alex sysoef
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10 Ways to Measure Social Media

2009 was the year many individuals and businesses dipped their toes in social media. 2010 will be the year where people look for ways to measure social media. Social media measurement however can be a little tricky.

Where do I start?

The best place to begin would be to figure out what you are looking to accomplish from using social media as an online marketing vehicle. Are you looking to build your network, broadcast messages, create community around your brand, drive traffic to your website or blog, or perhaps you just dove in with little thought or strategy? Having these questions answered will greatly help you determine what success in social media is and how you can measure it.

Below is a list of ten tools you can use to measure social media.

Web Traffic

This is a basic but important way to measure social media if one of your goals is to increase traffic to your website or blog. Social media traffic referrals can be quickly measured using your favorite web analytics tool. Figure out which sites send the most traffic and also what type of content is successful.

Advanced Segments

Google Analytics has a pretty powerful feature called Advanced Segments. This allows you to group certain types of visits together in your data. This can come in handy when you are measuring traffic and conversions from social media. For example, you can create a custom segment for Twitter and Facebook. This will enable you to bring in these segments when you are analyzing your data so you can better determine various things like amount and quality of traffic from social media. Digg might send the most traffic but visitors from Twitter may convert better. Advanced segments can help you determine all this.

Leads, Conversions and Sales

This ties into some of the other mentions I made in regards to using your analytics for social media measurement. Track referring sites all the way through your funnel to see which networks are sending traffic that generates leads that convert to sales. Use this data to influence where you spend your time and efforts online.

Facebook Insight

Facebook pages come with an insightful (pun intended, I know, bad, right?) panel called Insight. This panel shares data on fans, interactions and quality of your posts. Graphs make viewing this data a breeze. Graphs display information such as total number of fans, unsubscribed fans and how they grow over time. Facebook is also kind enough to share demographic data of your fans.

Links Clicked

Another simple way of measurement is to look at the data url shorteners provide. There are many of them but my two favorite are Hootsuite’s ow.ly and bit.ly. Both tools shorten your urls and keep up with how many clicks your links receive as well as information on location of the people clicking on your links. This information is good because it can quickly uncover useful information such as which content people are interested in and what times of the day people are most likely to click on your messages.

Blog Subscribers

You can quickly keep an eye on your growth of your blog’s subscribers. Pay attention to subscription spikes in relation to your social media activity.

Facebook Insight

Facebook pages come with an insightful (pun intended, I know, bad, right?) panel called Insight. This panel shares data on fans, interactions and quality of your posts.

Graphs make viewing this data a breeze. Graphs display information such as total number of fans, unsubscribed fans and how they grow over time. Facebook is also kind enough to share demographic data of your fans.

Links Clicked

Another simple way of measurement is to look at the data url shorteners provide. There are many of them but my two favorite are Hootsuite’s ow.ly and bit.ly. Both tools shorten your urls and keep up with how many clicks your links receive as well as information on location of the people clicking on your links. This information is good because it can quickly uncover useful information such as which content people are interested in and what times of the day people are most likely to click on your messages.

Klout

Klout is a tool that measures your reputation and influence on Twitter. What I like about Klout is it measures your TRUE REACH, not just the number of followers you have. True reach is defined as “the size of your engaged audience.” They subtract out bots and those accounts that you have nothing in common and no interaction with. Another cool feature is knowing your “amplification ability.” Amplification ability is defined by Klout as “This is the likelihood that your message will generate retweets or spark a conversation. “ This is good stuff here. 20,000 followers are no good if you have no influence or engagement. Twitter gives you the opportunity to amplify your message beyond your direct network, thus enabling your messages to go viral. Measuring your Twitter success by these metrics can prove valuable.

Twitter Analyzer

Twitter Analyzer is another robust tool used for measure your Twitter profile. Like Klout, it can help you get a better handle on your influence and reach and much more. What is cool about this tool is it gets very detailed down to the day and individual followers which provides great insight if you spend a little time looking through it.

Socialseek

Socialseek is a desktop application that enables you to quickly and easily track your brands mentions through various channels in social media. It checks tweets, blogs, videos, photos, and events on any topic, in your city as well as hot topics, news, stars and even your brand – all in real-time! They have a mobile app as well. This tool can help businesses stay on top of what people are saying about their brand and better react to negative chatter. Reputation management is important, especially for brands. Social media can help or hurt you and knowing what is being said and who is saying it is valuable information.

