Look past Likes with Social Media Analytics

social-media-analytics-pic

There are so many metrics to measure and many other tools you can use for social analytics. It’s no wonder a lot of companies still rely on charting likes and follows and don’t dive further in to track engagement. It all can be very confusing and overwhelming but with the right social media tracking tool, some of the pain can go away.

The blog 13 Social Media Software Tools for Marketing Your Company or Clients does a great job of listing out a large amount of tools, giving the pros and cons of each. One of the tools on the list is Sprout Social and I am a user of this tool. I mostly use it for social analytics reporting but it has so many other features. Multiple profiles on most of the major social platforms can be tracked in this one tool. You can schedule posts. One of their highlights is the ability to find new customers and grow a brand’s social presence.

A lot of the tools listed I’d never heard of but many were free and sounded intriguing. EdgeRank is a tool I’d like to check out to see where the brand page I work on falls in edgerank on Facebook. I like that it can help a brand increase their exposure and fan engagement. Social Crawlytics is another interesting tool that will look at a brand’s competitors and see which users are engaging with competitors.

The blog Best social media analytics tools: 8 of the best to use also stressed the fact that most companies are only tracking the number of followers they have. There are so many other important metrics. I like to know which posts fair the best so I can adjust the social strategy. If there’s a type of content that isn’t performing well, then I want to know . Why keep going down a path that isn’t successful. Tweriod was also mentioned in this blog and it is a tool I’ve utilized. It takes all the guess work out of when the best time is to post to Twitter for a brand.

What a company may not realize if they aren’t tracking social media analytics is that “Social media is a window into the mind of their target market and a through that, it’s a window into the health of the brand,” said Niles Mork Ulnes in Beyond Social Media Analytics — Getting to Consumer Insights. It’s a way to understand what motivates a customer and track trends. You may think one thing of your brand and the consumer may think another. If you aren’t tracking that conversation on social media, you’ll be left in the dark.

I’m a big fan of Google Analytics and like that they incorporate social media into their free tool. The blog Using Google Analytics to track social media marketing does a great job of defining each of the areas and what the purpose is. I do want to clarify that Google Analytics doesn’t measure anything happening on your social media channels. The data they report ties back in to a brand’s website and what social channels are driving visitors back. It isn’t going to tell you how many likes a post got. You will see what social channels works best for driving web traffic and the type of content on your site that people share.

I encourage anyone who is just starting to dip their toes into social media analytics to check out this infographic. It gives actionable steps to start looking at social analytics. You shouldn’t just start looking at the data. First determine your goals for each social media platform. You won’t know what metric is the most important if there aren’t actionable goals to meet. The next step is to configure your analytics for those specific goals and get a tool that can help you accomplish what you are trying to measure.  A large part is educating yourself with the meaning of the metrics, as they are different for each social platform. The final step is to analyze the data and see if you’re meeting your goals. If you aren’t then how can you make changes to move in the right direction?

What metrics do you measure the most when it comes to social media?

Do you have a favorite social media analytics tool?

Advertisements

Stop Controlling My Newsfeed

Image

I have a very love hate relationship with Facebook. I love the social interaction and being able to share the parts of my life I chose to share with my friends and family. I also love being connected to those that don’t live near. What I hate about Facebook is that it chooses what I see based off the algorithms it’s created.

According to Kurt Wagner’s article Facebook: Here’s How Your News Feed Works, the average person’s newsfeed has 1,500 possible stories per day but only 20% of those stories will make it into that person’s newsfeed. Facebook created an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what it will allow you to see. It assumes you will find certain things interesting based off your past engagement with friends and brands.

What bothers me is I’ve chosen to be friends with someone or like a company but because the post doesn’t have a high EdgeRank, I might not see it. A great example is I’m an administrator for the LPGA’s Facebook page but for more than a year I didn’t see any of the posts. Just because I didn’t interact with the content doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it. It angers me that Facebook gets to decide what I see and don’t see. There are probably plenty of people out there that enjoy not seeing everything but I’m the type of person where I want to see all the posts but Facebook doesn’t allow all of the posts through to me.

EdgeRank boils down to how close you are to someone and the amount of interaction you’ve had with them. It puts a value on a post has based on comments and likes and how long it has been since the post was created. The article The Importance of Engagement in Facebook Marketing – EdgeRank explains it in much more detail. What brands need to learn from EdgeRank is to put more time and effort into posts to make sure the post will be engaging. Only 16% of followers will see a brand’s post on average because of EdgeRank. The more engaging the post, the higher the likelihood that more people will see it. Some great tips were given to help improve engagement. It boils down to short posts that include visuals, a call to action and posting during the right time for your followers.

When it comes to Google+, Facebook’s competitor, I don’t know much. I’ve used it less than a handful of times. I’m ready to understand more about it and how marketers can successfully utilize the platform. Unfortunately, this week’s readings left me still wondering what Google+ is all about.

What I did gather from the article Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy is that posts on Google+ have an effect on Search Engine Optimization. Working on a website, I know how important SEO is to a brand. It’s free traffic back to your website. Google+ is a content sharing platform that is significantly integrated into all of Google’s products. Posts you make to Google+ can have a very positive impact on your SEO. Brian Clark said in the article above that not contributing to Google+ could make you lose traffic to your website.

Apparently Google+ made some changes and Kim Garst details them in the article How to Use the New Google Plus Changes to Build Your Brand More Effectively. Not having used Google+ before doesn’t allow me to say whether they were good or bad changes. What I do know is that you aren’t forced to accept the new three column layout. Google+ allows you to revert back to the old version. Photos and videos have been made larger and a really cool photo enhancement feature has been added. While I say hello to Google+, I can say goodbye to blemishes.

Do you like the fact that Facebook chooses what you see or don’t see in your newsfeed?

How often do you use Google+ and what benefit do you get from it?