Cindy Wilson, Marketing Communications Manager
Wilson has been marketing communications manager at EVE since 2006 and is responsible for its tradeshows, seminars and events planning, media planning, social networking programs and budgeting. She has worked in EDA since 2002 when she joined Tharas Systems and held various positions, including … More »
The Metrics of Social Media
April 2nd, 2012 by Cindy Wilson, Marketing Communications Manager
By now, you probably know that social media is kind of a big deal. Social media is literally changing the world, having played a significant role in political scenes around the globe. Closer to home, social media marketing is changing the way we do business, providing access to online audiences like never before. If you need some more convincing on the value of social media marketing, you can check out my earlier blog post, “What Is Up With Social Media?”.
We know that social media is important for our business, but exactly how important—or perhaps more accurately, how effective—is it? How do we know if our social media campaigns are having any impact? The number of followers of your Twitter account or fans of your Facebook page doesn’t give you the whole story. Are your links being clicked and reposted? How many people do you influence? Who else is talking about you (and what are they saying)? As social media has evolved into a critical marketing tool, a host of new technologies have been developed to help you answer these questions.
Tracking Your Content/Links
When you post a link to your latest blog post, does anyone retweet it? If you advertise a sale or promotion with a landing page, does your social media campaign result in conversions? Content tracking is the most straightforward and readily available metric for social media. Almost every social media scheduling tool, such as HootSuite, Tracx, Buffer, and Gremln also includes metrics on clicks, mentions, and reposts. There are a wider range of dedicated analytics tools to choose from as well, such as SWIX and Cyfe. You can also collect some of this data through URL shorteners like bit.ly. This information helps you to assess the quality of your content.
Measuring Your Influence with Social Network AnalysisA trickier metric to obtain in social media marketing is your influence. Social media influence involves not just a measure of the breadth and depth of your reach, but also your ability to drive action in social networks. This type of measurement is an extension of social network analysis (SNA) that is focused on uncovering the patterning of people’s interaction. Theories behind SNA are far older than social media, having been earlier applied to fields of study such as organizational behavior and epidemiology. Now SNA is being applied to online social media networks by companies like Klout, Tracx, and ThoughtBuzz to provide a measure of your influence.
What Others Are Saying About You
Tracking your content and influence has to do with your impact on the social media audience; but social media is also a platform for that audience to talk about your company or product. Collecting and analyzing this data helps you find out how your audience views your product compared to your competitors, and manage crises as soon as they occur. Companies like Tracx and ThoughtBuzz not only provide social media monitoring, but also sentiment analysis, to see if the message is positive or negative.
Still a Long Way to Go
There is still a long way to go in terms of maturing the field of social media metrics and analysis. I’ll try to keep you posted on some of the latest developments, and in the meantime you can use the resources below to learn more about social media analysis and the tools/companies mentioned in this post.
http://bitly.com/ –– bit.ly URL shortener with analytics
http://bufferapp.com/ –– Buffer social media scheduler and analytics
http://www.cyfe.com/ –– Cyfe social media dashboard
http://hootsuite.com/ –– HootSuite social media dashboard
http://gremln.com/ –– Gremln social media scheduler and analytics
http://klout.com/ –– Klout social media influence
http://mashable.com/2009/04/19/social-media-analytics/ –– Mashable, “HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics”
http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html –– Orgnet.com, “Social Network Analysis, A Brief Introduction”
http://searchengineland.com/social-media-analytics-4-tools-you-may-have-been-missing-87345 ––SearchEngineLand, “Social Media Analytics: 4 Tools You May Have Been Missing”
http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/real-social-media-r-o-i-part-4-fry-metrics/ –– The BrandBuilder Blog, “Real Social Media R.O.I. – Part 4: FRY Metrics”
http://www.thoughtbuzz.net/ –– ThoughtBuzz social media management
http://tra.cx/ –– Tracx social media management
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