Stop and ask…
“Are you measuring your social media efforts?” and “Do you know what’s working?” I’m sure you’d agree these are pretty obvious questions, but it’s surprising how few companies actually have the answers to them.
The most important thing to establish before selecting a monitoring tool is what you’re actually going to measure. Any social media campaign worth its salt needs to have clearly defined objectives and measurable outcomes – metrics that will help you determine whether your social media marketing efforts are successful.
On average, businesses spend 6% of their marketing budgets on analytics. At first that may look like a lot, but when you look at it in context and ask yourself isn’t 6% worth spending to make sure the other 94% is spent wisely?!
You’ll want to measure things like ‘reach’, as in the number of fans, followers or subscribers to your blog to get an idea of the size of your community. Then there’s ‘engagement’ – getting an idea of the things that happen that indicate whether your audience is engaging with you. So you look at things like retweets, comments, average time on site, clicks, video views and downloads. Closely related to this is ‘sentiment’ – in other words, the number of positive (or negative) mentions about your firm.
Tracking and storing data has a cost attached. If your firm is large and has hundreds or thousands of mentions across the social web each day, and depending on which social media platform(s) you use, then your social media monitoring will cost you more, and vice versa.
So before you invest in an expensive tool that promises to keep all of your data forever, ask yourself if you really need it – and whether you have the internal resources to sort, monitor and manage all that data?
Many of the social networking tools have an extensive range of analytics and monitoring functions, but don’t forget the good old website analytics tool, Google Analytics – and it’s free.
Perhaps it is first things first, is your website working properly?
Still have questions, I may have answered these in a recent social media and digital marketing Q & A Session.
Do feel free to connect with me on Linkedin (Cathy Mellett) or send me a message with your digital marketing questions.