Just as you have an Internet marketing strategy, you also need a social media strategy as more and more companies are getting on the bandwagon of advertising via social media. What you do with the data gleaned from your social media interactions is extremely important. Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Foursquare to name a few. So, how do you measure success or effectiveness within the social media realm? Here are a few methods to gauge how you're doing.
- Awareness of Your Brand - Building awareness of your brand is one of the most important aspects of why you're engaged in social media. Ultimately, you can measure your awareness by how many followers you have, the number of searches for your brand name, the number of site visits tracked through links, and the number of keywords or phrases searched for. You need to be able to trend this and track it.
- Honest Discussion - The online discussion that you will get can have mixed blessings as it will be unfiltered and completely honest. This means you will get good feedback, neutral feedback, and at times, bad feedback. It's often referred to as share of voice and it reflects the number of times your brand was mentioned in a conversation. You should use a monitoring program to track both your feedback as well as those of your competitors.
- Sphere of Influence - Signals of influence can be found with the number of inbound links to your site. Microblogging sites like Twitter and social networks like Facebook. LinkedIn, YouTube, or Foursquare might have people that have made comments and Liked your brand or product. This is then shared with friends and others and the conversations continue. Measuring these social media tweets or likes can provide you with information about why they like the brand or why they don't.
- Signs of Interaction - The interaction between people and your site and your brand are important to see how interested people are in what you have to say or offer. This means the ratings given to your brand, the number of mentions good or bad, retweets, photos, video views, and the number of new pages of Facebook likes.
- Popularity - This is really the number of people that subscribe to your email or RSS subscribers, followers on Twitter, members of LinkedIn groups, and number of people who like your Facebook page or other social media sites. Other places to track include industry hang outs or content communities like Flickr or YouTube.
- Use Monitoring Tools - Seeing lots of activity on Facebook likes or Twitter tweets does not mean much if you don't measure, monitor, and track the information that you are getting from these social media sites. Google Analytics and Measure Map are two tools that can be used to track and analyze the data so that you know exactly how people react and what you need to change in terms of advertising.
- Listen and Learn - Pay attention to the feedback that you receive from the social media sites not just the positive feedback but the negative or neutral to see what you can learn and possibly change if necessary. Be proactive about tracking the data and USING it to make necessary adjustments to your ads or your way of advertising. Listen carefully to what is being said, make some suggested modifications, and you will be successful.
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