Social media is like a networking event. I am not quite sure who actually said this but I heard it at the Social Tools Summit back in April. It is a compelling analogy and is a very effective way of educating people on the power of social media as well as what is required to tend social media during this ongoing 24/7 networking event.
Social media can be very time consuming and social media analytics help you determine if your "networking" is working.
What do you need in your social media analytics toolbox?
A scheduling app will make your life a lot easier than not using a scheduler. A scheduler enables you to schedule posts over a specified timeframe so that you do not have to tend to posting updates to several channels throughout the day. In most cases, the application will post your updates at the “ideal” time to maximize your exposure to your targeted audience and provide ongoing metrics about your activity.
Benefit: Saves you time and gives insight to when your post will be most effective
Google Analytics is free and provides lots of information. It will tell you if social media drives traffic to your web site and from which channels. It can show you how visits from social media consume your content as well as how it attributes to conversions. One of the key features is that it allows you to create custom dashboards based on your company’s specific KPIs.
Benefit: Shows you how your social programs affect your bottom line.
Downside: None – it is a powerful too!
In application metrics
Each one of the social networks offer extensive metrics in easy to see dashboards. These applications provide lots of information that can be used to engage and optimize exposure in that specific network.
Benefit: You will get an in-depth analysis of your activity on that specific network.
Downside: Single channel visibility only.
Most SaaS-based social media tools offer some type of free capabilities in the hope of enticing you to upgrade to their premium offer. There are so many tools to choose from that provide all types of information and capabilities.
Benefit: You get to try out tools a number of free tools for a limited time investment – some may offer enough free functionality to satisfy your program requirements.
Downside: Limited functionality.
here are many third party tools that you can use or purchase to get additional analytics and help you measure the impact of your social media programs. Chances are you will end up subscribing to some type of paid tool that integrates the metrics from multiple channels to give you a custom view of your entire program.
Benefit: You can get a customized snapshot of your entire program. It enables you to consolidate reporting and makes it easy to see results as well as pinpoint areas for improvement.
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