Without monitoring every move, every reaction, result and outcome in your social media marketing you are basically flying blind – and loosing out. That also means, you cannot decide which of your efforts are giving you the results you seek and which do not work according to plan. You cannot find flaws in your marketing process and will have trouble optimizing your efforts. Without data you cannot decide which efforts to pursue or even to increase and which ones better to drop.
In order to get the data you need to make decisions in marketing, you need to use some tools. Most of the time the numbers you should be monitoring are not simply lying around for each and everyone to grab. Most of the time you will only be able to access the data you need with the aid of tools.
Here are 10 tools which will help you gather and interpret the data which will let you understand your marketing and the results you get and help you get your marketing on the right track:
You do not necessarily need to use Google Analytics to gather data about website traffic, traffic sources and content visited. There are other tools, some offer even more data than Google Analytics. But most of the time Google Analytics will be a good choice. It is for free, easy to install and provides you with a very thorough set of data.
And let me make one thing very clear: Website Analytics do not only tell you if and how many website visitors you have. They can tell you where visitors come from, where they go to, how long they stay and what they do on your site. All these factors are valuable information when it comes to optimizing your efforts.
Social Network Analytics
Most social networks provide you with analytics of their own. These usually include data about followers, interactions, reach, information about your followers and more. I am sometimes surprised how many people who are active in social media do not know these analytics and if they know about them are not using them.
The least you should do with Twitter Analytics is once in a while take a look at your audience: Are you targeting the right people? And are you building an audience from your target group?
But if you invest time and effort in building your Twitter account, there is much more Twitter Analytics can tell you.
Pinterest is a great network to drive traffic. But if you are just starting out, yu will probably not (yet) see much traffic to your site. Pinterest Analytics can tell you if your efforts are still taking you in the right direction and not only your followers are growing but also the number of repins and likes – and eventually the number of views your pins get.
Pinterest Analytics can do more. They can help you decide which kind of images your audience responds to: Simply take a look at which of your pins get the most repins and which actually get clicks.
4. Facebook Insights
Most Facebook Marketers take a look at the Facebook insights once in a while. You can learn about your followers, the number of reactions you get, and how your efforts are paying off.
If you are taking a serious effort to build your audience on Facebook and some traffic to your website from it, you may want to consider a more sophisticated tool to analyze your marketing success on Facebook.
Tools can help – but you need to know the process, too. Learn how to grow an audience, drive traffic and generate leads from social media with “The Social Traffic Code!”
Most of the time tools which allow you to schedule social media posts will also provide you with some statistics on the results your posts achieved.
Buffer is one of the most commonly known and used tools for scheduling social media updates. And for all updates you posted through the tool, you get some analytics for the results your post got. For Twitter, for example, that is the number of retweets, favorites and mentions your tweet had as well as the number of clicks it got. If you are using the (paid) business account of Buffer, you even get a more thorough analysis of all tweets send through the app. You can download this report and check how your tweets performed.
The analysis from Buffer usually is a good starting point when you test headlines (= Tweet texts) or best times of days for your updates.
SocialOomph is one of the rare tools that allows you to set up recurring queues of tweets. If you use their short link you can then download a report for all your updates and analyze which tweets get a lot of reactions and which don’t. The analysis of SocialOomph does not consider one single tweet but sums up all reactions to one (repeated) tweet in a given amount of time.
From a statistic’s point of view, this analysis can be more meaningful regarding the tweet text than looking at single tweets for information. One tweet is always subject to factors like the time the tweet was sent or if a huge account retweeted you.
There are several tools for creating short links And most of them do not merely provide the shortened link but also some statistics on how this shortlink performed on the web. Some of the already mentioned tools like Buffer and SocialOomph use their link shortener to gather the information they give you in their analytics section.
So, if you go for another link shortener keep in mind, that these tools may not provide you the full analytics if you do not use their link shortener.
Bit.ly is one of the most commonly used link shorteners. If you register with the tool they provide you with a list of your short links and for each of them, you can view some statistics on how this shortlink performed.
Bit.ly shows you the performance over time no matter which tool you used to share the link. This may be of help if you change the tools you use in between.
Smarturl is a link shortener which comes with some small extra features. You can use the shortlink to redirect traffic to country specific destinations. Smarturl can also provide you with intelligence on where your traffic comes from regarding geolocation.
If you want to know more about the marketing magic you can do with the help of link shorteners, check out Jonathan’s article here.
More Monitoring Tools
Of course there are multiple tools to monitor the web and what you get from it in a more thorough way. Not everyone needs all the tools there are. It always depends on your particular situation. Here are some more tools for you to consider:
If you are looking for a more thorough analysis of your Facebook Fanpage and activity, you should take a look at FanPage Karma. They not only provide you with a little more than the Facebook insights give you. Apart from monitoring how your Fanpage is performing, on Fanpage Karma you can also monitor other pages, for instance, the pages of your competitors or role models. You can set up reports, watch key performance indicators and see how your Fanpage develops. You can quickly find out what works and what does not work so well.
UTM codes or parameters are little snippets of information, which are added to your link to help you track the impact of your content or links you share on the web. The UTM parameters you can add to the link are a name for the campaign, the medium in which the link is used (social, email) and the source (Facebook, Twitter) plus the content (this could be a placement of an ad i.e. headerlink) and term which can be used to specify used keywords.
A link to our blog http://blog.thesocialms.com/ could then look like this:
http://blog.thesocialms.com/ ?utm_campaign=blogpost &utm_medium=social&utm_source=Twitter& utm_content=sidebarlink& utm_term=socialmedia+blog
The information stored in the parameters is passed straight on to your Google Analytics account. With UTM links, you can not only monitor all traffic to a website. Instead, you can specify exactly which link this traffic followed.
UTM links are great to test marketing methods and specifics against each other. Thus, you can determine which is the possible way to pursue.
Another great way to track and monitor marketing success can be bonus codes. If you use different codes for different sources, you can track exactly where your new customers came from.
Never stop thinking about what you want and need to measure to optimize your marketing efforts. There are always more options and tools you can consider.
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