Social Media monitoring should be an important part of your social media strategy. To create an effective strategy you must understand the analytic’s behind your social media promotion efforts.
I’m sure you have all heard the cliché if you fail to plan, then plan to fail. The same thing can be said for measuring your social media promotions. Many people just go out and think if they can get enough followers on their list of social media networks and then blast out their social media marketing messages, then success will follow.
This is just not true.
The main thing that a lot of marketers seem to miss is that social media is about building relationships. Its not about selling or at least about a hard sell.If you show your value as a subject matter expert in social media, the sales will happen an if done correctly you won’t be able to stop the sales unless you just totally shut down your platform.
You must know what resonates with your followers. What information do they need and what type of information brings the most engagement. This is where measurement comes in. You need to know when people share your content with their followers. You need to know if they retweet your message. You need to know when you get +1’s on Google + or Likes on Facebook.
All the major networks have some sort of social media analytics built into the platform. These tools are a good place to start when tracking your Social media efforts, but they are not all.
Services such as https://bitly.com/ and Google Analytics can help you to determine how many clicks a link pointing to your web properties get.
Google Analytics(GA) is in my opinion the best resource you can use in your social media monitoring activities. For GA to be effective you have to set up funnels and goals in your account. You can get some basic information about which Social networks are sending you traffic, but the funnel allows you to understand what the visitor does once they make it to your site. There is a great article over at Moz that walks you through setting up a funnel. I won’t go into the specifics of setting up your funnels and setting up GA. There is already a lot of great information on the web about how to effectively use Google Analytics for tracking social media. A good place to start is on the Google Analytics Learning site
There are other social media tracking resources available to help you with social media monitoring. These are sometimes referred to as social media hubs and they can be very useful for not lonely tracking social media, they can help you manage your time. with a social media hub you can post to multiple networks with a single effort and this can really help you utilize your time effectively. Most of social media hubs have a free option so you can try them out for free and see what works best with your work flow methods. Personally I utilize the paid options with Hootsuite.com, but that is just my preference and they are not at all the only ones out there. A simple Google search will give you a huge list of potential social media hubs you can use for your social media monitoring strategy.
It may be that you need multiple tools to get a full understanding of what is actually producing results with your social media marketing efforts.
One thing I want to stress is the tools used to measuring does not matter as long as it produces useful information that can be used in decision making.
What is most important and the one thing I would like for you to take away from this article is the you must measure. If you are not tracking what creates the most engagement with your followers, then how will you know you have reached the goals of your social media plan?
Most times that goal will revolve around some amount of sales or profit, but you won’t know if those sales came from social media or one of your other marketing funnels if you don’t keep track.
The second thing to take away from this article. Social Media marketing is not about selling its about building relationships. I’ve seen a lot of people with a lot of potential fail to gain the critical mass of followers needed to really impact your business’s bottom line and ensure you are getting value from the resources you expend on your list of social networks.