We spend a lot of time doing it, but can we justify the ROI, potential revenue and or business reason behind it? How do you know that your time spent in social media is effective? Moreover, what do you consider effective – audience growth, engagement, conversions to a specified action such as click-through? Every small business should get very good, or hire someone that is very good, at analytics.
In its simplest form analytics, particularly on the web will save you time and money. While throwing efforts in the air, like a dart in the sky, hoping some will stick seems easy, yet in the long run it is costly. Sure. When we are new to a certain social media platform, the main priority is to tackle the learning curve as quickly as possible. It’s easy to get lost in the details and forget to set key performance indicators (KPIs). Analytics has always been interesting to me for a few simple reasons,
- Analytics will enable a company to glean new customer insights from research;
- Stronger measurement tools will help you hone your messages, focus on the 20 percent of your customers responsible for 80 percent of your business and thereby increase profitability;
- And, ultimately social media analysis will unearth trends and new market opportunities
The benefits of web analytics applied to the social media space are numerous. Fortunately, for the small business owner new to the concept of analytics and monitoring, there are some simple, easy to use and beautifully crafted social media monitoring tools at your disposal. Best of all they are free. In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites.
1. Wildfire Social Media Monitoring – A simple, user friendly interface let’s you measure your fan base performance on top social media networks, track your competitors, gauge the success of contests and receive alerts.
2. PlanCast – Monitor upcoming events and see which ones your friends and business associates plan to attend alongside other local events.
3. Google Alerts – Find out what people are saying about you, your company and competitors on the web. This is a must-have tool for personal and business brand management. Track any keyword imaginable and receive real-time updates via email.
4. Feedreader – Gain first mover advantage on comment posting, for more targeted website visitors & better link popularity. This tool dynamically reads, collects, and organizes Web content, and seamlessly delivers it directly to user desktop.
5. Social Mention – This site is the Google Alerts for social media networks. Receive free daily email alerts of your brand, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story or a competitor.
6. Addict-o-matic – This site automatically creates a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic imaginable across all social media platforms including major search engines, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, etc.
7. Seesmic – This social network aggregator is like Hootsuite, but better. Aggregate all of your social accounts, schedule all of your updates, use their built in url shortener and checkout their real-time collaboration platform, sales force chatter, that brings together your team and data in a secure, private social environment.
8. Tweet Beep – Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything, with hourly updates.
9. MentionMap – This twitter visualization tool blends twitter and mind-mapping to help you discover relevant users to follow and find out who and what people are talking about.
10. Postling – Looking for a one-stop social media management platform? Try Nutshell Mail or the newest player Postling. The entralized dashboard lets you organize, manage and track all your social media efforts so that you can engage with your entire online community from one location.
Two tools of note, that I utilize quite often, include Klout and Twittorati. Both tools are excellent to help a small business determine authority/reach on Twitter and Facebook and identify key influencers. Both provide clean user interfaces, simplistic tracking and analysis of various social media efforts. If I missed one of your favorites, please share it in the comments section below.
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