Setting Social Media Goals and Measuring Your Success

Setting social media goals before you jump into building your online business presence is incredibly important, as is putting in place proper tools to measure your success. Below we offer some tips on goal setting and discuss our favorite monitoring tools.

Tips for Setting Social Media Goals

  1.  Start small. Nothing is more discouraging than setting an unreachable goal and then being surprised and disappointed when you don’t reach it. Not to mention, inflated social media expectations reduces your credibility and increases your risk, which we can all agree is something we don’t want.
  2. Set a realistic time period for reevaluation. It takes time to establish a great social media presence online, similar to how ‘overnight success stories’ don’t actually happen overnight. Give yourself a year to test out your social media strategy. At the end of the year, take some time to fully assess whether you’ve been participating in the right online communities, whether or not social media has positively impacted your business, and what areas you need to tweak to perform better in the following year.
  3. Monitor your progress regularly. Don’t wait until your one year trial period is up to take a look at how you’re doing and to tweak your strategy to better meet your goals. We recommend taking some time once a week to do an overview of what you’re doing well, and areas you could improve. Taking this time to evaluate your online presence will allow you to catch any issues quickly before they grow into bigger problems.

Measuring Your Success

There are hundreds of ways to monitor your success online. Here are a few of our favorite tools (bonus: all of them except Hootsuite are free to set-up and use):

Hootsuite: We love this social media dashboard, and we recently blogged about why you should be using it.

 

Facebook Insights: Facebook recently revamped their analytics and the new metrics are great for tracking how well your page is doing. Key traceable metrics include; understanding and analyzing trends regarding growth and demographics, consumption and creation of content, and information regarding the engagement and viral reach of specific posts.

insights

Google Analytics: Installing analytics on your website is a critically important step, and one that many people skip. Without having tracking code installed on your website, it’s the equivalent of putting up a billboard downtown. You’re unaware of who many have seen it, and whether or not people are visiting your business as a result of your advertising. The same can be said for your website; there’s no point building one if you don’t have tracking installed to tell you how many people are visiting your site, what pages they view, how long they stay, etc. Google Analytics can do this and much more, including the ability to link to Adwords. We also love how easy it is to compare your progress month over month, or year over year.

google analytics

Google Alerts: Another great feature by Google, alerts send an email to your inbox with the latest internet content surrounding your area of interest. You choose the keywords you want to monitor, how often you want to receive the results, and what email address to send them to, and Google does the rest. Great keywords to set up Google Alerts with are your business name and your product names, that way you’ll know when people are talking about you online and can respond to them.

google alerts

Social Mention: A great social media search engine that searches the internet for user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and more. The results are extensive and appear in real time. 

social mention

Twitter Counter: A great Twitter monitoring tool that let tracks how well your account is performing on an hourly, weekly, monthly, 3 month, or 6 month period.

twitter counter

We’ve only covered a few of the hundreds of listening and monitoring tools available for businesses. If you’d like to find out about how to specifically use these and other applications for your business, we’d be happy to set up a training or coaching session with you. Contact us for more information.

 


Understand Website Traffic

Understanding the traffic visiting your site is key, not just in terms of your Internet marketing efforts but also for building an effective social media campaigns. Too many clients come to me wanting to bring more business through the website but without knowing anything about the traffic they are currently getting.

Do you know how many visitors your site gets as a result of your Facebook or Twitter presence? Which blog posts or comments drive the most traffic to your site? How much traffic your site gets overall and is it from your target audience?

Fortunately, our friends over at Google have just the solution. Google analytics is a free web site traffic analysis tool that tracks traffic to your website. It works by having you enter some code on your web site and it should be the first thing on your to-do list before embarking on any Internet marketing or social media marketing effort.

Using Google is a great way to understand your on-line community: how they find you; how they navigate your site and where they come from. Website owners can monitor and improve web site results by honing in on their specific community. The service includes a dashboard containing vital visitors stats and the ability to drill down on these to find out more; score cards to assess traffic; conversion rate tracking analysis for keywords targeted; targeting by region (for example); the ability to create and share (send and schedule personalised e-mail reports) and export data.

Analytics is a free service that is used to attract customers to Google’s fee paid Ad Words and Ad Sense offering but those are optional – the benefits of this free data at our marketing fingertips are unquestionable.


Are You Listening?

Social Media Listening Tools

Social media content is a great source of information for research, customer service and planning purposes. It’s important to use tools to effectively listen to what is being said about: your company, its products services and representatives; your competitors and clients; your market niche as well as your target geography and other marketing considerations.

With millions of people on-line every day exchanging opinions, thoughts, feedback and other information – this data source shouldn’t be ignored.

But how to listen effectively, what to listen for and how to do so in a timely manner? As with any other market research initiative, it is important to have a social media listening strategy or plan that outlines what you are hoping to learn, the information you want to track and how you will analyse and use it.

There are thousands of social networks, millions of blogs, how do you sift through this information to find the gems that are relevant to your company and industry? It’s important in advance to know what you want to listen for. Identifying and listening for keywords pertaining to your company name and product or services names is a good start. This allows you to get going with something concise and manageable and get a feel for the type of information you will return.

There are a number of tools available to effectively listen some are free, the obvious one being Google and some charge. If you expect that you will use these tools extensively or if you hit the wall with free tools then you may want to consider the paid options as they provide structured and strategic solutions.

Here are some more specific services:

FREE

Google Alerts – this service sends e-mails outlining Google search result for your keyphrases.

There are a plethora of Twitter tools like Twitter Search, Monitter (my current favourite) and Tweetlater that allow you to monitor for keywords via email or online.

Pipl – great tool for assessing your personal brand online across multiple social networks

Backtype – search terms, follow conversations.

PAID

Radian6 – this is a paid service but word on the street is that its worth paying the price. Radian6 tools

Trackur – another tool for social media monitoring. Starting at $18 a month with a free trial.