Sunday, May 9, 2010

How to track social media success

I recently commented on a post by Spencer Kollas titled Social media marketing in 10 minutes a day. The article highlighted the importance for businesses to dedicate a few minutes daily to social networking efforts. Although many companies find themselves unable to maintain a social media presence due to lack of time, he believes that spending at least 10 minutes every day managing social media sites could generate revenue and lead to additional partnerships. While this is possible, I do not consider social media as an essential tool for all marketing campaigns. It’s an effective tool, but it is just another method among the many used to reach an audience. The decision to use social media depends on the organization’s mission and goal. In addition, there is really no reason for an organization to employ social media if it does not generate desired results. Companies should determine social networking success and decide if those numbers match up with their objective(s).

Java Social Networking published a post called Tracking Success with Social Networking. They provided four key ways to help companies observe their social media endeavors.

Google Analytics

The program allows individuals to track website traffic and marketing effectiveness. It is a great tool to help companies analyze data, which can be used to develop stronger marketing tactics. Set up an account via this website.

Here are a few tips from Java Social Networking:

"If you are using a program like WordPress or Drupal to manage your blog or website, there are plugins and modules available to make this process even easier.

Once you're set up, you can access your Analytics account to view "referral sources" such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. You can also see how many visitors came from each source and which keywords were used to find your website."

Below is an interface tutorial for beginners:

Twitter Management Tools

There are many applications besides Twitter to help businesses manage Twitter accounts. I found a blog post by Jennifer Van Grove that provides options in categories including desktop, mobile, and semi-professional for maintaining Twitter profiles.

Coupon Codes and Twitter Incentives

Companies are starting to use social media to offer coupons to customers, which can also steer customers to their website. For example, a business could announce via Twitter or Facebook that the first 100 customers to purchase a certain product will receive a 30% discount. If a high amount of customers respond to the coupon, then that can be determined as a successful social networking tactic.

Ask Your Customers

Sometimes the most effective way to determine the usefulness of social networking efforts is to ask your customers.

Many customers may not be following a business via a social media site. Therefore, they may visit other places, such as a website or the location where the product or service is provided.

Java Social Networking offered suggestions that can be used to elicit customer response:

- If you’re an online store, include the “Where did you hear about us?” question in your order form.

- If you’re a retail store, leave a “Thanks for following us on Twitter! Let us follow you back” sign on your counter and see how many customers will leave you their Twitter name.

There are many other ways to obtain customer response. There are also many other methods that can be used to determine success with social networking. It all depends on what techniques fit best with the company and what information the company wants or needs.

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