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Tracking Social Media

The best practice in social media is to track everything that you do. Why? So that you can learn what it is your audience likes and doesn’t like – and what will motivate your audience to take a desired action. Simply put, tracking social media activity will improve your results.
In Facebook, there are quite a few ways to measure activity.
To begin, you can easily measure your content performance right on the Facebook wall. Creating a benchmark for the average number of Likes, Shares and Comments will establish the average fan reaction to your activity. This will begin to paint a picture of what your fans like.
Another way to measure your content is to include trackable links in your posts. By using link shortening websites such as bit.ly or goo.gl, not only does your link look better, but you will also be able to measure how many people click on your link – and when.
Once you have established your benchmarks, you can test and compare new content to determine whether it resonates with your fans. By establishing benchmarks and continuing to measure post activity, you can track what type of content is more popular, what time of day you should post and what type of content elicits more desired actions. This can all be done in an Excel spreadsheet or any basic reporting template, and each month you will walk away with a little bit better understanding of what works and does not work for your specific social media personality.
For general activity trending, Facebook Insights is also a good tool. The tool tracks your Facebook page’s activity over time including New Likes, Unlikes, Active Users, Page Views, Photo Views and Video Views. Keeping an eye on these general trends will help you identify broader activity, such as the number of Facebook actions completed each week, that may either be helping or hindering your page’s overall performance.
In general, the goal is to not leave your Facebook content to guesswork. Taking the time to monitor your page, your content and their performance against set benchmarks will help you identify what does and does not work.
In Twitter, measurement is a bit more difficult as general reporting must be completed by outside resources. However, there are two key measurements that are found on the Tweets themselves: Replies and Retweets. A reply is a great engagement metric if you have used the Tweet to ask for comments or opinions while retweets on the other hand show a followers affinity for the post.
Again, benchmarking and tracking what topics and forms of engagement used in Twitter will help you better understand what resonates for your brand. However, keep in mind that Twitter is much more fast-paced than Facebook, so finding a tracking system that works and you actually use is key.
Free resources for over arching Twitter measurement include
www.twittercounter.com and www.tweetreach.com.
Twitter Counter allows you to see basic Twitter activity over time – and in the past. The two big trends shown through this resource are new Followers per day and number of tweets per day.
Tweet Reach allows you to see how many people are exposed to a Tweet or set of Tweets by searching for keywords or Twitter handle activity from up to the last 48 hours to determine how many Tweets were sent, how many impressions (or possible users saw these Tweets because they follow the account) were created and the reach of those impressions (the number of unique users who saw the Tweet). Not only does this tool let you see the impact of the messaging in the search, but it also lets you see the actual Tweets and the major contributors to the Tweet’s distribution.
Often with limited budget and resources, social media just becomes something you quickly do each day or once a week to check it off the list. But, with the use of simple tracking to truly learn what your fans like and what your fans respond to, your social media actions can be significantly more effective and produce better results. Thus, making the investment in time and money for social media worthwhile. Also, it provides a small pool from which to better understand your customer – and what they may or may not react well to in your business’ every day dealings.
Take the time, track and optimise what you post in social media to
gain results.

Social media is not a stand alone product to keep separated from the rest of your marketing activity. Especially here in New Zealand, where we are still jumping on this fast moving bandwagon, you need to be sure to communicate your social media activity through your traditional outlets. An easy way to start is to make sure that the social media icons are printed on key materials and to ensure that your staff know about the content and perks you offer via your social media.


 

by Channel Editorial

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