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The 5 Best Tools for Measuring Social Media Performance

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Social Media ToolsSocial media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ have become the epicenter of marketing campaigns for many businesses. According to Social Media Examiner, “83% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.” While the act of posting content and interacting with followers is important, it’s even more important to measure the performance of your overall campaign. Doing so should ultimately help fine-tune your efforts, minimize mistakes and increase exposure. Here are some techniques and useful tools to accomplish this.

Google Analytics

Perhaps the best way to get an overarching idea of how well or poorly each network is performing is by using some basic features of this platform. Google Analytics is free to use, and is the choice of many marketers because of its extensive features. Clicking Traffic Sources > Social > Overview will provide a rundown of all social networks that are bringing traffic to your site. This includes the number of visits via social referral in comparison to total visits, the number of visits from each network and the percentage of traffic from each network. Reviewing this data will give you a rough idea of how well each social media network is performing in relation to other networks.

For instance, Facebook might be bringing in 40 percent of traffic, Twitter is bringing in 20 percent, Google+ is bringing in 10 percent and all others are combining for 30 percent. Clicking “Network Referrals” will provide a bit more information, like total pageviews, and average visit duration of pages per visit. Clicking “Visitors Flow” is another feature that shows which pages on your website visitors are landing on and from which social networks. Understanding this data is important because it’s a clear indicator of which networks are working, which need some attention, and which ones may be worth scrapping altogether.

HootSuite

One of the main indicators of how big your presence is throughout the social media realm is how many mentions your business gets across social media networks. This buzz is also known as social signals, which are a rising factor in search engine algorithms. Hootsuite is an effective way to track those mentions and streamline your social media campaign. It’s also one of the most popular platforms, and currently has over 600 million users. There are several other statistics that can be monitored, such as how many people have added your business to their circles on Google+, how many followers you have across major social networks, recent user activity, and daily growth.

When it comes to Facebook, you can determine who your fan base is by analyzing their demographic according to region, language and posting source. Hootsuite also makes it easy to absorb data by offering over 30 different modules with a variety of charts and graphs. Since it’s available on mobile devices, this can be a great platform for keeping up with data while you’re on the go.

SproutSocial

This has become the go-to social media management platform for many businesses. SproutSocial offers a plethora of features that cover pretty much every aspect of the social media process along with high-powered analytics. From the dashboard, you can keep track of:

  • The number of incoming messages and sent messages
  • The number of new followers across the different social media networks
  • How many brand mentions you have received and the number of unique users
  • The number of impressions your messages have received

In terms of published content, you can easily determine how many clicks and responses each message received, as well as the number of people each message reached. This is helpful because it’s possible to identify which types of content are creating the most buzz, so you can rinse and repeat later. It’s also possible to determine how well your brand is faring against other competitors. This is done by creating social scores based on engagement and influence, and measuring them against the competition. By producing presentation-ready reports, it’s easy to track the long-term progress of a campaign across various social networks.

Simplify 360

If you’re looking for comprehensive data to spot trends, brand reputation and where your company stands against competitors, this is a platform worth considering. According to Simplify 360, they “provide you with a much needed tool to listen to what your customers are saying about your brand on social media and a means to act on it. Be it Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, news sites or online forums, you will never miss out on any conversations that are relevant to your brand.”
When it comes to features, this software provides the basic,s like information regarding your demographics, the volume of traffic from various social media sites, and competitor tracking. There are also numerous other sophisticated features such as:

  • The Alexa rank of blogs that are sharing your content
  • Industry trend monitoring
  • Audience intelligence
  • Real-time performance tracking of posted content
  • Ability to compare the performance of different social media accounts

Like Sprout Social, Simplify 360 produces engagement and influence scores in order to tell how your brand stacks up against competitors. It also has a detailed analytics system with numerous reporting options.

RowFeeder

This is another platform designed to measure performance that has caught the attention of notable media companies like Tech Crunch, BBC and Mashable. Their slogan is “social media monitoring and analysis made easy,” and their concept revolves around searching for hashtags or search terms. The data can then be exported to a spreadsheet, charts, or graphs for convenient viewing.

RowFeeder is a bit simpler than the previously mentioned platforms, and can only be integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Nonetheless, it’s helpful for tracking your campaign in detail and seeing how your brand is performing against the competition. Businesses primarily use RowFeeder for:

  • Brand Monitoring – tracking what your audience is saying about your brand, products, and competitors
  • Campaign Measurement – analyzing factors like reach, participation, and engagement
  • Contests & Promotions – tracking Twitter contests that use hashtags
  • Market Research – monitoring the conversation for a specific topic, market or multiple topics

Social Share Buttons

Finally, a simple way to determine how much your content is getting shared on various social media sites is by installing social share buttons. For WordPress-based websites, there are many plugins available, which only take a few seconds to install. Once set up, you can see how many times a piece of content has been shared on different networks. More social shares translates to more exposure, and can be a litmus test for determining what sort of content or topics are popular among your audience.

Conclusion

With access to numerous social media performance measurement platforms, businesses have the ability to unearth detailed information that simply wasn’t possible a few years ago. By utilizing the right metrics, you can avoid making the same mistakes and improve all areas of your social media campaign. Over time, this should put you in the position to better understand your audience, improve engagement, and generate more leads via social networks.

If you’re ready to launch your social media marketing campaign, see my article “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business” for a great starting point. Do you have any other tools you prefer to use for measuring social media performance? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jayson DeMers

Jayson DeMers is the Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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  • Michél Walther

    Hi Jayson,
    thanks for the overview. We also just create an overview of all current available monitoring tools. Now I can add a few providers on http://www.monitoring-monitor.com again. :-)

    Cheers

    Michél

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    Thanks so much for including Sprout Social in the round-up, Jayson! Much appreciated.

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