social media measurement tools come out daily, but there are a few good tried-and-true methods that ought to be incorporated into any analytics strategy:
Google Analytics offers many tools for tracking and measuring website traffic and the analysis of marketing results, including sales and conversion tracking as well as tracking email campaigns, banner ads and more. Use Google Analytics to see how much traffic arriving at your site was referred through social sources. Google Analytics offers free and paid options.
Facebook Insights provides metrics on the engagement on a Facebook page. It tracks user engagement, the number of people who have seen a post, as well as the demographic data of your Facebook page’s audience. This is a free tool within Facebook.
Radian 6 is a listening tool. Users can track mentions of their brand and competitor brands across the Internet. Because Radian 6 is now owned by Salesforce, users can not only track mentions, but also add those talking about your brand to your possible leads. Radian 6 offers a free trial period, with paid options.
Tweetreach allows users to track their impressions and the number of people they’ve reached from conversations and retweets. The tool generates a report for up to 50 tweets. This is a free tool with paid upgrades.
Bit.ly is more than just a link shortening tool. It also tracks how many times those shortened links were clicked so you can see if your call to action really worked. This is a free tool with paid upgrades.
3. Create a schedule to check your metrics
Often people will check metrics hourly or weekly or never again. In most cases you’ll be interested in trends over time as much as absolute numbers so create a regularly scheduled metrics check-in to monitor your activity’s ROI. A weekly report is standard, but if you are launching a new product or making an announcement, consider a daily report.
4. Keep doing what works
Take a proactive approach to your metrics analysis. If a channel or type of content isn’t working, change it up. On the other hand, if something is working, consider using that tactic on a different channel or experiment with ways to enhance it. Look for websites that are driving a lot of traffic to your site and consider a thank you note. If one blog post or tweet is getting a lot of attention, consider expanding that idea. Use your metrics as a barometer of your successes and to identify potential problem areas.
Are you measuring your social media activity? What tools are you using? What are your tips on making social media engagement a success?