Social Media is turning marketing on its head for many reasons. It can be relatively inexpensive and extremely targeted. It offers an unparalleled way to engage with your target audience. One of the aspects many business owners and execs like about social media for marketing purposes is how easy it can be to track the success, or lack there of, of a certain campaign.
While there are many paid software suites and platforms available to track and measure social media marketing efforts, there are also a multitude of free ways to track the performance of your social media marketing.
If you are not currently using Google Analytics you are missing out on a wealth of information with respect to website traffic and metrics. As soon as you are done reading, install it. Google provides free code which can easily be installed into your site source code and provide you with great, in-depth analytics. While it provides information on SEO and keywords, pageviews, bounce rate and more, it also provides great resources for tracking the success of your social media marketing.
You can easily view sites from which traffic to your website originates. You can see how much traffic is being directed to your site from your social channels and look for spikes in site traffic that coordinate with digital, online and social media marketing campaigns.
Social Mention is a real-time social media search and analysis tool. It is totally web-based and does not require any installation. It is essentially a social media search engine. You simply enter the term or terms you would like to search for across the social web and in a matter of seconds you can see a listing of all mentions. Furthermore, you can see the “strength”, the likelihood your brand is being discussed in social media, the “sentiment”, the ratio of positive to negative mentions, the “passion”, the likelihood that the users mentioning your brand will do so again, and the “reach”, the range of influence in which your brand is mentioned.
Social Mention also provides the most common keywords associated with your brand, top users mentioning your brand, top sources where your brand is mentioned and more. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts of mentions associated with your brand
Through a Gmail account you can easily and quickly start using Google Alerts. You enter your search terms, where you want Google to search, the frequency and volume of results and where you want your alerts delivered and you’re done. Sit back and wait for your alerts to start rolling in.
Many people know of bit.ly as a popular URL shortener that can be used to share long links via tweets, e-mail and more. What many people do not know is that bit.ly has real-time link tracking built right in, and it’s absolutely free. Just register for a free account and start shortening. You can then view the number of clicks your link got, as well as additional metrics. Another great feature of bit.ly is the ability to customize your short URLs. This will give you insight into what short links are more effective. You can use two different versions of short URLs and see which one got more clicks and ultimately was more successful in spreading your message and getting more impressions.
Tracking, measuring and analyzing the successes of your social media marketing efforts may be easier, and cheaper, than you think. Analytics and metrics are an essential part of any social media marketing strategy. Before you implement yours, or begin a new campaign, be sure you have a clear plan to measure your results…and include these easy and free tools into the mix.