Do you know where you most valuable customers are talking about you? Harvard Business Review says 44% of businesses don’t know. That’s a problem. Without proper monitoring and measurement, you’ll never know where opportunities are for growth and you won’t be able to identify issues before they become problems.
It’s crucial to measure everything you do on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. When you measure, you can see what is working and what is not working, and you can do more of what’s working. Facebook and other social networks equip you with limited analytic tracking tools. Once you start to delve deeper into social media marketing, you will find you need a more robust measurement platform.
Our six favorite free tools (and two paid) for measuring social media are:
- Social Mention (free) – real time search engine that monitors over 100 social media properties. It’s like Google Alerts on steroids.
- Klout (free) – the de facto tool for measuring social media influence
- Google Alerts (free) – set up email alerts for your company name, product, and competition
- Google Analytics (free) – the most popular web analytics software, used by 53% of all websites. You can configure Google Analytics to measure social web traffic.
- CoTweet (free) – social media management and monitoring dashboard acquired by Twitter
- HootSuite (free) – similar to CoTweet but has a slick iPad app that makes it easy to manage Facebook and Twitter
- Radian6 (paid) – acquired by the popular CRM company Salesforce.com earlier this year for $326 million
- Marketwire (paid) – a PR distribution service with built-in social media monitoring
Tools like these track your social media efforts in real-time, allowing you to stay on top of the latest Tweets and more. Some even manage workflow to assign appropriate people Tweets and Facebook posts to follow up on. HootSuite and CoTweet can do things on Facebook that even Facebook can’t do, such as scheduling a Facebook post in advance.
There are a ton of things you can measure with social media – the number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, mentions of your company name in the social space, your influence via retweets and reblogging, etc. Whatever metric you measure should be tied back to a business objective, whether it’s building loyalty (number of fans), increasing awareness (brand mentions), customer service (social sentiment), or something else.
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These are easily understandable common social metrics. Many companies track them. However, monitoring data is only valuable if it’s being tied to a business objective. Having 500 Facebook Fans or 5,000 doesn’t mean anything if your business goal is generate leads and you’re not measuring lead referrals from Facebook. At the end of the day, you should track metrics that align with your business goal, whether that’s generating demand for a new product or generating leads. What metrics are your measuring?