Followers, Fans and Popular Front Page Stories

Another way to measure social media is by simply looking at the number of your network. Monitor the growth of your network across each social media profile as well as any of your content that becomes popular on these sites as well. Be sure to track the quantity and quality of your network.

There are many tools available now to help you measure social media and look for many more to pop-up through the course of the year. What tools and methods do you use?

About the Author: Zack Hanebrink is an online marketing professional and publisher of Online Marketing Mashup, a blog that provides tips and resources for all aspects of online marketing.

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About The Blog Author

Alex Sysoef is an IT Consultant, Internet Marketer and ProBlogger who shares his passion and knowledge of WordPress, SEO, Social Media and traffic strategies on his blog WordPress Howto Spotter. Connect on Twitter or Facebook

30 Responses to “10 Ways to Measure Social Media”

  1. I actually had no idea how to measure if my social media efforts were working at all. (Besides traffic and subscribers) Thanks for the information. I’ll hack to check some of these out, specifically, Klout and Facebook Insight.
    .-= Patrick Toerner´s last blog ..Amazing Way to Get 100% Unique Articles for Free! =-.

  2. Luke Allen says:

    I mainly prefer three site for Social media. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin This are top three site for social media.
    .-= Luke Allen´s last blog ..Panasonic TX-P 42 S 10 =-.

  3. Dennis Edell says:

    Awesome info Alex. I’m just getting back into it all this year after deleting everything last year.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Do You Have a Good Website/Blog Designer? Meet CJ – My Awesome New Designer! =-.

  4. Chris Lang says:

    Good article Alex,

    It’s about time some suggested you start measuring your social media efforts. Too many look at their numbers and think this is a good thing.

    Every one of my clients tell me that Twitter and Facebook traffic does not convert. Not to mention I just don’t see the numbers on either generating traffic. But that is me, great advice that your readers go find out for themselves.

    One thing you did not mention is in Google analytics to use “Goals” as this is the most important part. Goals allow you to measure opt ins to your list and above all sales.

  5. Nadia CHAAL says:

    Like Patrick I wasn’t sure how to measure my social media efforts. Thanks for this post, I will definitively share this with my readers.
    .-= Nadia CHAAL´s last blog ..Affiliate marketing lesson 3 =-.

  6. John says:

    Thanks for all the information, it is all very useful. I have been using twitter and facebook with some good results, I’ll be investigating the tools tou suggested to make sure I’m on the right track.

  7. Some great tips here, I have been focusing more on social media the last few weeks and these tips you have suggested will help push me in the right direction :-)

    Thanks!

  8. Zacked says:

    Thanks for sharing the useful information. But i am regularly tweeting but still there aint any conversation. dont know where i go wrong with it.
    .-= Zacked´s last blog ..The Content and The Concluding Paragraph =-.

  9. Emma Knight says:

    I am not convinced that Twitter traffic converts well either. Facebook is a different story however. But these are really just feelings since I haven’t spent much time actually measuring the results. So thanks for the list, it’ll be a great help.
    .-= Emma Knight´s last blog ..Auctioneer Tutorial – How to Auctioneer from A to Z =-.

  10. Liz says:

    You really hit the nail on the head, figuring out what you want to accomplish with social media helps. For example, Twitter helps your build your brand and Squidoo helps you build links and then of course use the tools you’ve mentioned to measure success. Nice Post, thanks!

  11. Al says:

    I keep reading about twitter and I see it getting bigger and bigger and more people are using it, it seems. I’m with another reader though, I wonder how good twitter traffic converts. I would really like to learn more about it but with all the new advertising mediums It’s tough to get to them all.
    .-= Al´s last blog ..How to get your blog ranked in the search engines =-.

    • TheSpotter says:

      Al,

      It converts only as well as you target it. Just remember – people on Twitter to socialize not to be sold. If you direct them to a relevant post on blog with a topic they are interested in – you have a good chance of getting yourself a reader. For many – it is conversion. Expand your options from there.

  12. Jodi says:

    Great post. I had no idea that there were so many ways to measure social media. Thanks for the info!

  13. Coree says:

    Marketing with social media can be a great traffic generator, but without analyzing it we have no way of knowing if our socializing is bringing us conversions.

    Thanks for breaking it all down for us, Alex. I never thought about setting up Google Analytics for Twitter or Facebook. Guess I’ll have to go tackle that now!
    .-= Coree´s last blog ..7 Cross Promotion Ideas To Boost Traffic and Sales =-.

  14. Jimmy Sou says:

    social Seek and Klout look like interesting tools. Social media can be tricky to track becasue it keeps changing.

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